Sky, [28.02.19 09:30]

Name: Tyber Sky Lentuk Murphy

Pronouns: They/them

Working in rehab and communications: monetarily since 1998

Certifications: CPDT-KA in 2015

My interest in behavioral sciences stemmed from the onset of mental illnesses in my early childhood. I knew something was wrong, that my mental state was unavoidable as a transgender, multiracial Mi’kmaq First Nation, nonbinary child in the 80’s. The horrors of that, that my being my authentic, true self caused me so much confusion, pain, and violence made no sense to me. Over the next thirty years my journey would test my my theory of why I felt this way and allow it to become verifiable as I researched, watched, and analyzed millions of others in different states of marginalization attempting to cope with their own oppression. Many did not make it. They, and those still fighting, are why I am here. Why I do the work that I do.

Growing up in a time when people like myself were considered at best nonexistent, and at worst inhuman/wrong/evil, showed me a side of humanity many are privileged to have been unaware of until as late as 2016 (and some are still privileged enough to attempt to deny). I would never took at humans, and how they oppress others through bigotry, and in turn damage their concept of shared reality, the same again.

I had begun writing about my experiences with these illnesses avidly, and by the time I was in my early teens I had already written an autobiographical semi-fiction about dysphoria, dissociative behaviors, culturally induced schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, manic depression, and suicide. I alluded to but did not touch on the Indian issues, because I was not ready to name them publicly after the violence I had been shown as an indigenous child.

My first typed story was even earlier, and described my stowing away on a ship that would crash on an island of animals, and the peace that brought me. It laid in heavy contrast to my peers, who predominantly told me to “go back to the wolves”.

In the end, I did.

Animal rehabilitation had been a regular part of my life due to my parent’s compassion for life around them. For me it was simply extending a hand to my relations, who deserved to be treated better. It was in many ways the only solace I had when facing the world. This has not changed despite the thousands upon thousands of animals (humans, dogs, wolf hybrids, cats, bengal hybrids, aquatics (fish, octopi, sharks, eels, etc), birds (from exotics to NYC street pigeons), “livestock”, rabbits, horses, reptiles, etc) I have worked with, and those I have witnessed suffer at the hands of human indifference, through neglect, violence, and death.

My own dog and cat, Divine and ChenFu, got me through recovery (alcohol, smoking, self harm, suicide, codependency). The next wave, Dougal, Midas, Liam, and Pan joined me as my companions over time. As they passed, Bowie and Mudra made their way into my lives. I would not be here if it weren’t for them, and the countless others that I shared me life with.

As of 2013, I suffered multiple injuries while working in rehabilitation, leaving me with nerve damage that led me away from working for nonprofits and other organizations that I felt were still not addressing the core issues of how our system fails us cross-species, and returned to working as a private practice. Mantra Pet came into being.

To this day, I still have hope that within my life time, human beings will reach a level of compassion and mutual respect interacting with the world that will allow for a mutually beneficial relationship. Humans can attain this by simply releasing their need to subjugate others out of power through fear, a feat that most humans avoid.

It is through this fear that we create the monsters we shun, as scapegoats for what we simply can not face in the mirror, sentenced to ridicule and death through our own prejudices.

The microcosm of individual animal rehabilitation and macrocosm of rehabilitating an entire species is one in the same.

Humans can not be expected to treat any creature, human or otherwise, with autonomy, decency, and respect if they can not recognize and accept that we are all equals.

As someone who did not expect to live as long as I have, I devote my life to building a reality where the life I have lived, and the cruelty I have seen, are just ghost stories.

My goal is to preserve, protect, and seed the sacred while freeing all my relations from oppression, no matter what race or species.

Kaqami Melkiknay

(I am Standing. I am Strong.)

Wela’lin Annie Mae, may she use my hands.