I need to vent. I know I've already told a bunch of people, but it's still bugging me. Copied & Pasta'd because I already typed this once, and I don't want to do it again.
I'm sure we've all dealt with the people who just don't understand personal boundaries, or who just don't get it and never will, especially when it comes to disability.
So, I'm taking a women's study class, and today we were talking about The Cancer Journals
by Audre Lorde. In the piece, she writes about having breast cancer, having a mastectomy, and how her medical team told her she needed to wear her prosthetic breast for the "morale of the people in the office." (I'm not sure I got the exact phrasing correct, but that was the point.)
The conversation while discussing the piece went somewhat off topic, as it always does, and it went to "How can people who are disabled be attractive? How can anyone love them?"
You can see where this is going.
So, I offer up a bit of personal information. I tell them that "I am considered disabled under the ADA. I consider myself beautiful, and my husband thinks I'm quite sexy, and we are the only two people whose opinions matter. I find it incredibly disheartening that you would consider someone 'unlovable' simply because they are disabled. I find it incredibly disgusting that many people feel entitled to tell me and people like me what we have to do to not be an eye sore, to not intrude on your privileged, bubbled life, and then you ask me very personal questions, like 'How can you have sex' and 'Gross! You're allowed to have sex?' or tell me how to cure myself even when I never asked. I do not need your opinion to feel gorgeous even thought I may have a disability.-"
And then I'm interrupted. This one person says something to the effect of "But you don't look disabled or sick! How are you disabled?" Ha! Like it's really their business to know my medical history!
I tell them that I don't feel comfortable nor is there enough time to go over how I am classified as disabled.
And then this person tells me that they won't believe my unless I tell them.
Oh, but it gets better!
So, I keep it general. "I currently have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, but I also have organs that quite often don't like to function properly which leads to hormone imbalances. I have a cyborg part, which I think makes me even more awesome, that helps with one of chemical imbalances, but I also have to take more medications to help with all the other problems and complications." (Note, I do not want to discuss my medical status.)
So, class ends after more "Gee Willikers I'm so sorry you're disabled!" which was awkward at best. After class, a bunch of people come over and asked to see my "cyborg organ." My pump was in a "I can't pull it out without reaching into awkward places" place, so I told them that I couldn't show it to them at the moment. My infusion site is arm, and, of course, someone noticed. So, I was kinda forced into showing people my infusion site.
I felt like some kinda of animal on display that can magically talk. I was asked how I could live with myself, how I could have a thing attached to me, how I could live with being disabled...I felt like they thought that being me was the worst possible thing in the world.
A couple of people decided that I needed a hug for being brave
(Yeah, being brave for putting up with these crap questions! I'm not brave for being me!) and a few of those people decided to see if they could feel where my mechanical organ was hiding while giving me a hug.
Seriously, Ben & Jerry's is my friend tonight, because I don't want to deal with real people who refuse to get it.
Thanks for letting me rant & Necro...o...o...o...
"YES. DO IT WITH CONFIDENCE" ~fortune cookie