Thread: Disabilities
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:22 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 552

I only have two things to add:

A friend of mine who uses a wheelchair gets LIVID when someone tells him, "You're so brave! I couldn't do what you do." Regardless of how much the perpetrator meant it as a compliment (and I think they honestly do usually), his mental response (though I don't think he's said it aloud to a perpetrator. Yet.) is basically, "I'm not fucking BRAVE, you half-wit! It's just LIFE! I deal with it because I HAVE TO, because the other option is what, to kill myself? Is that really what you think you'd do?!? Idiotic asshole..." So, while I get that people who say things like that don't intend to be insulting, I also get that it must get REALLY OLD listening to that same thoughtless attitude day after day. Much like I get tired of people assuming that me being pan and/or poly (because I get it for both) means that I'm promiscuous. It's really, really sad that in our society asking people to not assume and to give some basic consideration is seen as such a major undertaking.

And as for "I don't even see your disability", I think that's another case of thoughtlessly mis-speaking. I'll admit that I've used phrases like, "I don't see race" or "I don't see gender". Do I really mean that I don't see it?? No, of course not. I mean that I don't take someone's race or gender into account when I'm determining how I feel about them as a person and if I'm interested in getting to know the person better. Nor do I consider their ability or disability status (or economic status, get my point). Sometimes "not seeing" a disability can make things difficult. I have to remind myself sometimes that I have friends affected by things that I have NO CLUE about, and I can't put the same expectations on them that I would on someone not dealing with that issue. Same goes for my friends and family members dealing with various mental health issues. As I see it, it's on ME to continually keep in mind that what I've learned from personal experience is not necessarily at all like what others have learned from living their lives, and any assumptions I end up making because it's what I know are only my assumptions and don't necessarily mean anything to anyone else. With that in mind, I've stopped using the phrase "I don't see X" because of reactions I've seen that are in no way my goal. I can say what I mean another way, which is something I think many people need to keep in mind. Coming at something (anything, really) with an attitude and a closed mind doesn't help us learn from each other. And if we're not trying to learn from each other why are we even here?? (on this forum or on Earth in general, take your pick)
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
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