Why I'm Tired of Talking About Ableism

I’m tired of talking about ableism.

I’m tired of waking up and seeing stories in the news about people treating people with disabilities like people. I’m tired of seeing it treated like the exception and not the norm, and people deserve a cookie for being a good person who is so kind to the disabled person when we’re just living our lives. McDonalds. Meyer’s. Everywhere you turn, and I believe it’s even worse this time of year, which seems to be “take pity on your resident crip.”

I’m tired of talking about ableism.

I’m tired of people telling me I don’t look sick. I’m tired of being told I’m too young to have these problems. I’m tired of juggling my life around a PCA, homemaker, various social workers and case managers, doctor’s appointments, home nurse visits and more. I’m tired of waking up in pain and going to bed in pain. I’m tired of doctors not taking me seriously.

I’m tired of talking about ableism.

I’m tired of seeing bullsh*t like Kylie Jenner. I’m tired of people thinking of me as an inspiration just because I’m a gimp. I’m tired of taking medications day in and day out that I need to function. I’m tired of not being capable of using a stove on my own. I’m tired of being terrified that before age 30, I will be in assisted living.

I’m tired of talking about ableism.

I’m tired of the looks. The stares. The comments, both to my face and behind my back. I’m tired of being doubted. I’m tired of being treated as a child. I’m tired of being forced to be neurotypical – maintain eye contact when I say. Don’t do your stim. Don’t think about that thing. Don’t do that thing, don’t do these things, we don’t like it. You’re weird. You’re not good enough. You’re too good to be disabled. You pass as normal too well. You’re so embarrassing to be seen around.

I’m tired of talking about ableism.

I’m tired of being held up on a pedestal as some poster child for my disabilities. Of being told I’m brave for merely living my life. Of people telling me they’d kill themselves if they had my disorders. Of people telling me I should kill myself, because my life isn’t worth living. Of being judged for doing what I do. Of never being a good enough crip.

I’m tired of talking about ableism.

I’m just tired in general. I sleep too much. I don’t sleep enough. I graze all day instead of eating regularly. I don’t eat at all. I don’t eat enough. I drink too much and get bloated. I don’t drink enough and wind up in the ER. I am juggled from specialist and specialist just trying to figure out what the fresh f*ck is wrong with me.

But yet, I can’t stop talking about ableism.

Not while we wake up to some so-called inspirational story about a person with disabilities. Not while we live in a world where people think it is OK to say things to a disabled friend that they would never utter to an able-bodied friend. Not while stories catch on like wildfire around social media, not even thinking about the feelings of the disabled person. Oh no, we are focused on how kind and great the other person was.

I can’t stop talking about ableism.

Not when we live in a world where people out people without their consent about their disabilities and then expect pats on the back for being so kind to the disabled person. Not when we live in a world where it’s considered amazing to be nice to a disabled person, when it just should be human dignity. Not when it’s considered “cute” to have OCD quirks, autistic quirks, all these little quirks when they’re not quirks, dammit, they’re who I am and I can’t control it, and to brush them off as quirks demeans me.

I can’t stop talking about ableism.

Not when people talk around me or about me, but not to me. Not when even disability conferences and college disability services cannot get their sh*t straight. Not when it’s considered amazing and inspirational I got so close to graduation but had to withdraw for medical reasons. Yes, I’ve made the most of sh*tty situations, but we all do.

I am so tired of talking about ableism, but unless I want things to get better and finally get a rest from talking about it, I can’t stop talking about ableism.

Follow this journey on A Heart Made Fullmetal.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability and/or disease, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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