Wow! Thanks! I have met so many amazing “disabled” people in my life. There are a lot of inspiring stories. I’m glad it helped you.
I think my main message to folks who are struggling is just “keep going and do what you want. Don’t let anyone stop you and keep improving your skills” and my main message for healthy able-bodied people is just “Don’t be a dick. Don’t judge on assumptions. And it doesn’t hurt to ask the disabled person ‘What may I do for you’ rather than to assume”
Like I was just telling somebody a minute ago, about 1% (my info is a little old, and could be outdated, but the point comes across) of “blind people” are completely blind. We usually have some type of sight, whether it be light awareness, movement awareness, etc. and we are taught to maximize our vision to whatever helps us best. This includes not wearing sunglasses. Some of us don’t even use canes. It’s a good idea, but it’s not always what helps best. Not all disabilities are visible, and I should not have to make mine visible or play into assumptions just to get help or to have assistance… or to avoid being called a faker. But that’s what happens, because people are ignorant but think they know what they need to.
For example, when I tell people I am legally blind, the most common question, and frankly the MOST INSENSITIVE question I get back is “Can’t you wear glasses?”
I usually have to take a deep breath, and I’m nice, because you don’t fix ignorance by yelling at it, but damn I wanna scream FUCK YOU and walk away. I mean, don’t you think that if it was as simple as glasses, I’d be wearing some? I mean really? So your answer to my disability is “you’re just lazy”? Fuck you. A retinal dysfunction in a young person is rare. But it cannot be fixed by light refraction, motherfucker.
And the next question? “How many fingers am I holding up?”
My answer? To flip them off and say “Just one”.
So yeah, I don’t really have the luxury of grace, when it comes to replying to people’s assumptions of my capabilities. My life has taught me to have a thick skin, and sometimes that thick skin can be abrasive to people who are healthy, but you know what? I don’t care. This is what gets me through my life. I don’t have time or energy or vision enough to manage my life AND teach you how to deal with your ignorance.
Anyway, none of that was directed at YOU obviously lol. It’s the “you” of hypothetical humanity. I guess I just needed to get that off my chest lmao.
And you know, a lot of able-bodied or healthy people like to read our stories, suck inspiration from them, but then forget that there was a “call to action” implicit. Our stories aren’t there to give healthy people the “it can always be worse” or the “humanity is, and therefore I am, amazing” messages. It’s fine if you get those, but there’s action required. Compassion. You now have an obligation to your fellow man.
So, I’m glad you got my messages. I’m glad it helped. Thanks for being open to that.