As disabled people, we learn early that it’s our job to protect abled people from ever having to notice either the logistical problems or the hate we face. And especially, we learn not to show that it hurts us. And double especially, we learn that we are not allowed to tell friends or caregivers or ~nice ladies~ or others that they are hurting us. And triple especially, we learn that we are not allowed to be angry because that’s ~just the way it is~ and ~people don’t understand~.
I think that protecting abled people from having to notice disability and ways we are harmed as disabled people goes so deep we do it automatically and without noticing most of the time. And abled people *really* don’t notice, because they think it’s normal and natural and have not had any need to challenge it. They feel completely entitled not to have to deal with disability, and the entitlement feels so natural that they don’t even *notice*. And we don’t notice how much we protect them, either.
I’m not sure what to do about that. I would like to start unlearning it, but I’m not sure how. Have any of y’all found ways?
Hey, I’m not the owner of this blog but I thought I’d speak here since this is relevant to me and I’m too lazy to log ‘im out and go on my own Tumblr. I’m on the autism spectrum and for a while lived with symptoms that mimicked chronic fatigue syndrome and part of what helped me was just taking it slow, and around friends and trusted people most. I have a friend who loves walking and I used to grit and bear it (ending up wiped out for the rest of the day) till one day I just thought: Is this healthy for me? What am I getting out of this? This sucks, why am I still doing it? So I just after talking it over with my therapist and a couple of other friends told him no, I can’t walk, I don’t have the energy. And some days I’d walk, some days I wouldn’t and eventually I felt safe telling him that I just have a limited amount of energy and I’d rather just sit and talk or something.
When it comes to my mental mess, it was again doing it slow and bit by bit around trusted people. I see a therapist and she already knew/knows my background so we slowly worked together to where I was in the place to not be scared of what I am (I come from an abusive background where stuff like that wasn’t okay). Then I (with a lot of support mostly from online friends) took that again to my friends offline who were for the most part fortunately accepting and okay with the fact that I can’t handle lots of noise, can’t go to parties, need lots of rest, can’t run or jump around some days, etc etc.
So yeah in short just finding people who are supportive and taking it step by step helped me some. I’m not all the way there yet but it’s a bit better than where I used to be. -E