When your workplace arranges a crucial networking event... and make it a hike.
I can't do that, but no one cares. I'm disabled, even if I'm not in a wheelchair, guys.
Feeling so angry and hurt. This has to be some sort of discrimination, right?
It is possible for people with fibro to do a moderate amount of exercise - but you have to work at it consistently for quite some time. You can't be in an extremely stressful situation, working all day every day and not getting much exercise, and then go on a mountain hike! I'm not being dramatic or difficult. I will be bedridden for the rest of the week.
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I've always took pride in how self-confident I am. But recently, I am starting to wonder whether I value myself less when forming friendships, and continue to go above and beyond for people when they won't even meet me halfway. I guess this is tied up with some internalised-ableism: the thoughts that I am a difficult friend because I am disabled creep in subconsciously. After having some time to reflect, I'm beginning to realise that I would put more effort into relationships and friendships as I felt that that made up for the difficulties and inconvenience I caused by being their sick and disabled friend. I would overly appreciate the bare minimum accomodations they made for me as if they were going above and beyond, and anytime that they treated me negatively, I would justify it by assuming that they were stressed out by my health difficulties being such an inconvenience in their life.
This meant that often I would excuse and overlook behaviour that honestly wasn't acceptable. I do require a certain level of care from anyone I form a friendship with (including access assistance, reaching things, etc.). This minimal care makes me feel indebted to them. I will have thoughts like "I can't be mad at them because they kept me safe during a seizure" and "it's okay that they've been avoiding me because it's hard work having a disabled friend".
Essentially, when it comes to friendships and relationships, I accept far less than I deserve, I tolerate far more than I should and I treat the bare-minimum as ground-breaking.
After speaking to others with a disability, I know I am not alone in this.
So I want to say this: we are deserving of good friendships. Of course, it's important to acknowledge that a relationship that involves a lot of care can be challenging for the carer and the disabled person, and I in no way want to diminish that.
We do not deserve to be treated as less than because of our disability. We have a right to tell someone when they are hurting us, regardless of how much they do to support us.
We are worthy of real friendship.
What have your experiences with friendship and disability been? Can you relate?
Let me know in the comments below ⬇️⬇️
#Accessibility ID: green background with cream text reads "disability and friendship" brown text reads "essentially, when it comes to friendships and relationships, I accept far less than I deserve, I tolerate far more than I should and I treat the bare-minimum as ground-breaking" below is an image of two women in pyjamas sat down eating popcorn.
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Dear able-bodied people,
• Stop asking us if we're better yet.
• Please READ the definition of the word chronic.
• Stop pushing your "miracle cures" on us.
• STOP, for the love of fuck, telling us to do more Yoga.
• And if one more person tells me I'm not trying hard enough and to think positively, I will fling them so deep into the sun that they will start fusing hydrogen in their assholes!!!
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