Monday, October 13, 2008

Discomfort

I feel like upset welling up, though I can't cry and I can't even express what's bothering me. Is it the pain, the not getting things done, the social issue of disability?

Have I overcome my own discomfort with use of adaptive equipment? Not really. Of course people see the equipment. Sometimes I wish more of them could see me rather than shove past me, run into me when there's plenty of room, crowd me when there is more than enough space. I'm tired of having to assert myself so much, tired of it. For goodness' sake, I don't want a large nine-year old attempting to climb over my body, using the platform of my scooter and me, rather than walking around me by one step. More aggravating when adults do it.

I think maybe I'm just missing my old life, readjusting. The work, the friends, getting out. I don't feel comfortable with "grieving" anything. I prefer self acceptance, acceptance of disability from me as well as others.

Such are the times abled people would rather not think about. The quality of my life doesn't go down from using a scooter or from needing some more time at home, more rest, more accommodations. At what point does it go down, and does temporarily "down" reinforce other's disablism, that our lives really are less in some way?

4 comments:

yanub said...

Oh, Frida. I'm sorry you are having a frustrating time of it. It does seem that somedays, everyone is going out of their way to be a jerk, to treat people with disabilities like furniture, unnoticed, unimportant. And it gets tiring having to defend your physical space. Non-disabled people would get tired of it real fast if every day, all day, they had people running into them as if they weren't even there.

I wouldn't readily assume that the non-disabled see the equipment. I think that the equipment sometimes functions like the Somebody Else's Problem Field, and, if you were to question one of these dolts climbing over you, they would protest that they didn't see your scooter at all. And if your scooter wasn't there, you obviously couldn't have been there either.

FridaWrites said...

You may be right, that they're not seeing or thinking at all. I've had people not hold doors for me who are clearly just not thinking and not being intentionally rude--they're just not thinking. You can tell they're zoned out.

Amazing how aggravated they get if you protest. It's kind of like when my daughter's sleepwalking and you talk to her, not realizing she's not awake. They get kind of startled to consciousness.

william Peace said...

On bad days I too struggle. It is a never ending battle to assert one's inherent equality in the face of bigotry and ignorance. It would be easy to give up and accept a subservient social status as a disabled person. As you know if one accepts such a limited existence this would create a vortex that is not only deadly but undermines the entire disability rights movement. When I am tired and do not want to leave my home I think of people like Ed Roberts who began the independent living movement. Would he stay at home and avoid people? I doubt it. This enables me to move forward even when I am not sure I want to.

FridaWrites said...

You are of course so right, William. Thanks for the reminder. It's so difficult to be a "pioneer" of sorts when I'm out. But I can bet that the people I tell not to crowd me might think the next time.

Independent living is a wonderful thing. I will have to look up more about Ed Roberts. What I'm grateful for is that I *can* get out.