Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
I remember 11 years ago, being a doe-eyed senior in high school. The world was my oyster and all that cliche shit. I was still relatively healthy by my not-optimal standards. I was in honors classes (my school called them “college prep”. We had regular, college prep, and AP. Had I been public school all four years, I would have been an AP student but that’s not my point).
That September, almost every morning on the bus I heard Wake Me Up When September Ends, which I now associate with senior year. September is a difficult month. Everything started falling apart. September is difficult. Please be gentle with me. Know that my blog posts may be more raw and vulnerable. Know that I may be more cynical and snappy.
But please be there for me. Thanks.
Hey folks, there’s no pretty graphic. Because there’s no way to MAKE this pretty. There’s no way to candy coat it. There’s no way to wrap this message up with a pretty bow and make in Pinterest worthy. But we need to sit down and have a Very Serious Talk. Are you ready? Because this is my life. This is my reality. This is the world I live in.
Your ableism is killing me.
This is not hyperbole. This is not paranoia. This is not me making something out of nothing. Your ableism is literally killing me and the people I love. Right now, I am safe as I sit in my apartment listening to Tori Amos. But 19 disabled people – people like me – are dead. Twenty-five more are injured.
I’ve had people tell me – to my face, mind you, that they would rather be dead than disabled. That people like me are a drain on society. That I don’t deserve to be alive. Because I’m disabled.
Do not tell me that those people did not understand. Do not tell me that they are in a better place now. DON’T. YOU. FUCKING. DARE. Because you know what? THOSE words are what kill us. THOSE words are what cause caregivers to murder their children. It is not mercy. It is not dignity. It is not okay. Your ableism is ripping our lives away from us. Words like that are why people decide disabled lives aren’t worth living and that we don’t deserve to exist, so people like this man take matters in their own hands.
Don’t tell me how hard it is for those caring for us. Don’t tell me tell me these things. Don’t you think I know? Don’t you think I’ve thought these same things myself? Don’t you think I’m reminded of it every day of my life? I hear the whispers. I see the stares. They’re seared into my memory.
Ableism isn’t about offending me. If that were all it was, I would shut the hell up. I would quit speaking out against a world that’s determined to pull me down. Ableism isn’t about being politically correct. I see you, and I hear the steaming load of crap you spew out. Ableism is about our LIVES on the line.
And THAT is why I can’t sit in silence.
I’m through accepting limits, cuz someone says they’re so
Somethings I cannot change, but till I try, I’ll never know
Too long I’ve been afraid of losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love it comes at much too high a cost
And soon I’ll try defying gravity
Kiss me good bye, I’m defying gravity
I think I’ll think try defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down
It is time to change.
I am sick of sitting down and shutting up.
I am now loud. I am now vocal.
For years, I allowed myself to be gaslit.
I allowed myself to be emotionally abused.
And I think of the friends who have supported me. Both living and dead. (Because the sucky thing about have friends with illnesses too is sometimes they die too young and it’s so bloody unfair).
And I think of people who are yearning for someone to speak up.
So that they can say me too.
So that they can share their world too.
We are together.
We are one.
And you’ll never shut me up again.