Thursday, 13 February 2014

Do I Make You Feel Uncomfortable?

Lately I have taken part in some conversations which have led me to conclude that absolutely no one likes an angry cripple. My antipathy towards my disability has been well documented, and now that I have been healthy again for well over a year I can say with certainty that my physical disability is by far the worst thing in my life. It's not even close.

I hate it with a passion you cannot even comprehend.

But if you walk that is not what you want to hear. How do I know this? It is because that every time I express visceral hatred about my disability, your kind tries to talk me out of it. But look at what you can do, you are so much smarter than many who can walk! Well thanks, but that is not the point. The customary cliche crippled folk like to use is to ask you to spend a day in a wheelchair. Sorry walkies, but a day isn't enough. Try a lifetime.

It is not totally your fault. After all, the mainstream media teaches you that there are only a few disabled people who are 'successful'. Despite being a crip, do you know what else they have in common? They are all members of the disability pride brigade. From the savvy and smart, to the plain condescending, and finally the most annoying category, the athletic martyrs, these people all tell the world that they LOOOOVE their disability. If a walkie suggested that life might just be a little bit tougher because they are disabled, they cry 'ableism'. Of course, how individuals respond to their own disability is up to them, but the fact that the other side of the argument is hardly presented at all really, really does my head in.

The person who can walk needs a balanced portrayal of what life is like having a physical disability. It should be okay for me to tell you that day to day life is a constant stream of hardship, because it is. And you know what? It is healthy for me to tell you this. I spent 27 years trying to repress my anger on the subject. It led me to bad places and a ton of bad decisions.

Part of this was due to the fact that I was conditioned, both consciously and sub-conciously, to tell walkies that I was 'lucky' by comparison. While part of that is correct, let's deal with some brutal truth here. I was also incredibly unlucky. Through no fault of any one person, and for some reason that won't be discovered in my lifetime, not quite enough oxygen entered my brain during a crucial stage of my gestation. I blame no one. I was just unlucky.

However, I am extraordinarily lucky that I have two parents that transformed me from a diagnosed 'vegetable', to someone who aims to be a psudo-intellectual. None of this anger is directed at them, nor will it ever be. They should be (and are) proud of every decision they have ever made when it comes to my upbringing. But at the same time they have the right to be upset at the hand they have been dealt too, if they choose to be. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they are not.

I do not expect you to understand how difficult my life is. Fortunately, you will never be able to. These are my issues. And this is my anger. Just because I choose to express this anger and wish my life was never this way, it doesn't mean that I want to die. I have a lot of unfinished business. But I'm not anyone's miracle either.

When people ask me about my disability, I tell them this.

I make the most out of a very bad situation    

No comments:

Post a Comment