Disabled Thoughts

A joke is a joke until it hurts someone.

I saw a twitter post just now.
[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat’s Twitter]

What’s a fly if he loses his wings? A walk?

To most it would be a simple joke. Something a kid would say to another kid as if it’s a play on words. Without its wings, a fly can’t be a fly.

…. What about those of us disabled? How would we see the joke? Hence my QRT there.

They were quick to delete the post and apologize. They aren’t at fault for a casual error.

My QRT had them think just as it’s supposed to. They responded quickly and didn’t fight the idea.

Those of us who connect with the fly who lost its wings. It hurts to have that be pointed out. As if without its wings, a fly can’t be a fly.

Sure it’s just a joke, just the play on words. I get it. But on a deeper level, we’re connecting if you aren’t able bodied, you aren’t the same.

You are the ‘walk’ who should be a ‘fly’.


Being disabled has two sides to it.

  1. We must in some way not be the “norm” when it comes to typical behavior, body features, mental abilities, patterns, etc. We aren’t “typical”.
  2. But that’s not all. That atypical part of us denies us a complete access to society.

I wrote about this before in [Disabled]. Glasses and those of us who need them are only classified as disabled when we cannot wear them or contacts. I cannot join the FBI or become a military pilot. I’ll never be an astronaut. All of them are off my list because I must wear glasses. When I go swimming, I am disabled. I cannot see. When I am showering, I am disabled. I cannot see. (And yes I’ve used the wrong item to wash with, cut myself on razors I didn’t notice, and slip and fall because I didn’t see anything on the floor.)

But, in general society, glasses give my eyesight the ability to not be disabled. I can’t do a few things. 3D theaters are useless to me because double glasses really don’t work. But overall, I’m not blocked. And no one says a thing about my glasses.

Certain disabilities like my keen lack of eyesight are only a concern at very limited events. Beach Day is a problem for me. Showering and the pool at the gym can be concerning.

Allergies are only a concern when going out to eat or going to a meal or being worried about animals, environment pollutants, etc. I cannot go out to eat. That’s because of this disability. I will tell that to people. Not a cafe. Not a bar. Not a restaurant. I’ve learned none of them can be trusted. I have to cook for myself. For the most part. Allergies aren’t a disability the bulk of the time.

Advocates want acceptance and the weight lifted off of our shoulders. We aren’t hateful towards our difference, our atypical-ness. As long as we can have a “normal” life.

I don’t mind wearing glasses. I like them. But when it interferes with my abilities to function… It hurts. Knowing Beach Day for me can be a problem when others don’t have any trouble. I can’t see my child while I’m in the water. You can wave at me all you like. I’ll never see you. Never. Not once. Because to be in the water, the ocean, the pool, I can’t wear my glasses. I can’t see.

For me every time I go into the water, I have to let people know my disability will interfere. I have to ignore the fact I can’t see for anything. I have to just shrug it off. And be thankful this is only for a moment. That this isn’t my normal circumstances. It also reminds me to have at least two pairs of working glasses in case. I can’t live without sight.

Several of my disabilities can hide. Or I hide when they’re active. Such as I get into such lack of ability that I can’t walk. Running is normally off the table. But I get to points where my wheelchair comes with me if I go somewhere.
Yeah…. I have a wheelchair in my closet that I use.

I hate using the wheelchair. It denies me. I am not able to just go about my day as normal. I have to think every little step through. I can’t get in and out of my house without pushing myself to do steps or being carried.

For me staying in bed is my best option.

Why?

Why is it I am trapped in my bed unable to do anything besides type just because something within my body denies its ability to work. (I don’t even know what I got. Doctors haven’t been helpful. It’s not something “typical”.)

My family hates me any time I stay in my bed. They refuse to accept my inabilities. And always find me at fault. Because how dare I not manage basics.

Sometimes it’s seizures. And those are better than when my body just shuts down. Because I know seizures only last so long and then I can function on some level. Not run across the room level, but I can walk to the bathroom without help.

Part of the reason I never got any diagnose is because my family is very much Able-body only. As if being disabled is wrong or evil or bad or something hideous. I’ve been treated like a monster. As if it’s my decision to not have functioning body parts. As if I am in complete control.


Every day I weigh how much energy I have. How many spoons I can use. How much I can get done. Every day I question how long I’ll be awake for. Will I accomplish anything that requires physical activity. So often I question will I be helpful or just in the way.

I live in the country that is the worst for disability. I can’t get a doctor. I can’t get a diagnose. I can’t improve my life. I can’t receive help. I can’t even fight for others like me.

My disabilities and the treatment I have received for them by others makes me suicidal. So often you can read about me feeling worthless and hopeless and pointless. I fight off depression. Because that’s what I grew up. Not depression. Honestly, I don’t fully qualify for the disease. I grew up with people considering me worthless, hopeless, pointless, value less.

I thought it was just me.

No matter how strong I am, my body can shut down. I can tell you how to do something and I can’t show you. I know so many trainer skills without a way to do them. I have learned so many things and no one considers my knowledge worthwhile.

Because I am the one you’ll see in a wheelchair. Or sitting in a random aisle at the store. Or not seeing you because I’m in a black out. Or not hearing you because I can’t hear right now. Or…

I am disabled. I am an undiagnosed disabled. I live in a world where people will consider me worthless. Every day I have to hide every aspect of who I am because I am worthless if I don’t.

Being disabled required two things: a difference from the general norm; and a society that refuses to offer you full rights to the world as if able bodied.

Today is a stay in bed, I shouldn’t do anything physical day.

Today I am the walk not the fly.

I don’t know when I’ll have the energy to get up and do dishes. I hate dishes, but if I don’t do them I have more bad days. Because not only do I lack energy, I have allergens who put me in an even worse state.

Do you want to know the real reason I refuse to start a new relationship?

This. Because I am worthless nine times out of ten. And that won’t change. I am disabled. No one wants someone who’s disabled. I’m safer alone.


[SS Grim and Catherine] if you want to see Death’s view.

[About Cat Hartliebe]

(And yes I did cry while writing this.)

3 thoughts on “Disabled Thoughts”

  1. This is a very well thought out (but sad) post. I don’t think that you are worthless . I think everyone is important & full of so much potential.
    I totally got your discussion on wearing glasses. I used to wear glasses as a kid. It wasn’t a big deal as many people wear glasses these days. It’s not “too” different.
    Another example of being “different” though its not a disability is being a lefty. there are certain things that I have to look twice at or doing in a different way just because of the hand that I write with. I can’t use certain scissors. In school I couldn’t sit next to a right handed person or else we would bump elbows. Society expects us to be right handed because that is the norm. There are so few left handers out there; I think 1 out of 10 people are leftys…
    Also depression and other mental illnesses are also things that most people don’t understand merely because it’s so subjective. We can’t measure it; we can’t see it, like a physical illness. It’s not like breaking your leg which people can clearly see. It’s something that happens on the inside. There’s such a stigma because people tend to believe that it’s all in your head or that you’re crazy.. that is such a horrible way to think-and so we need to change that misconception.
    It’s not so much the disability being a issue but the issue is the difference. Some people just don’t understand either out of ignorance or lack of education. What they don’t understand causes them to be scared or to say the wrong thing either intentionally or unintentionally. Though I believe that is usually born out of ignorance than anything else.
    The only way to combat being different (though everyone is different of course / we all have a different set of genes) is by talking, understanding and eventually acceptance.

    Liked by 1 person

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