Join me, be a whiney, whinging moaner!
I sat locked into the wheelchair space on the public bus while a small but determined older woman was trying to jam her walker in the small space between me and her seat. The walker wasn’t going all the way in. So she just kept reversing it and lunging forward: bam, bam, bam. I was about to give her points for determination when I leaned forward to look down at what she was trying to smash out of her way: my feet.
Never try to educate an obsessed woman smashing one of your body parts with a walker, that’s my policy. I pulled my legs further back and reminded myself to check for toe breaks later (how many places is a toe supposed to bend? Four?). Having someone treat my body parts the same as fallen tree branches is depressing. Which is pretty much what this post is about: that while people with disabilities don’t like to be seen as “heroic”, “Inspirational” or “plucky” they aren’t too keen at talking about being depressed, lonely, and morose.
Being disabled sucks! (It does, for at least most of the people some of the time)
Big news flash, huh? Oops, I think I was supposed to say “I am a person with a mobility issue who recognizes my equality but is hindered by the social model of disability” My retort: Stairs.
I’m not saying I’m not an equal person. I’m just saying that whether you believe in God or plate tectonics things like beaches and mountains didn’t have “accessibility” in mind. And society? My friend in high school was born with one arm and he thought two arms brought about a sluggish stupidity. That might have been the amount of times he was flipped over the front of his bicycle by people swerving, opening doors in front of him and other related “double armed” behavior. Or as he said when they cancelled a class trip after he had been found climbing up between floors on the outside of hotel with water balloons held in his teeth, “Other people were doing it.” Guess leaping around four floors up with one arm isn’t either “equal” or “plucky.”
If I am a person with a disability, that still means I am a person right? I still get to be unhappy, upset and realizing that, truth be told; I liked life a lot better as an able bodied person. Whoops, that was another phrase I’m never supposed to say. I know I am supposed to move on, thank whomever for each day and always look on the bright side. That just requires a few more times passing out and a bit more brain damage since up till now I’ve always been sarcastic, with a biting tongue which didn’t suffer fools gladly. I’m the girl confronted because people had the impression I liked torturing children when I was only reading out Edward Gorey’s The GashlyCrumb Tinies in class (an pseudo-victorian alphabet of dying children): F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech, G is for George smothered under a rug. Admittedly, I do give that particular book a lot as Christmas presents (along with female pleasure toys to my pastor’s wife....because I care!).
Got a little distracted there. Back to how I don’t like being disabled. And I don’t. It wasn’t in my top 20 life choices, or the next 20. I think it came right after, “Career in toxic fume factory” Am I the only grump?
Know what sucks:
Disabled Bathrooms: Can’t find em, they’re not working, they require a special key to get in, or someone has taken in a picnic, a book and plans to make an afternoon of it.
“Modified” or “Adapted” – This is often slang for “twice as hard” (except for modified vehicles; they’re cool). Talk to me later about hand-cycles and hills.
Ladders – they laugh at me late at night when no one else is listening, curse them.
PMS/PMT – No, it’s not limited to being disabled but if you have it, you’ll agree with me. If I have it, you’ll get out of my way…NOW!
More Disabled Bathrooms – this sucks so bad I’m listing it twice.
People saying stupid things: “It’s not how long you live, but what you do with your life.” – Does this phrase come with a gun to shoot yourself with if you happen to suffer with fatigue?
Curb Cuts: When you put in a curb cut, isn’t it supposed to actually go all the way to the pavement, instead of having a two inch difference?
Height: I used to be 6’3”, I was well versed in giving dirty looks down my nose at people. Now in the chair I am 5’1’. There are 11 year old children taller than me. SUCK!
Mobility multitasking: I used to walk and drink stuff simultaneously. I could talk on my phone and walk. I even used to read and walk. Now the most I multitask is pushing the chair and saying, “Excuse me please!” (while in my mind I am thinking, “Jeepers, when did ambling aimlessly across the ENTIRE sidewalk become a national pastime? I’ve seen drunk people walk straighter than you.”)
Fatigue: it makes you actually think things like “I need to count my cutlery, I wonder which day this week I will be strong enough to do that?”
(add your own list here)
I’m not sure what is wrong with saying that regardless of whatever model you use to explain what is wrong with the world and disabilities, sometimes things suck. Because they do. I am a human being, and I will defend my right to be a whining, moaning, whinger when I feel like it (like today for example). And let’s face it, I’m the type of person who if they lived next to a superhero family would be going, “Why do I have to go so slow when they get to fly everywhere? Walking blows!”
Of course, I only know what sucks about MY disability and as you’ve seen, I can go on and on about it. The great thing about the BBC is they have a handy “whinge” section called “Comment on this entry” where YOU can tell everyone (and me) what sucks about your disability, or your day, or me, or your neighbors....
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