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Saturday, 21 May 2016

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

****WARNING IF YOU ARE OVER SENSITIVE AND VERY PC YOU MAY FIND THIS A BIT CONTROVERSIAL*******

I have seen a lot of posts by people lately regarding how to address some one who is disabled or what to say /not say to them

 To be honest I find it all a bit silly


 Am not the most Politically correct person out there but as far as am concerned calling me by my name is fine. Honestly I will even answer to "thingy" or "you" even "Fred" just try not to use Jennifer too much as when I get my full name it usual means am in trouble.

I get it, some people feel that being called "wheelchair bound" "disabled" or "handicapped" (too be honest although am not fussed I try to refrain from the last one as it seems a bit degrading). They feel that these terms and others define them or that they are being defined by their disability. I am an amputee because I have had an amputation, but that does not define who I am. Am lots of things (play nice now), am a mother, wife, daughter, student, blogger, Therapist as well. I am however bound to my wheelchair to some degree, without my wheelchair I would not get very far at all or get out so the term "wheelchair bound" is accurate as far as am concerned. Disabled to me is accurate as well there are lots of things I can not do and I am not abled bodied either.

why do people get so bent out of shape by these terms and the use of them?

I have a theory ( and no its not about bunnies! and if you get that reference high five.).

From most (not all and am by no means taring every one with the same brush here), of the articles I have read there seems to be three types of people that find this terminology offensive:

"The do gooder" - People who have never suffered any kind of disability or health concern in their life but think they have the right to voice an opinion on this subject as an expert.

"The world owes me" - People,  who for what ever reason,  have become more and more bitter over time due to their disability or illness. They feel, rightly or wrongly,what has happened/wrong  to/ with them that it is every bodies fault ( I get this to some degree, its not easy to keep a positive outlook going every single day when you feel so useless and / or limited by whats wrong and the world will not accept you for you and most activities or places are not accessible, every one has their off days). But really? The world doesn't owe you jack squat mate! Yes maybe a helping hand now and then to do things or access places.  Use what you have to your advantage, make the most of it and start living because before you know it life has just passed you by.

"My life is over or why cant this have happened  to some one else"  -  People who have ended up with an illness or becoming disabled later in life through no fault of their own. Again I understand. One minute being healthy and able to do any thing or go any where, your future looking bright and shinny and the world at your feet, to within 24 hours having all this ripped away from you. It is a hard pill to swallow. It is also a bloody hard thing to get used to and come to terms with -  fighting pain, depression, friends walking away because they don't know how to react or cope, people staring, suddenly having limits put on as to what you can do, places you can go or even things you can wear.  ( I went through all of this for nearly a year and a half then decided I had enough. Now I wear what I want, I pimp my prosthesis and rock Darth Vader on one of them, wear shoes that make people stare and generally make the world bend to me.) I understand that this takes time , but some people just never adjust, adapt and learn to live with it they are too busy lamenting what they have lost.

How about instead of trying to define what we should and should not be called or what "boxes" "abled" bodied people put disabled people in, or in fact whether or not people should or should not help us with bags or opening bloody doors for us , why don't we just agree that we are just people with a difference? What terminology is used really doesn't matter does it? not unless it is meant in a bullying, nasty, creepy kind of demoralizing way. Unless some one is deliberately putting you down you define who you are, you put the limits on yourself its not a "us" and "them" thing, or at least it shouldn't be. The government have already tried to turn society against us people do not need to be helping them to do that. The next time some one asks what you like to be called make a joke or light of it , it an only offend if you choose to let it. The next time some one offers you help be grateful and smile, the next time some one opens a door for you say thank you you ungrateful git. The barriers are there and they will never go if people start to make other people feel uncomfortable to approach or help, terrified to say anything to us or engage with us or even invite us some where in case they offend, upset or seen to discriminate.


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