Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Disability in the Modern World" {Written by Guest Blogger-Dorothy}

Dorothy is a friend of mine and we have gotten into discussions before about what life is like being disabled, from all ends. We have served as a support system to each other in friendship in navigating this world. I have dealt with both physical disabilities talked about in detail on this blog as well as the Aspergers and it's emotional baggage while Dorothy has dealt with both physical and mental disabilities. Many people do not understand the nitty-gritty of the disabled life. There are special issues with visible disabilities as well as invisible ones. Being disabled since the age of 28, life for me panned out very different and many disabled people can attest to that. She is correct about what those with disabilities of all kinds face. I agree with her decision about what the disabled person must do. We can grieve what the disabilities did to our lives, but we can focus that perhaps in this world we were given a different purpose by God in being here. Well read on....
If you are disabled in the modern world of 2013, you have special problems. If you are so disabled you cannot work, then you're really in trouble; but all of you know this! This article is partly for people who are NOT DISABLED, and those who are. We need to address both sides.
In my travels with disability, which have involved very severe trauma of the mind, PTSD, and mental emotional severe depression, I think that probably disabilities that involve the persons' personality, FEELINGS, and mental state may actually be worse than physical disabilities.Anyone who looks at you, usually cannot SEE that you have mental or severe emotional problems enough to make you disabled; those "regular functioning people" often have a sixth sense, that can tell there is something WRONG with you.(to them.)
 For example, a group of mentally ill young people who were sitting outside a business, waiting for a bus, were remarked upon by a passerby who said "Those must be the retarded kids!" He couldn't tell, just from looking, what it WAS that was different. If you're in a wheelchair or a power chair, or with crutches, or any of those disability devices, in public people can tell exactly what's going on with you. You probably get more sympathy from them.

However, if you're going to AA, and you're sitting in a large group meeting, with both men and women, and you start having a panic attack and get really nervous, you get a much worse REACTION from your friends or acquaintances. A lot of them just don't understand. As far as trying to get WORK, and a JOB, it's extremely hard for somebody with very bad emotional and mental problems to get one and hang onto it. All my friends and people I knew, who had ,for example, "bipolar disorder" almost always could not work.

One of the people tried to go back to work, full-time, and wound up in the hospital again. This cycle was not uncommon.It really depends on just how BAD off you are with the problem. But usually, bipolar disorder,is one of the hardest mental illnesses to deal with by the person who has it. Ditto Chronic depression.
This is compounded by the fact that employers don't LIKE hiring disabled people; even an autistic person,who has proof he can do the job, has been turned down, because he was "odd" and "would not fit in."--which means they can refuse to hire ANYONE who is DIFFERENT; and they DO.

There are extra problems as I hinted above, when you have a disability of mental and emotional illness (or even if you're in a power chair physically disabled, although we won't go into that as much); and that is, dealing with the rest of society in all forms, that think you're weird, deranged, or even dangerous. The movies depicting mentally ill people don't help! Anyone mentally or emotionally ill is usually CRAZY and DANGEROUS, in a movie. The fact is that most mentally and emotionally ill people are not dangerous at all except to themselves sometimes.  We go around now with the reputation of being "too sick" to be friends with other regular supposedly "well functioning citizens".

So this is one of our main problems, when we're disabled; especially if we have mental or emotional illness severely. It is DEALING WITH PEOPLE IN SOCIETY. Trying to FIT IN, when it's clear that, usually, you're not exactly the  same. Putting up with rejections for dating, for example, is so tricky, because it's so personal when somebody decides to reject you. It is difficult not being able to fit in in clubs or groups you join. Obviously because you haven't had the same experiences, or vice versa, and it's easy to feel rejected or "not fitting in".

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So one of the hardest things with having this type of disability is, HOW do you manage in the real world? How do you find a place to live that you can afford? (One of the very worst problems if you're disabled) Do you have to live with relatives? What do you do with your TIME? Is there any kind of even part-time or minor work you can find, to do? These are some of the hardest things about this kind of disability; YOUR WHOLE LIFE, every day, is almost impossible to deal with.

Extremely physically disabled people also go through a lot of the same social rejection, and bad self-esteem. But particularly if  you have  mental or emotional illness, you already have that to contend with; and then you have to put up with society and people rejecting you completely, not to mention trying to put a roof over your head and EAT.

                                         [picture source, disabled vet evicted]


If you are not disabled severely mentally or emotionally or physically, and you're reading this article, now do you get it? Do you get just HOW BAD life can be, when you're in this state? You not only have to worry about the most basic MONEY PROBLEMS, to physically survive; you have to contend with people and society at large, rejecting the hell out of you! Not wanting to be friends with you, or hire you, or be in a club with you!

All this stuff, and especially the social body of people at large  rejecting you, or avoiding you, really makes life HELL. It's not just "inconvenient" to have severe disabilities like this; it's not just "a little frustrating". It's can feel like HELL TO LIVE IN! 

So having a semi-normal life, having a mate, getting married, working, having kids, socializing, having interests and community involvement, are really off the table. All these things that you  disabled and emotionally and mentally WELL (or at least functioning) people take for granted; all the needs of a satisfying, regular lifetime.

THAT is what people like us, don't usually get to enjoy. If the physical disability is bad enough, mental and emotional disability really reduces the basic quality of your life. Some almost give into despair thinking that it's not worth it to keep living, because it's so miserable and low-quality. Its a very hard road to be on. Despite even slight progress in the person,severe mental and emotional problems DO NOT CHANGE, MUCH, for the better.What can you do, then?
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Maybe one of the most effective methods to deal with the problems, is, to  STOP fighting them; stop trying to "fit in", be accepted, or even be socially accepted.FACE IT,THIS IS YOUR LIFE!  And you're not better or worse than any one else .Stop beating yourself up!

Take the attitude that "I'm a real person, if you don't like it, bug off!" Whether or not you realize it, the Creator sent you here, like everyone else, to find your mission in life, on earth. So what if you have a disability? You are on the planet for a REASON, you just to find what it is.

Realizing that you are here for a REASON,just like everyone here,is what every disabled person must realize at some point. It was NOT  an accident you're here,you have a PURPOSE for being; probably not to get super-rich, famous & successful, or become a celebrity. If this sounds too religious and sermon – like, it is what we disabled have to realize, and focus on.

We have to realize that we are PEOPLE ALSO, and we have a right to be on the planet as much as anyone else. That is the main focus of my article.and we need to search, and work, to find our reason for being here, as much as the average non-disabled person does.

So do keep in mind, if you have a very bad disability mental, emotional, or physical, you are not alone in the world; most of the population of the planet has some kind of miserable life, rather than the perfectly blue sky American image of what life is supposed to be like. You definitely ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES.

I will end by saying that, of course we're not the only ones in life to get a bad deal, people get bad miserable lives every day of the week, who aren't even disabled, and they have to fight it, and learn how to survive and live. But you do it by taking the attitude that, "Everybody else who tells me I have no right to be here  or that I don't matter can go to hell,  I'm going to survive and live anyway. And I'm going to be proud of myself for doing it."----Dorothy

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