This is gonna be a slightly lengthy possibly jumbled rant, but after a short convo with another blogger re getting out ‘real’ emotions instead of letting them linger; and reminding myself that this is extremely important for Me to do, immediately, instead of leaving them on ‘the back burner till later’, I shall thusly proceed to get my shit out so I can get on with enjoying the prelude too, and the pending weekend.
Before I start, even though I don’t usually, I apologise to anyone who has a ‘disability’ that I mention in this post. It’s not my intention to offend but to use as a comparison. As stink as that sounds, if you read on, you’ll get my drift.
So – with half an anxiety tab under my belt and Smif-N-Wessuns: Wontime playing (my go-to) I’ll get to the point.
I used to think (and have used it as a comparison in past posts) that if the ‘disability’ that plagues my life, was ‘seen’: like being in a wheelchair or walking with a white cane – then maybe, just maybe, there would be some understanding, and what you call it? – not sympathy, but realisation of what is going on with Me. That maybe I wouldn’t get pressured to be different; there’d be ‘allowances’ and some kind of general empathy for the predicament I’m in.
Well I changed my mind on that bullshit; cos it turns out wankers are wankers and whether I was in a wheelchair or blind they’d still insist that I was ‘being a drama queen’ and should just suck it up and do the do. Cunts like that exist everywhere and they’re the assholes that stare unmercifully, point, laugh or take a wide berth at someone who has a physical disability. These are Ableism assholes.
But why the rant? Whats the cause?
The partners nephew is getting married this weekend. When we received the invitation I was feeling ‘enabled’ and forthright, and didn’t give a long explanation as to why I possibly wouldn’t be attending; I just said as much. Well the date has rolled around and we find ourselves at the day before D Day.
And I’m not going.
Theres been a couple of ‘questions’ as to why, all of which I havent answered – because why the fuck should I? And then there’s the long silences. The shrugs of ‘Oh yeah, that’s typical’.
And today it bothers Me because: Why – why does it bother Me? Because it does.
These unspoken, and sometimes spoken, innuendos – leaning to the possibility of Me being a drama queen – someone who should just suck it up – someone who is just being rude and should think of others rather than myself – someone who doesn’t really care about attendance and socialising – someone who is full of their own despair and should just get over it already … yeah, well those things … it pisses Me off today.
I know what I miss out on. Everyday. I know what I’ve missed.
I missed my mokos school functions, their achievements, some of their milestones. A lot of our relationships are done through Facetime or on the phone. I get to see photographs after the fact. It hurts like fuck to know what I miss. They are my loves and the most important part of my world.
Reminding Me of how much I’m missing is like salt and vinegar in an already gaping wound. It’s also like telling a mute person they are missing out on the joys of communication.
Helpful? Fuck No.
I try to focus on what I am there for; and what I am working towards so I can be there more. I try to find alternative resources so I can engage with them more. I try to make that a positive not a negative. I want them to see Me as I am; not pity Me, or feel sympathy. But I want them to get that not everyone is the same and some of us do things differently for a variety of reasons. Strangely enough, those beautiful children get it better than most adults.
So when it comes to a wedding of people who barely have anything to do with Me; who have no understanding, or want any understanding of who and what I am … surrounded by a whole heap of other people who I neither feel loved or safe with – why the fuck would I go?
I feel for my wheelchair compadre more than I ever used too. I’m forever watchful for access points for them; spaces, aisles, heights, accessibility … because generally, these are embarrassingly limited. It’s disgusting really.
But this inaccessibility is also extended to those with ‘mental health’ issues. For myself (even though I won’t tag myself as mentally ill, because I’m probably the sanest person I know ;) ), my strain of pts(d) comes with a few fucked up quirks.
Aside from the panic attacks that hit when everything is heightened, or way to heightened to balance out quickly – the prelude can be agitated by bright lights, loud noises, certain smells, too many voices, not enough exit points, being cornered, having my back to people, swivel chairs, spongy carpet, and over heating, to name but a few. There are certain things I can do to minimise shit getting out of hand … stuff I can do prior (the layout and exits of a place) and during (breathe pacer, distraction music, sunglasses, ear plugs etc). And then there’s a large list of things you just cant prepare for.
So I prepare myself. For anything and everything.
It’s fucking exhausting. JS.
So going out is not an enjoyable or inclusive event.
So as a society, are we really required to be inclusive of everyone?
I fucking think so!
“But that is just not do-able for every disability, all day everyday – it’s completely impractical”
So fucking what? Make it practical! Make it so it is fucking do-able! For everyone!
As much as I am fucking able, I do. And I am aware of it.
Example: We were in town one day taking photos of the mess the local council were making of the roading ‘upgrades’, and a dude was making his way along the footpath in his motorised wheelchair. My first thought when I spotted him, was “he’s not going to be able to get around the gates the council have put up” and “there’s no access point on the newly laid curbing”. Now the dude couldn’t see it yet because he wasn’t right up on it. When he got to where we were standing, he could see the dilemma; as could I. I didn’t want to embarrass him but could also see that it was disgustingly impractical, wrong and unfair. I offered that we lift him and his chair off the sidewalk, remove the gates and escort him through. He declined and looked slightly embarrassed, and did a U Turn in his wheels and went back down the footpath, about 800 metres, to the next access in the curbing, crossed the street and went down the other side, on the road. I was so fucking angry. Not with him. But with the whole scene. With myself too.
My point is. No one thought about this scenario. Why? Because the powers that be don’t reside in wheelchairs.
And to get to my other point … Is this wedding going to be pts(d) friendly? Am I going to feel safe enough to be able to adjust where I’m sitting or make my needs known if need be? Is there anyone there (partner included) who is willing and able to take Me home if necessary? Or sit with Me and breath if necessary?
The answer to all of those questions, is NO.
So why the fuck would I do that to myself? So I look polite to the newlyweds and their families?
Well how fucking polite would it look having a big ass melt down and requiring medical assistance ay?
My point of my point is: It’d be great if all inclusiveness was an actual thing. In another 20 years, maybe it will be. And maybe racism and sexism wont exist either. But right here, right now, Ableism in all its shitty forms are alive and well just as Racism and Sexism are.
Fuck weddings. Fuck gatherings that I can’t go too. Fuck non-inclusivity. Fuck it all.
(not my meme)