I’m fed up of having to perform my disability

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27 thoughts on “I’m fed up of having to perform my disability”

  1. Very good article, I feel the same way, I can walk a few steps but use a wheelchair to go any distance over a few metres. There is so much distrust around disabled people ‘faking’ illness or disability. Or in my small market town, the worthy cripple aspect of this article shows itself. I’m just a person who got ill, I’m the same person, why does society see me so differently ?. Thanks to the author for this piece.

  2. I was always treated reasonably well with my disability, a hidden one that hurts and limits movement, but not so that it is overly noticeable, and then I developed a mental condition, still not so sure why but I think it might have somethine to do with amount of pain relief that I was taking. The change in the perception of care from that of DLA to Doctors, and the community where I live, even my family, now I’m just the village nutter to kick and laugh at. People always express, that ‘if there was something wrong with you, then the Doctors would be supportive’, but I know that the medications that have been forced on me are brain damaging, and that Mental Health Care, in so many cases is not for the benefit of the patient, only for the misconceptions of the public, persecutions that have been aided and abetted by media and the marketing of pharmaceuticals. I’m not saying that this happens to every person with a mental health condition, but it has been the case with me. Now I have two hidden disabilities, and the worst offender for discrimination and abuse are the very authorities that should be there to remove the aggression, not create it. I worry everyday about how society is turning against thoses of us who do have motability, even if this is a small amoun and at best difficult or painfult. Media propoganda was what started the Holocaust, I hope that it ends before it gets that far again, at the moment, it is only getting worse.

  3. I’m recovering from M.E and I never applied for benefits because I wanted to be able to have a good day without constantly looking over my shoulder. Going out use to be a big deal so I dress up a bit, only to be told “your not disabled you look sexy”.

    1. I know that feeling and hear those words! I just tell people I feel miserable no matter what I wear so I might as well look cute. Just because I can wear high heels doesn’t mean I’m not suffering in more pain than the average person could comprehend. It only means I care about my appearance just like any other woman. I’m young, I should be allowed to dress like every other woman my age and body type. My disability doesn’t define me, I do!

  4. You can notch up that simmering resentment when you are the able bodied parent of a disabled child. Before I can open the tail Gate to get out the crash tested buggy, people tut and stare. I’ve had pensioners give me full face ranting monologues about “the system” whilst I point at Thomas and repeat “he’s got cerebral Palsy” until I’m blue in the face.
    He was on oxygen for ages but even now he’s off it we keep an emergency cylinder in the car. If I’m feeling the wrath of a bad crowd, I often take that out of the boot as it can subdue all but the the most cynical.
    I thought it was just me being bloody minded that I felt I had to put on a bit of a show everytime we use the Blue Badge.
    I’m disheartened to discover that it’s society 😞

  5. i agree with all you said it is extremely hard to be a disabled person in a world today, why are we discriminated against. I feel like I have to watch over my shoulder all the time because of others perception of what a disabled person should be like!! Why are we different?

  6. Although I have never been challenged, others do go silent and cold on me when they see my capabilities. I am an aerialist, and I rely on upper body strength to climb and hold (thanks to the secret exercise I get from moving in my chair) , tie my feet, and ‘Pinoccio’ myself 30 metres in the air. It’s hurtful, as I work in an able bodies environment.

  7. I’ve had stupid folk telling me that the government have eradicated disability hate crime and that I should therefore “make a fresh start” (i.e. stop being me). This is a brilliant blog post and I’m going to share it.

  8. I thought I was the only one too…I have to wear a leg brace and I use a walking frame on bad days, but on better days I am able to walk short distances…on those days I feel I am unable to use the disabled bays due to the looks and the tuts I hear from other people…it doesn’t matter that I am popping into a shop for something and can’t spend my time browsing because I don’t have the energy, it doesn’t matter that on the better days I am probably so drugged up if anyone else did the same they would be in trouble…I was given my blue badge for a reason, but like you I feel I have to ‘display’ I have a mobility issue and I exaggerate my limp…it doesn’t matter than I have a blue badge for the right reason yet the person in the car next to me doesn’t have a badge at all but are still using a disabled bay! Thanks for sharing your story xxx

  9. Love this. The only bit missed is how your besties suddenly disown you and your not worthy of their friendship because you are no longer useful to them. Then they write about you on social media sites to push you down even further and to account for why they have dumped their long to friend, in their eyes anyway. Xxx

  10. Human beings are wonderful. While I am glad I do not have to face the challenges of what are currently called disabilities. The word is falling short of what it tries to define. The next Olympics or the one after will see someone in the Para-Olympics with a speed or a time or a height that exceeds the other Olympics, that’s how our human pursuit is going. I saw a Korean film this week – Oasis (dir. Chang-dong Lee) – a beautiful theatrical film probably about disability in general. A person labelled cerebral palsy is both an asset and a liability to her family, to her violence comes in many forms. Both her and her new friend face criticism and control and abandonment, unable to be heard and yet the story unfolds and explores prison is how you see it.

  11. I stopped at the word cripple. If you can’t truly walk you consider those crippled. Inspirational cripple? Elderly people are not cripples either. So I do not know your disability since the inspirational cripple.

    1. I sometimes wonder what injuries and diseases these ‘inspirational cripples’ have, have they been stabalised by medical intervention or are they just stable cripples without further degeneration or suffering from this degenerative pain. It shouldn’t be for any one person to decide the label, only to the individual. As much as I admire the para-olympians, I cannot help but feel jealous of their ability to do what they do, my own degenerative disease would never allow me to even consider this untill some form of stability or stop has been set in place, nature or nurture, fixed intervertebral discs and arterial shunts are sometimes not able to be offered, but this does not make me a benefit scrounger, it is the scewed perception of our society, and these most inspirational cripples only enhance that perception and allow Governments and the poplous to use this perception over those less natured and nurtured than the inspirational that has been sold out to every person.

  12. I travel abroad extensively with my power wheelchair which I need. I can only “walk” a couple of steps using two sticks due to two seized hips, two herniated discs and severe arthritis. When back in the UK it is hard to find anywhere to go where parking and accessibility are available. I have often driven many miles to find I cannot park or get the chair out because of a lack of suitable spaces, or just darnright bad parking by others. I once had to wait two hours in Manchester because someone illegally parked behind my (handicap marked up) van so I couldn’t get the ramps out.
    Only in America where there are major fines for illegal blue badge parkers do I find any respect or offers to help from anyone. In the UK white van men seem to think the blue badge bays are just delivery parking for them.
    I went to the doctors the other day and couldn’t even get out of their blue bay because Boots Chemist van was unloading right behind my vehicle on a NO PARKING hatched bay.
    To the people who use handicapped facilities thoughtlessly I say this, YOU have a choice where you can park, go to the toilet, or use stairs instead of a lift or ramp, I DO NOT …!
    By the way i have never had or asked for even one penny of benefit.

  13. I was just having this conversation with my son – he is asking whether he should try to get a job when he is old enough (which would make him feel lots better, more independent and able to contribute and he would only do something really limited) or whether he would be reported for being a fraud. He can stand and walk a tiny bit, yes, but like many above, his range is very short and he has to resort to a wheelchair for distances or any length of time out and about. So he is discouraged from trying to make himself feel better by the thought that if he is not perceived as fully disabled, ie much worse, he will be reported. It is so wrong. He is only 15 – what a way to have to think

    1. That’s terrible Sarah, I find the best way to “win” people over is to be funny. I just say something like “kick the cripple then if you need to”.
      I am semi retired at 63 but still CEO of an Aerospace Engineering Company.
      You need to help him build confidence in what he can do without letting him focus on what he cannot. People will be impressed at his achievements and if he can study something like engineering and computing he will become able to find his own ways through some issues to make his own life better. There are some great jobs out there that wheelchair users can do, after all many millions of people spend all day sitting on their backsides at desks or computers so there is no reason your lad couldn’t do the same but in his chair.

      Keep him studying and,find something he is really interested in, and then go for it. to get him trained by school, college, local night school or even volunteering at a firm to get some experience.
      Even starting by helping at a charity shop is a possibility that would help him build self esteem in himself and well deserved respect from others.
      Remember engineers today are not greasy people who lie under cars, most of our staff work on computers and design as well as manufacture components. There is also a need for inspectors to check components and parts by measuring and by operating computer controlled equipment.
      I even saw a quadraplegic guy a few weeks ago working for Walt Disney in Florida buzzing around Epcot doing customer surveys from his wheelchair using a mouth operated chair and also a mounted computer to input answers. Brilliant !
      Point of my post is simple – NEVER GIVE UP.


  14. A lot of this crossed my mind when Stanley Roberts did an episode of “People Behaving Badly” on people who were not visibly disabled using handicap parking placards. People shouldn’t have to exaggerate their disabilities, or be shamed on television when they don’t fit the “handicapped person” stereotype.

  15. I know what it’s like; I have a communication disability, and people assume just because I can speak, I must be faking it.

    Yea, I can STILL speak, doesn’t mean I can speak at a level equivalent to my intelligence level; which is in the 92 percentile by the way, and that is factoring in my disability to the intelligence quotient, without a my disability, I would be in the top 99.99 percentile.

    But really, I must be totally faking over 20 years of disability paperwork from varies doctors, an inability to find employment even though I was the top of my class in college and trade school WITH a learning disability, and my inability to meet a spouse. /sarcasm

  16. As an honest attorney representing injured workers for many years, I’ve seen this problem up close. There may be many factors for hostility toward disabled, but make no mistake: much of it is the result of a long term campaign by business and insurance interests to demonize people who seek recompense via workers compensation or liability claims.

    Political action to restrict benefits and reduce awards have grossly distorted the “problem” of fraud and excessive judgments. The money spent on PR campaigns that create the immediate mental linkage of “disabled claimant” with “malingerer” has paid off greatly in the form of smaller awards (and outright dismissals) from biased juries and even Judges/WC Commissioners.

    I know that this is a complicated issue, and I understand that there are always going to be some who take advantage, but it is important to understand the large role economic interests have played in creating the hostile environment for disabled people. And as such, any remedy for this will require an active political push back from groups dedicated to righting the scales in the balance between profits and people.

  17. This article is so full of win, and I hope it kicks some sense into ableists!

    Schrodinger’s Cripple needs to be put into Urban Dictionary along with the new definition of “Inspiration”; the reason why cripples exist. 😉
    (You might like this video my friend and I made; apparently the Disabled Goths can make sandwiches and drive to pick up pizza, and of course, make videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4910ZZ_4MjI, we’re not entirely useless, but we are certainly not inspiring for trying to live normal lives with our illnesses!)

  18. I’m a 58 year old man that suffered an MI and open heart surgery at the age of 51. Following surgery and during my recovery I became severely depressed and have not fully recovered from this depression. I’ve lost many jobs, my wife of 24 years and myself as a result. I have a hidden disability and my heart continues to get worse including heart failure now. I take so much medicine every day (7 pills) to regulate my heart, emotions and sleep. It truly sucks. I stopped working 6 months ago and am amazed at some people’s reaction. My brother thinks that if I only “get laid” or do heavy exercise, I’ll be better. No these things will not help. My ex wife thinks That having severe depression is some how a character flaw or Gods curse. Oh please. I’m depressed, not a lazy sociopathic menace to society. Having a mental health problem is the pits. People look at you differently AND treat you differently. I can function well in my little world but have real struggles when I venture out into the world of work. How do I let people know I’m depressed without undoing my chances of getting or keeping work. My world is jaded by deep dark thoughts, self recrimination, self doubt and that manifests itself by magnifying even the littlest criticism as a major limitation. I like others with a Depression try to avoid people and places that are not supportive of people with invisible disabilities. I would not wish this crazy illness on even my worst enemy.

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