About Kassi Dephinia
I’m invisibly physically and psychologically disabled, with a chronic pain diagnosis, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from being raised with cult abuse and every other kind of abuse, Major Depressive Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. I’m also very poor. I don’t look sick or poor—but I am. Because my disability and poverty make me a target for violence and discrimination, it pays to put effort into not appearing as vulnerable as I am. I’m not alone in using protective camouflage to hide.
I don’t have the same privileges as many people, including invisible ones like supportive family and close friends. Stigma and lack of understanding makes in-person friendships almost impossible, not to mention painful. I’m unpacking the other privileges I do have, like passing as abled or middle-class (which also has its drawbacks, when people don’t believe what I tell them about being poor and disabled), being a white cisgender woman. I want to be more aware and respectful and use that privilege and those resources to lift up those less privileged. It’s an ongoing process, a messy one. I make mistakes and learn from them and keep going as well as I can.
I like to write, play ukulele, read, learn, and participate in & engage with intersectional feminism. The arts save my life and ease my pain. Writing has always been my solace, my survival as I lived through nightmares no one looking at me would guess at or believe. Reading brings me education, awareness, comfort, validation, reassurance that I am not alone. Social justice, making socially conscious art, and speaking out after a life of silence are vitally important to me, to pay forward the healing and support I found from the stories and art other people who had the courage to speak up. One of the best things I read about recovering from cult abuse was this: ‘Learn to trust yourself.’
On this site you’ll also find some of my other artwork, like hooping videos and photography. I have my good days and plenty of bad ones. I try to use my best days to create, in whatever way I can manage. Words alone can’t express all I have inside.
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