I recently got talking to another young person on Twitter who has an illness and I was appalled to hear of how badly people treated him and how it had really damaged this person's self esteem. I know humanity has the potential to be either incredibly kind and understanding while at the same time, cruel and spiteful, but it doesn't make me any less angry about how society looks down their nose at people (in particular the elderly towards younger people) who have medical problems and are cruel enough to make comment or gawp at them (or in some cases, laugh and make fun of them) for no other reason than that they are different.
We aren't freaks. We aren't weak. We aren't 2nd class citizens and we didn't ASK to be this way and no one has any right to make us feel this way or to point out our flaws as if we never noticed them ourselves.
People with all kinds of disabilities face daily discrimination, intimidation and other cruelties at the hands of other people and I, for one, think that should stop and people shouldn't jump to make judgements or look down their noses at us. My own experiences of this have included being shoved out of the way (and one person, to the amusement of the security staff at the Kingfisher Centre last Christmas, decided that it was appropriate to knock me off my mobility scooter, subsequently causing damage to my ribs and back which made things even harder), laughed at by chavs and refused simple things like bus travel or the right to carry on my life as I choose because I use a mobility scooter or a nebuliser.
Another thing that recently got my goat was the way that the DWP were looking to withdraw vital support to disabled people, attacking our benefits and trying to shove as many disabled people in to work, even if they have proven time and again that that would not be viable, yet they were leaving the people who have been claiming unemployment benefits for years and years because they can't be bothered to go and look for work and would much rather sit around all day and do nothing, coasting along in life and expecting the UK tax payer to foot the bill. One thing I did agree with was that they were thinking of taking these lazy sods who have been claiming benefits for over 5 years and not bothering to look for work and making them work forced work placements, such as cleaning parks or facilities to give back to the communities that they have taken away from, but that is just the opinion of one person.
I want young people with disabilities to stand up and say "You know what, yes I'm disabled. Yes I have flaws but you know what? It is those flaws that make me a strong and I am not ashamed of the person I am and how I choose to live my life without limits and without seeking the approval of others." I want people to remember that they are strong and that they can stand up with no shame and know that they're doing everything they can to make it through. Incurable doesn't mean hopeless and who knows, maybe one day, all illnesses and disabilities may be treatable and we can all stand up and be proud of who we are.
4 years ago