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Saturday, March 5, 2016

orange you glad I'm pointing out ableism

My pain response this week has been delightful. We've shot straight off the pain scale into the nether regions of nausea and weird nerve headaches because overwhelming just isn't a big enough word. It was easier ignoring the nerve chatter in my arms for years until they started shutting down. But I don't wanna be crippled like my mom. She lost function in both arms over a ten year span before she finally escaped this world. Sitting around letting stuff happen and calling it old age isn't the easy way out. I'm only a few years away from the age she was when it started spiraling out of control. She was young. I will take pain any day over loss of function.

There is currently a big deal on the social medias about this. The pic clicks to the tweet that caught my eye.


You guys see me say my arms and hands hurt sometimes, right? I don't make a big deal about this. But I'm going to put this here on Pinky blog instead of Spaz because more people will see it here.

I have been unable to pull doors in public buildings open since my 20's, so completely unable that I actually get squashed in those heavy doors when I try. There is a bank in my town whose handicap button is so far from the door that I was unable to reach the door in time to get in before the door closed on me. It nearly knocked me to the floor, actually got caught full body in it and nearly couldn't push it hard enough to escape it, and then stood there super embarrassed and crying because it hurt so bad. No one saw this happen. I was injured and it took every last scrap of will I had to finish out my day after that, getting my errands done all bruised up from a power door for handicapped people.

I don't look disabled. I was ejected from a violent car crash when I was 19. Since that day I have been unable to run, unable to use my arms very well, even had to force myself to relearn how to walk on my own. ~I~ *hid* ~everything~. I grew up in a family that didn't go to doctors and didn't feel sorry for people saying they hurt. I barely made it through one pregnancy, and I've been dependent on elevators and power doors all my adult life because my body got so shredded in that car wreck. You can't tell by looking at me. I've been faking my way through life trying my best to pass as normal, got a college degree and held jobs, raised a family, and through most of it I have barely complained, even when complications arose with autoimmune flare ups and viral infections that knocked my nervous system offline for months at a time. By 2008 a panel of judges awarded me full disability, and I cried all day long, not because I was relieved, but because I felt like I'd finally lost.

I'm doing my best to keep healing and get back off disability. There is so much help out there now for people like me who've been knocked down and have had to fight their way back up.

Pre-peeled oranges is one of them. I can barely hold a can opener and a can of tuna, and I make jokes about tuna flying across the floor. You don't see me whine, do you?

But when people without disabilities whine and snark about stuff without giving something a second thought, to the point where a store actually responds on twitter with "we'll remove this product from our shelves immediately", the idiots doing the griping just made life more difficult for thousands of people in their local area having a much tougher time than the gripers are.

Ableism is a thing. Ableism, at its core, condones the genocide of imperfection. Ableism at its core, whether it is conscious and aware or not, pretty much stands for tossing everyone with a problem out with the messed up trash, which basically is about 90% of the human species if you think about it. These same people who gripe about packaging waste might turn around and share sweet stories of people overcoming handicaps and cancer and whatever without a second thought to how those people are actually helped by a thoughtful society going to the extra trouble of marketing pre-peeled oranges.

Death and disability are coming for us all. You'll get there soon enough, and then you'll wish you had someone around to peel an orange for you.

Just saying.

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