They say I’m a different kind of disabled.
So, I sit and observe. Why am I a “different kind of disabled” What sets me apart from the rest of them? I’m surrounded by people who are coaxed into doing what other people want because it’s “what’s best for you” – as if having a disability instantly removes your autonomy. There’s no explanation given, no choice to be had, just an element of control which, in any other situation, would be deemed inappropriate. Even abuse. I don’t want to be that kind of disabled
I look at the label ‘disability’ and all I see are boxes. Boxes that need to be ticked. As long as someone can get up in the morning, be fed three times a day, go to the loo and be thrown back into bed within an allotted time, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter if the person they call “a disability” is going stir crazy inside the four walls that they call “independent living” when it’s actually a prison. It doesn’t matter if there’s barely existence because they’ve done their bit. I don’t want to be that kind of disabled.
I don’t want to fit into the stereotype of “disabled and on benefits” because the system is warped. Those who need it, who truly need it, are jumping through impossible hoops just to make ends meet. Whilst those who are devious enough to manipulate the loopholes get off scot-free. I don’t want to be that kind of disabled.
Just because someone rides on wheels does not mean they need their hand holding wherever they go. If they’re seen in the street do not stare at them and utter incoherent gabble. We are not aliens. On the flip side of the same coin, people can look ‘normal’ and be as disabled as the person on wheels sitting next to them. Once again, we are not aliens and I don’t want to be that kind of disabled.
And to my fellow disabled people who are milking it for all it’s worth. Why? I should not be classed as a different kind of disabled, because you help to maintain the categories I don’t fall into. The world does not owe anyone a favour. Shouting about rights without considering the concept of compromise or how your words make us look as a minority Nobody asked to be dealt their cards. All anyone can do is play them to the best of their ability, with an honesty that makes them stand out from the crowd. Everyone is different.