On disability and unintended, dehumanizing ableism behind some common compliments and advice.
I am not here to inspire you.
@sophia Thank you for sharing this. I found it a very interesting read. I think when I was teenager I probably participated on some of these "well meaning" behaviors. I learned in college that any time you meet someone that is "different" in some way the most well meaning thing you can do is just treat that person as a person. I think most of us just want to be a person, not defined by something about us that society has decided as exotic or novel.
I didn't realize that you were disabled.
As I'm not English, it was a long read and I'm not sure to understand all the subtlety bit You just blow my mind.
Keep the smile and the positivity of life.
@sophia A very well written and thought provoking post. I feel like a lot of what you're talking about is caused by people who feel empathy, but lack perspective. I feel that perspective can be a near impossible thing for people to obtain unless they live it. I appreciate that you're able to share your perspective with others. If it's any consolation, I found your photography and writing inspiring before I read this post. The quality of your work is incredible, and something that I hope to work toward.
@combonation Thank you very much, and thank you for reading!
I don't disagree, I do think people mean well from it just I suppose don't think much of what's being said. It's just frustrating it helps contribute low key to so much more.
@sophia It's a really good reminder to take the time out to think before we speak, and actually take a look at the language we're using. I think that it's incredible that people are beginning to feel comfortable enough to share their experiences in order to raise the collective awareness. Cheers!
@sophia Man that is a tough read. You are so right to be annoyed about those things.
Thanks for sharing.
@HerraBRE Thank you for reading. It's so often overlooked but can make life extremely uncomfortable, the more it's commonly known the better!
@sophia Thanks so much for sharing this. Some things here I'd never thought of, that I'm glad I know now.
@sophia Thank you for writing this. It resonates deeply.
I'm always amazed at how people need to put others into boxes and categories if they think you're not one of their peers.
This way, you're one of the <whatever group> that doesn't apply to them.
Then you're not unique anymore and everything you do or don't will be perceived through the group lens, not as a personal act.
Then you're not an individual but part of a category they put their clichés on.
How I despise this.
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@sophia I feel like you've just said what I've been trying to explain to others, including my parents, for a few years, but worded in a better way. I'm not a wheelchair user, but I should be, and I get "the looks" constantly for sitting down wherever I can, needing to stop often, or I just get straight up harassed by people above me, dorm caretakers, teachers, even if they are fully aware of my problem. "It's inspiring that you do art and manage to sit for 8 to 9 hours, even if it brings you immense pain", paired later with "you are just lazy and don't try hard enough. Just take painkillers" making me feel like I have to overwork myself just to be treated like a human and not something that just "isn't good enough".
I really want to thank you for posting this here. I often feel like maybe my experiences are only mine or I'm overreacting, but seeing other disabled people share that (terrible) experience just gives me enough strength to push on and still do what I love most, despite not my disability - but everyone around.
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@sig I can tell you absolutely that you're not alone. This is a really common thing I hear from people. There's a lot of projection about what disability is or they feel should be and a lot is contradictory. You have to be everything at once and always stay within the lines of 'good disabled' to be humanized
@sophia this essay just came across my tl this morning. Thank you for writing with such thoroughness and clarity. My job is coordinating home services for people with disabilities, and when I read or hear someone sharing their experiences and analyses of ableism, it guides my work and how I conduct myself with clients.
@tessaracked Thank you for reading it and taking on board what's written
@sophia Good rant. Thanks!
sparkle sparkle, bitches