Friday, March 16, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Aim For the Right Target

Self harm
Suicide ideation

Recently, Gal Gadot expressed this sentiment regarding the death of physicist Stephen Hawking:
"Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you're free of any physical constraints.. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever."
Ms. Gadot was then taken to task as if she'd said "fucken cripples shud ride the lightnin lol."
There is some lack of awareness in Ms. Gadot's comment, but she was not implying that having handicaps/disabilities/whatever the fuck you want to call it made a person lesser in any way.
I am a person with disabilities, and I was once taken to task for using the term "handicapped" to describe myself.
Could we all please just stop looking for reasons to be offended? It makes us look like "special snowflakes" and makes people less inclined to listen to the serious concerns we have. 
For an able-bodied person like Gal Gadot, the idea of being severely physically constrained is a frightening one. Although Dr. Hawking expressed acceptance of his condition, it is hard for a person without severe physical limitations to imagine that a person with such limitations might not be wishing that they could be able-bodied, that perhaps they are truly okay just as they are. 
Again, Ms. Gadot was not stating that Dr. Hawking wasn't worthwhile exactly as he was. She was expressing a wish for him to be able to move about freely, an attribute which she sees as precious. There was no malice intended in her words, and people need to back the fuck off. In our current call-out culture where a person can be viciously attacked for not expressing their thoughts in a very exacting way, it's no wonder people are afraid to speak at all.
Every person with disabilities views their particular disability (or disabilities) differently as well, and there are some disabilities that are so truly heinous that I feel it would be cruel not to wish that the person could be free of said disability--not because the person isn't worthwhile as they are, but because the disability is SO FUCKING HEINOUS. I don't believe this is a hard concept to grasp, but I will not be surprised if there are those who tell me I have "internalized ableism."
Other than a bit of a limp and a slow gait, my disabilities are invisible. I am prone to activity intolerance due to my endocrine problems. I used to be able to work strenuous physical jobs. I lost a reasonably well-paying job due to these issues, and I now live in poverty. I also have problems with urinary retention and have to use incontinence pads. I generally don't have fecal incontinence, but sometimes that happens too. It's miserable and embarrassing. I am prone to infections in my "plumbing." Most of the time I only eat one or two meals a day because I can't afford food, thanks to the fact that it's hard for me to work. 
Would I give up my physical disabilities if there were a way to repair them?
Fuck yes I would, in a heartbeat. 
This in no way means that I think people with physical disabilities don't deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity that able-bodied people receive. Society as a whole has a problem with treating disabled people as lesser, and that needs to stop. 
People with disabilities should not be forced to live in poverty. My situation often makes me extremely depressed and, yes, suicidal. I currently have self-inflicted cuts and bruises because I am so frustrated and disgusted at my situation and at myself. When I express frustration or upset over my situation, I get told that I should "just focus on the positives," "chin up," and "try harder." All of which is bullshit and is not resolving the problem of people with disabilities being treated as if they are a burden.
This is not what Gal Gadot was doing.
I am far more offended by those who act like people with disabilities are lesser and a burden who should just sink into squalor and die than I am by someone like Gal Gadot, whose statement may have been a tad uninformed, but who was, in fact, hoping that a person who lived with physical constraints unimaginable to a young, healthy, able-bodied person would be free of those constraints. Her statement was without malice. She does not deserve to be attacked.
Save your ire for those who really deserve it: the people who make laws to take away what little those of us who can't work "normal" jobs are afforded.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~


  1. Gahhh... blogspot ate my comment. I guess Life was saying I didn't need to leave it.
    I've been debating whether to seek disability for my foot/leg/back issues, which prevent me from standing for more than 20 min, which prevent me from being able to apply for cashier-type jobs. My anxiety is also becoming crippling but I'm hoping that once I start working again I'll adjust, rather than freak out.

    My fear of not finding an income has me constantly debating suicide sooner rather than later. Not only do I fear the consequences of no income, it feeds my feelings of worthlessness. If not for my cats (which I believe would be killed if I died), I would have left a long time ago.

    I hope you find your reasons to stay alive.

    1. I used to be able to work physically demanding jobs and long hours. I can't anymore. I feel stressed all the time because my money situation is so dire. I contemplate suicide almost every day. :-(
      My cats and my son are why I stay, otherwise I'd be long gone. This life has not been kind to me.


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