Photo taken yesterday, around 6:30pm.
I do not identify as a person with a disability. I’m a disabled person. And I’ll be a monkey’s disabled uncle if I’m going to apologise for that.
My parents didn’t know what to do with me, so they just pretended I was normal, and that worked out quite well for me.
Too often, we fall into the trap of thinking ‘equal’ means ‘the same’ and that we achieve equality by treating everyone identically.
As a wheelchair user, I am utterly obsessed with toilets, and all my friends know it. A simple invitation to the pub is consistently followed by, ‘Do you know if they have an accessible toilet?’
I really love filling out forms – quite fortuitous, really, given that as one of Australia’s 4 million-ish disabled people, ticking boxes and recording my life for other people is what I’ve spent a fair chunk of my time doing.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that from puberty onwards, the female body is disgusting and unruly and must be tamed, trimmed and tinted to within an inch of its life before it can be allowed to roam freely in the public eye.
I am not a snowflake. I am not a sweet, infantilising symbol of fragility and life. I am a strong, fierce, flawed adult woman. I plan to remain that way, in life and in death.
Throughout her career Young called for the achievements of disabled people to be valued, but insisted her disability – she was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta – did not automatically make her exceptional. “Disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does,” she said in a TEDx talk in April…
“A feminist, an atheist and an activist with her own one-woman show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival – Stella was afraid of nothing and believed she could do anything,” they said.
What Is Guilt? What is Shame?
Others have distinguished between the two by indicating that “We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.” Shame is often a much stronger and more profound emotion than guilt. “Shame is when we feel disappointed about something inside of us, our basic nature.” …
Have you tried unsuccessfully to heal your shame? Discover how shame and control are intricately tied together, and that when you give up your attachment to control, you will find your shame disappearing.
Many people on a healing path have found it extremely challenging to heal their shame. Yet when you understand the purpose of shame, you will be able to move beyond it.
Shame is the feeling that there is something basically wrong with you. Whereas the feeling of guilt is about DOING something wrong, shame is about BEING wrong at the core. The feeling of shame comes from the belief that, “I am basically flawed, inadequate, wrong, bad, unimportant, undeserving, or not good enough.” …
Understanding emotions, being able to observe them in ourselves, and knowing the information they give us is an important part of living effectively. For example, fear tells us to take action or freeze to protect ourselves. When fear is based on true facts versus imagined or misinterpreted information, that message to self-protect can be lifesaving. That message is perfectly clear — you are in danger.
Sometimes, though, the message our emotions are giving us is more difficult to understand. That’s true of shame.
Webster defines shame as the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, and ridiculous done by oneself or another. It is a kind of injury to one’s pride or self-respect…
Shame emerges when people feel they have failed, when people are rejected, or perceive that they are somehow lesser in value than they wished. So, for example, when I was ten my younger brother told my friends that I still wet my bed. Although I now look back on it with the empathy of an understanding adult, at the time I felt a deep sense of shame. Shame is one of the most common and important emotions in psychotherapy. Many patients have reported feeling shame over failing to achieve what they expected, being criticized or teased or rejected because they were disabled or different or defective, or being unable to manage what “normal” people manage.
What does shame orient people to do? Well, after my brother let my secret slip, I ran inside the house. And many of my patients report a strong desire to hide or avoid social scrutiny or judgment. When shame is experienced, they feel weak, shrunken, defeated, and self-critical…
The clouds are not cooperating with me and my need for a little cloud therapy. (Hey, that rhymes.)
Wikipedia: The Blob (Frederick J. Dukes) is a Marvel Comics supervillain, an adversary of the X-Men. A mutant originally depicted as an obese circus freak, the Blob claims to be immovable. He possesses an extreme amount of pliable body mass, which grants him superhuman strength. Possessing the mindset of a bully, he mostly uses his powers for petty crime and as a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants and Freedom Force.
Do I really need to go to the store? Sure, I need chocolate, but do I need it bad enough to make the trek? See, I’ve been suffering from Shower Ambivalence this week (okay, maybe part of last week, too). Anyway, I don’t like to waste a shower if I’m not going anywhere.
And when the rain clouds started rolling in, I thought, well, maybe I’ll just go to the store tomorrow. But, since I’ve been unable to practice cloud therapy for awhile, I put on some street clothes and a hat, grabbed my cheap camera, and went outside to… see what I could see.
Well, what I saw was guys moving furniture into a U-Haul truck. So I smiled at them because that’s the polite thing to do. Did they smile back? No, the gentlemen gave me a rather odd look, even though I wasn’t close enough for them to smell me.
I took a few shots of the clouds and then headed for the bathroom to take a shower, where one of my towel racks broke and I got shampoo in my eyes (along with noticing that my toenails need to be cut again). And, horror of all horrors, I also noticed it’s time to scrub my toilet. (Ouch and f*ck.)
So, no chocolate for me today, although what I really want is a Dilly Bar from Dairy Queen. Unfortunately, Dairy Queen no longer makes Dilly Bars on-site — they’re made and packaged elsewhere, and they just don’t taste the same. Maybe I’ll make some nutless pralines… 🙂
Now I have to go blow dry this heavy mop on top of my head (ouch), or I really will look odd.