Disabled

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Writer’s Stuff]

I am disabled.

What does that even mean? Why can’t I say I’m just different?

Like a lot of our big problems, disability stems from me, but is actually an issue with society. You cannot be called disabled unless society isn’t offering you everything you need.

What?

Okay. I have several real disabilities. They are all undiagnosed or have been misdiagnosed. I have always had them, so trying to grasp “what is wrong” is a tough question. Add on my issues explaining and my non verbal tendencies, I’m really fucked. I need a great doctor who doesn’t want to just throw a label on me. Since these really don’t help me, let’s focus on a weakness that isn’t a disability.

I can’t see.
I’m not blind. Not even colorblind. Sometimes my autism acts up due to visual and my meltdown includes lack of sight, but that’s beside the point.

My eyes are beyond a five. That’s insanely bad. I have the worst eyes of everyone I know. If I were to take off my glasses, I’m effectively blind. Everything is a splotch of colors that look like nothing. If you wave at me from more than an inch, I would see movement without any idea who you are or what you’re doing. I can see someone in my face. And without glasses that’s what I have to do to see anything. I even read with my glasses on. Because nose touching my book isn’t a comfortable position for every long. That’s the distance I need for sight.

My lack of keen eyesight is not a disability.

I didn’t understand what that meant as a child. I need my glasses for sight. If I didn’t have my glasses, my sight would classify as a disability. So why is it not always a disability?

Because, I have no needs that aren’t being fulfilled. Society has nothing against glasses. It’s a fashion statement. They are readily available to everyone. Sure my glasses cost a lot more than anyone else’s, but I can acquire them. No one thinks anything of it. My needs are met. I receive no backlash for my requirements. If I go somewhere that does not allow for glasses, it may become a disability. But for general existence, it’s not.

A disability requires two things: in some way you are have needs outside of the general person, and those needs are not being met.

A disability requires two things: in some way you are have needs outside of the general person, and those needs are not being met.

Will we make it so there are less disableds around? I don’t mean killing us off. I know that makes less of us, but that shouldn’t be the first thought to any solution. We can decrease the number of disabled by making them fully integrated into society.

My glasses do not mean I’m disabled. I am disabled without my glasses. How many comparables can we make? Comparables that give full rights and access to the ones whose needs aren’t being met. A wheelchair would help when my body cannot walk or stand. But am I given full rights to everything in a wheelchair? Or is a wheelchair only offering some allowance?

When writing someone disabled, you must consider the two parts. I have never written a truly disabled character. Not someone who stays disabled anyway. Because for me, giving my characters their needs is a way to saying that’s possible in life. That fulfilling all of the needs of a disabled person in society is possible. So I refuse to write a truly disabled character.

I may write someone who has an issue. But I will give them glasses. A truly acceptable allowance giving them everything they need to live and fully function in society.

The even bigger piece when I write someone who isn’t functioning as a normal person, I make them accept their situation. Mostly because that’s the toughest part. Accepting my inabilities isn’t easy. At times it feels impossible. Although if the needs are met by society, acceptance becomes much easier.

Writing this way is part of the fluff I give into when writing. True acceptance no matter the reason is always a theme for me. That’s my biggest desire in life.


[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]

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