Never thought I’d become a blogger, but here I am: a small voice in the web wilderness.
My purpose is to bring the gift of awareness to those who are limited by their able-bodied lives, and present a window into the world of disabilities. Many individuals cherish prejudices about those of us with disabilities, which are frequently nutured by television programs that don’t present a true depiction of the issues individuals with disabilities face.
Although I can’t speak for everyone, nor every type of handicap, I’ve got lots of experience with the World of Wheelchairs (or chairiots, as I like to call them).
My main gripe: those who illegally use disable parking spaces. I’m hoping to change the law here in California so that illegally parked vehicles can be easily towed, to discourage the misuse of parking that rightfully belongs to those who truly need it.
I don’t pretend to be politically correct, so if you don’t agree with what I say, feel free to read someone else’s blog. I intend to call ’em like I see ’em. For example, if you have difficulty walking due to obesity, don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.
On the other hand, I’m not asking for pity because of my disability. (I have multiple sclerosis.) I don’t want pity, but I do request compassion. There’s a difference. With pity, one person is looking down on another. With compassion, people are equals.
If you believe disabilities are God’s punishment for someone’s sins, we obviously don’t worship the same God. The Creator I’m familiar with doesn’t punish missteps by making someone ill, or allowing them to be injured. If you think I’m disabled because my faith isn’t strong enough to allow God to heal me, let me remind you: they’re called miracles for a reason.
If you believe disabled people are looking for any easy ride on your tax dollars, you clearly have no idea of the struggles those of us with physical limitations face. By the way, I’m collecting my father’s benefits; he was a doctor who never lived to collect a penny that he paid in, & I couldn’t use the tax dollars he payed into the system in my lifetime. My mother also died young; she & I both paid in, so I’m not spending any of YOUR money.
If you believe I’d get all better if I just followed whatever quack cure you believe in, forget it. Herbs/juicing/positive thinking/light therapy/ionized water/exercise, or whatever, is not going to cure me. I’m not being stubborn, it’s just reality. None of us are immortal, and magical thinking stems from fear of death. If you can’t face your fear, then get out of MY face.
If you believe I’m a whiner because I expect people to grant me what is mine under federal law, then you have no heart beating in your pinched little chest. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to guarantee that people such as myself have free passage in the world. Just because your legs function and mine don’t, doesn’t mean you own the planet.
Often, I feel like a Native American living on a reservation. (And I’m part Cherokee, so don’t call me racist for saying that!) The law grants me a limited amount of space: parking with cross-hatching so I can unload my wheelchair, ramps so I can get up & down curbs, extra-wide bathroom stalls so I can eliminate without hassle. When the able-bodied hog the small piece of the world that’s mine by law, I get pissed.
How would you feel if I took your property?
If you only had a tiny space to live in, wouldn’t you defend it?
Don’t make excuses, cos I’ve heard them all before.
“Oh, I was just going to park here for a minute while I run in to get one little thing.”
“I didn’t know the cross-hatching was part of the handicap space.”
“I love using the disabled shower because it makes me feel like a princess to sit on the padded stool with the hand-held shower wand.”
“My son thinks it’s fun to use the handicap stall, and he’s just a kid, so I don’t have the heart to tell him ‘no’.”
I don’t expect anyone to read this blog. If anyone does, it’s probably going to be someone with a disability, because the able-bodied usually aren’t interested, so I’ll just be preaching to the choir. Don’t want pity, just want others to understand what it’s like to have to deal with limitations on a daily basis. I don’t want to be famous or draw attention to myself.
All I want is what’s rightfully mine, and what’s fair to everyone.
And most of all, I want to mend broken perceptions, free small minds from being cooped up inside walls of ignorance, and open doors that should never have been closed against me & mine in the first place.
I’m a wheelie. That’s my tribe. And as long as I have a voice, I intend to use it for the benefit of those who may not have the ability to speak out themselves.