Monday, 21 March 2011

Christmas Day

When was the last time you read something positive about my disability? Yeah, it was a while ago.

I have not been happy since Christmas Day. Several reasons spring to mind, but the latest celebration of the supposed second coming of The Lord was a day I got smacked in the face. I was reminded that no matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I wish, I will never ever get what I want.

Prior to this I guess you could say I lived in an extended period of denial. My disability was a challenge I could conquer. My path might be different, but it would be a worthwhile one. It would be one that I could treasure and take ownership of. Christmas Day represented a perverse milestone, the first time I saw my disability for what it really was.

Disability when studied objectively is all about deciding what the most palatable ‘choice’ is.  I am currently looking to move out of my parents’ home (About ten years too late, but that is another story), and given my disability this is just so hard. I have the choice between having funding for personal care whilst being homeless, or to move into a house and have no funding. You see I’m not eligible for funding unless I move out of my parents’ home, and I cannot move out unless I can get funding. Do you see the logic there? Me either.

When I make that Sophie’s Choice. I will be moving to Brisbane. This is not bad, but again demonstrates the palatable choice phenomenon. I would much rather live in Canberra or Melbourne, but I cannot move that far away on my own yet, particularly when I know no one there, nor the respective State and Territory Disability Sectors (Just nationalise the system already!).

And what about when the ‘palatable option’ is emotionally devastating? You cannot just pack up and take off, make things right, or make a truly fresh start. This is when the palatable option is all about sitting, waiting, dealing with bureaucrats and stewing because it is impossible to make Sophie’s Choice. It is ironic when Sophie’s Choice is the only ‘choice’ I can make in my life. Disability does not do the word justice: try disempowerment.

This is a rather odd feeling. Perhaps this makes me bitter and twisted, but I prefer to call it revealing and realistic. For the first time in my life I know that I cannot do anything I set my mind to. If I could I would be much happier by now. But by the same token I know that once I can emotionally deal with this reality once and for all I will be much more calm and happier in the longer term.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Todd - visiting on BADD 2011.
    Your last sentence Todd is very wise - very hard, but wise.
    Resonates with my mantra (oft repeated): you cannot change what happens to you, but you can change how you feel about it. Then, I find, I can get on with dealing with it.
    best wishes