Monthly Archives: February 2017

It’s Time to Retire “Able-Bodied”

A very good read. I actually prefer to use the term “non-disabled”, because it correctly describes a non-disabled person, without using demeaning and stigmatizing language. Words DO matter.

lauren smith-donohoe

As folks become more aware of ableism, there are listicles and blog posts galore explaining what ableism is, how we do it unconsciously, how to avoid being ableist, how to make spaces more accessible, and so on. This is a great trend in social and indie media that should continue! Unfortunately, all too many, even those by disabled people, use the inaccurate and problematic term “able-bodied.”

The thing is, “able-bodied” erases and others cognitive*, developmental, neurological, and psychiatric disabilities. It plays into the my-mind-is-fine trope and reinforces the medical model of disability. What does “able-bodied” even mean? Which abilities count? Aren’t all bodies able to do a thing or two?

When people use “able-bodied,” to refer to nondisabled people, it separates those with cognitive disabilities from people with physical disabilities as if the two truly were separate– as if the mind weren’t a part of the body. This implies that…

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Please Understand, I Am Going Through A Very Bad Season Right Now–A New About Me Blog

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A blog by an Autistic adult.

And i don’t know how i am going to get myself back out of this now, because i feel as though the hole i am in now, is way too deep for me to climb out of by myself.

I feel an onslaught of fear and anxiety all the time now, and cannot rest. When i do rest, i want to stay asleep, and not wake up.

I am fearful that my caregiver is going to get fed up with me and quit me. She has become like a close sister to me, and i admit, i cling to her more than ever now, because when she is not here, i literally have nobody to turn to, to talk to, to bounce my ideas off of, to share my thoughts with. When she is here, i love to share my thoughts with her, and love it when she and i can talk, and when she gets me to laugh and giggle. I love it when she wears her hair down, and she lets me play in it and look at the colorful shines in her hair. (Yes, for those who don’t know, i love shiny hair. And she has beautiful long brunette-dark red shiny hair.) Whenever i feel that i may have displeased her in any way, it bothers me so much that my entire night gets ruined by my worrying and anxiety over whether i have made her angry or burnt out?

Today, i am once again way beyond tired. It has been like this every single day now, ever since the police last took the speed trailer away from me…the nice speed trailer i had from June 2nd through July 19th of last summer. When it was here, it became my friend too….because all of my life, to cope with a world that still mostly does not get Autistic people, i have made imaginary friends out of certain roads, highways, and certain electronics. It is hard to explain to those who don’t understand how my Autistic mind works, how profoundly traumatic that was for me to lose the speed trailer a second time. Lately, i seem to never get enough sleep each day, and i feel like going back to sleep when i wake up. This is a combination of the worry and stress about my still-festering, still-bad living situation,still not being able to have the speed trailer put back here, and my worry and anxiety over the way things have been since the orange tanned dicktator got inaugurated.

All i want to do these days, is to curl up into a ball and sleep…..and not wake up till this is all over. Till we have a nice President again. Till i have a way to be able to move from here.

I have changed in the past 6 years.

In 2010, i still was learning about my Autism, and ableism, and neurodiversity. In 2010, i still was a moderate Republican, even.

In January of 2012, i still had a deep Christian faith. And lots of hopes and dreams and goals for myself.

Today, yes, i still believe, but i no longer wear it on my sleeve like i used to. Nor do i like to preach about my faith anymore on my wall. Why, you may ask? Life happened between then and now; by 2012, i had gotten so badly hurt by one too many churches, and by some so-called Christian “friends”—–and i turned very cynical and bitter and angry. All of these life experiences, plus meeting all of you wonderful people on Facebook, has woken my mind up, and turned me into a flaming proud liberal progressive.

I also finally felt comfortable coming out as bi-sexual due to being on Facebook and meeting all of you awesome friends. I have always felt attracted to both women and men, and i did come out to two of my sisters and my mother, in the past.

In March of 2012, i went through a violent verbal and emotional separation of a friendship between me and a man who also professed a deep Christian faith, but he was a man who used me financially, and who would get in terrible mean moods with me every other month. In March 2012, he turned against me one final time, this time for good, and tried to get me kicked off of both YouTube and Facebook both. This was a trauma that i still have not healed from. His cruelty towards me, still causes me to have bad nightmares even today, of him. One cannot put a time limit on PTSD.

And then right on the heels of that, came a long string of very abusive caregivers…..from May 2012 to March 2014. Yes, i blogged about it all in a six part blog series. Those added to my trauma and PTSD.

Even though i now have a good caregiver, and she has been my caregiver now for 3 years, i fear that she too will turn on me and leave. (I wrote alittle bit about that fear at the beginning of this blog.) That fear is a great fear still, because so many people have done that to me in my life. I KNOW i am not easy to get along with. I have a great any rituals, routines, am set in my ways, phobias, fears, sensory issues, triggers, that go along with being Autistic. Most people cannot understand that, and even the ones who do, soon grow tired of me and leave me. This is because most people think of my meltdowns as a behavior issue and they yell at me to get me to stop—and that only ends up making my meltdowns even worse…..and longer-lasting.

I no longer drive. I had to stop driving in April of 2012, due to a growing lymphedema leg tumor on my left inner thigh, and due to me growing more and more fearful of going places by myself anymore.

Since then, i have been mostly housebound, and have been relying on caregivers to come to my home to help me, so that i can remain living in my own home.

To be honest, I am depressed now….and am living only as long as God keeps me here. But to be brutally honest, life has gotten to be an unbearable daily hell for me. On all levels. And it is getting worse. Especially now that we seem to have a whole new regime in Washington DC. A new regime that seems to be all levels of authoritarian—and honestly quite terrifying.

I am truthfully holding on by what is left of my faith…..hoping that God will just take me in my sleep soon.
In the meantime, while i am still on this earth, i will do all i can to fight for the rights of Disabled /Autistic and all marginalized groups of people till i draw my last breath. Because i love you all. You all mean the world to me.
Which is the reason why i post so many political posts now. And why i now have my TV glued to the more liberal cable news channels all the time now. Because i am Disabled/ Autistic, and i am deeply involved in Autistic / Disability Rights……and out of that, i have come to really care deeply about this planet and all of the people and animal and plant life that inhabit Mother Earth.
Because politics and Disability rights and issues are intersected. Politics and Disability rights are completely interwoven. Our healthcare, our benefits that we rely on. Are all at stake now.
Because….these are frightening times we are living in right now.
Because this is who i am.
Please understand.