alphabet

Aug. 27th, 2013 01:20 am
ambergris: (Default)
Today I was informed, without apparent irony, that 'going to work and socialising' are 'what life is all about.' By another person whose disabilities prevent her from doing either.

OK, that's not entirely true. She could socialise, albeit with some difficulty as she's slightly deaf and English is her second language, but her primary carer is an ableist fuck who demands complete emotional dependence as well as physical dependence, and mocks, blocks, or otherwise undermines any of her charge's attempts to do anything outside the house or connect with any other people. This woman maintains that her adoptive daughter 'doesn't have feelings' and talks about her like she's a freaking rescue dog. 'Oh she doesn't like me going away because she thinks she's being abandoned again and she doesn't understand I'm coming back.' Uh, no, she doesn't like you going away because YOU have rendered her completely reliant upon you. And also you have this tendency to lie about where you're going, which can't help.

I just sat there. I wanted to tell her that life is about so much more than the things we can't do. That although it is cruel and ableist of her carers to assume that she's asexual, celibacy in itself isn't a terrible thing. That work is miserable for many people, and it's wrong for people to shame you for not being able to do it when you're NOT ABLE TO DO IT. That it isn't, actually, massively unusual not to have friends. That even if you're not earning money, you still have value. There are films and TV shows, there is music, there is food, there are sunny days and affectionate dogs and so, so many things which allow me to continue to live even though I can neither work nor socialise. That I could not understand why her carer was just sitting there and letting her spout this self-loathing shit, because what the fuck kind of care is that, guilt-tripping someone every time they go shopping?

But I knew I would be judged if I said this, that her carer would be confirmed in her belief that I am a lazy parasite, and so I just sat there.

I used to assume that people who cared for and lived with disabled people would automatically be more clueful than the rest of the general population, but no! It is just like how living with someone from Eastern Europe has failed to make her civil to Polish waitresses. She is quite happy to jump in and speak on behalf of the person in the wheelchair, exactly as if she were completely unaware of people in wheelchairs saying that they have issues with being treated as if they were invisible. I think she actually is unaware of this. I am not quite sure how she has managed to remain unaware of this, but then she also thinks it is ok to refer to people as 'coloured' so I think she is ignorant of pretty much everything that has happened in the world during her lifetime.

This. I don't know how you could love someone and not try to learn their alphabet. Even if the alphabet is hard and you are stupid. You are supposed to try.
ambergris: (Default)
So everything you do is aimed at making the world in general a little less sucky and your space in particular a safe one. I support that. It's important.

And I accept that the only way I can support it is by not participating. Because I'm awkward. I will inevitably say the wrong thing, in spite of my best intentions, because that is what always happens. And I won't be able to cope when you call me on it, because I have a whole cornucopia of issues which prevent me from dealing gracefully with being criticized by strangers. I know that sounds like I'm making excuses. But I know myself, and I know my limitations, and the amount of linguistic policing that has to take place in order to make your space safe is more than I can currently handle.

I'm not good enough, basically. I'm sure you would hate me pointing this out, but it's true. Just as trolls and Nice Guys aren't good enough. Your space is a china shop and I am an elephant.

So when somebody posts about how great it is for her and how much she loves it? I am triggered. I am tearful. I am reminded of how my disability excludes me from basically all forms of community. I am reminded of how I will never have friends, of how I don't deserve them, of how I cannot be trusted not to upset someone whenever I open my mouth. Because pretty much everything you say is going to upset someone, somehow. That woman who posted about how great your community is and how much she loves it had absolutely no idea that her innocuous comment was going to send me spiralling into a pit of misery and self-hatred. And that is as it should be. She should be able to express sentiments like that without having to preface it with a content note, without having to worry that some random lurker is in distress because of something she said.

I am not safe for your space. But your space is not safe for me, either.

Well, the trolls and the Nice Guys manage without access to your community, don't they? They find fellow trolls and Nice Guys to congregate with. But I'm avoidant. We can't be around people by definition. The very concept of an avoidant community is an oxymoron. Which, among other things, means there is no activism, so there is next to no awareness of the fact that not everyone has friends, not everyone has relationships, and not everyone is capable of interacting with others in socially appropriate ways. And it is ableist to pretend that my disability doesn't exist, or isn't a disability, because, seriously, if something which prevents you working / living independently / making friends / having sex / having children fails to qualify as a disability, what the fuck does?

So part of me wants to crash around breaking all the china and screaming, hi, I exist, and you are erasing me and excluding me and all that other stuff you try so hard not to do.

Except that I am always already excluded. Because that is what being avoidant is.

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ambergris

October 2013

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