Thursday, March 27, 2014

Internalized Ableism

When I was twelve - after a super intense surgery at ten and a follow up and final surgery at eleven - I genuinely believed that with practice I could walk without my crutches.

Maybe, for some, this is possible. Maybe for me it would have been. I don’t know. But I can’t help feeling sometimes - when I look back - that the pressure regarding this was about looking more “normal.”
I don’t talk about this much, but I grew up around a lot of ableist attitudes and beliefs. I remember each hurtful name, each time I heard that I had to work “twice as hard” to be considered for a job. Once, a friend even told me that I should, “take your wheelchair to pick up job applications, because it makes you look more competent than when you use your crutches.” And I’ve written before about how the ableism was so bad in the church I attended as an adult that I stopped going.
Though I learned about ableism in a college class, it didn’t really click in that this is what I’d experienced from nine years old on…it wasn’t until I joined Tumblr that it finally made sense, and that I started accepting that I didn’t have to accept the way some discriminate against me. I can stand up and speak out.
Even if just through my blog.

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