Disabled it’s a word I hate, but I don’t know what to replace it with exactly. I checked this morning as to what other words a thesaurus suggested and, to be honest, they were even worse. The started politely enough, with such words as “physically challenged”, “handicapped”, “weakened”, “paralysed”, and “impaired”. Then they fell into what I expected “crippled”, “Damaged”, “mutilated” and “maimed”. The thing is, I don’t feel as though I fit any of those, yes, I know that many will, but I don’t. Even odder. is the fact, that I’m not one of those people who has signed up to what I now see as the overused political correctness, that the world seems to have embraced. So why do they all bother me? I guess, because, I quite simply don’t see myself as any of them. I freely admit that I am totally useless, that I can’t even take care of myself, but I’m not any of those words, I’m me.
In some ways, I guess that is where political correctness steamed from, someone took objection to being called something or another, then the world went mad with it. I don’t once ever remember being offended by being wolf whistled at in the street, or having someone shouting a lurid comment at me. I was inclined to take them all as a compliment, well, someone at least noticed me, so be it from a male or a female, I was flattered. Tags, names, titles, they all bother me. Of course. we all have to live with some, Mr, Mrs or Miss (no I hate Ms.), wife or husband, Mum or Dad, male or female, they’re tags we accept as everything has to have an identifying name, just as our parents gave us one. Those along with job titles, I accept with ease, but all other, why should I? I don’t feel defined by my health, so why is everyone else on the planet in such a hurry to define me. I have a chronic illness, well, several, but until I was unable to leave my house, it meant nothing to others and little to me. Becoming housebound, was the first time that I felt that my health had got in the way of my life. I know that I didn’t go out much before that happened, but as I have admitted several times, to me that was a plus, as the places people wanted me to be, usually weren’t where I wanted to be. But I admit and accept the title of housebound, like the others, it’s something I have accepted, but I don’t accept the rest.
Just because my body is doing everything it physically can, other than killing me right this second, it doesn’t mean I’m not equal to anyone else. No, I couldn’t run a marathon, I can’t even join in with the wheelchair entrants, but I’ve never wanted to, which is far more important than because I couldn’t. My brain, though, well, once I chip through the fog, is as bright as it ever was. Keep me here in my isolated box, where my body and brain are as close to at ease as anyone’s is, and I am mentally astute. In politically correct jargon, I am locationally challenged, more than anything else. To the general public, what is wrong with me, has now and never has had, any impact on their lives, yet they are all so fast to put names to me, names that I don’t want, nor agree with.
Being in a wheelchair doesn’t make you disabled. What disables us, isn’t our chairs, but the thoughtlessness of those people who put steps everywhere. Take those away, and your world is my world. I didn’t build all those stairways and kerbs, so why do I have to have a label attached to me? It wasn’t my fault that I became ill. I didn’t do anything wrong, it wasn’t through drugs, alcohol, tobacco, lack of exercise or overeating that I became ill, it just happened. When the final truth is found, it will be either one of mother nature’s ways of controlling population, or through toxins and chemicals that I don’t even know the name of. Either way, it wasn’t my fault. So why does everyone seem to have yet another tag to attach to me?
I’m human, surprisingly so is every other living person, so I have something that makes me the same as all of you. I have two arms, two legs and a head, just like the majority of you. When you look at me closely, I have more in common with everyone out there, than I have that is different. What makes me different in the grand scheme of things is actually very small, but to survive in this world, I am forced to focus on it. Clearly, I can no longer work, but I have done so every day that I could, until I couldn’t. Survival for all of us equals money. There are no two ways around that one. To get what we need to exist, we’re forced to look closely at all the things we can’t do. We have to be judged on it, go over it in writing and they face to face. Months of concentrating on the wrong, not the right. Is that really the right way of living a positive life? That’s what we’re all told to do, “stay positive”, that is until they pull you down and pick you to bits, just so you can live. Titles, tags, titles, tags and more tags, is it any surprise that for some being “positive” is hard or even impossible. But me, I’m positive, not because of the outside world, but because of me. I’m human, I’m alive, I’m a person and I don’t need your titles, I’m me.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 02/05/2014 – Getting stuck forever?
I guess there are thousands of thing to write about, but for the first time in ages, I have actually found myself here nice and early and I can’t think at this second what I am going to write about, I suppose that is what they call sods law. It feels almost as though the fact I have actually, at last, got everything under control with my timings and my brain has decided to shut down on me when it comes to the most important part of my morning, maybe I should go and have my shower and just come back to this as if I have managed to write this much without saying anything, there is something wrong.
Well, that is me washed and fed, I don’t normally write just after either, I suppose because coping with typing is just that bit more difficult, especially after a shower. I know that I have said before just how I hate…..
I can totally relate to some of your email at my work assessment tribunal I was asked if I could use a wheelchair. I told them maybe I’ve never tried. I would still need my mum to drive me to the place before I cld use my wheelchair. So should’ve said no to that.
Also I’ve tweeted something today to a friend to reply to but he’s RT it instead so if anyone reads it they will think I can work which is not the case. I agree with you all establishments should be wheelchair friendly.
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No one makes our lives easy. It just it would be nice if just one of them, asked us how we felt, rather than just telling us who we are. A wheelchair might not help you, it can cause more problems than it assists for some conditions. I had to have a special chair as my arms are so weak. It is extremely light, but it isn’t perfect. Able bodied people make so many assumptions, their not in our bodies, so they really have no right.
It’s so easy for things to be miss understood, not because of us, but because others read in what isn’t there. (((Hugs)))
Thank you for writing this post. You’ve stated what I have felt in my heart so well. 💜
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Glad to know that I’m not alone 🙂
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Thank you for writing this. I understand what you mean. My lungs have been failing for most of my life. It’s asthma, not your everyday asthma either, but the kind where you get told often you might need new lungs someday. Combine that with serve allergies, a metabolic syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and pain (fibro and trying to breathe)? Well by now I’m kinda round but still desperately trying to get better. If that’s not possible then I would be thrilled with “not worse.”
More often than not I use a walker that I swear I’m going to post all of my serious thoughts on since people are staring anyway. In my life people see that right now I’m fat. They don’t see that Prednisone therapy for 3 of the last 5 years had me at 500+lbs, that once my lungs were back in some control I quickly lost over 150lbs, and if I could drop 120lbs more my 5’7″ body would be at my second lightest adult weight or that 100lbs would be the weight I started at before it all hit the fan.
I go by “Spoonie.” My problems aren’t laid bare for the world and that has been the cause of some very frightening and frustrating interactions with the general public. Thin people who don’t think I should be allowed use of the handicapped cart on the occasions I need it, to fat people who have no disabled parking permit but should get the cart because I’m thinner than they are.
Never mind that I’m barely breathing. Forgot that my entire body is screaming in pain.
Then I’m often emailed links to what’s known as “Inspiration Porn” or disabled people doing extraordinary things. I’m happy for them but people seem to think that by showing me this I should magically recover from my issues. As a well meaning someone once said “If that dude doesn’t have legs and still rock climbs and snowboards, why can’t you?” Simple, can he get O2 while he does it? Does the cold air shock his lungs and make it nearly impossible to breathe? No? Well that is why.
So sorry it’s long but I’m glad someone said it. Thank you x 100
Don’t apologias, don’t apologias to anyone, life has made your life so much harder than others, if anyone should be apologising, it’s them to you.
Finding understanding is probably the one thing we yearn for more than anything else. Giving us names, doesn’t help any of us. The rest of the world are allowed to be themselves, well we have the same right. Be you, and if they don’t like it, tough.
Take care and use your inner strength, the one that make you get up everyday, then take it with you where ever you go. (((Hugs)))
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THE ONLY “TAG” I PUT ON YOU IS:(( STRONG AND INSPIRATIONAL)), TO THOUSANDS OF LIVES YOU TOUCH EVERYDAY.
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