Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Discrimination I tick all the boxes aren’t I lucky?

I have often heard the word “discrimination” being bandied about, a lot, in the last ten to fifteen years. I never saw myself as being discriminated against though. Not when I was a child and I had to wear calipers, not as a young adult who had to wear surgical boots. It wasn’t until my last amputation which has ended up with me in a wheelchair due to other health issues, have I felt discriminated against.

Employers discriminate against me, travel companies, friends, strangers, hotels, events, venues, I could go on, and hell even inanimate objects discriminate me!
This is not just because am an amputee but because am in a wheelchair. In fact I seem to tick all the boxes when it comes to people to shame, hate or discriminate against. I am disabled I have no legs and am in a wheelchair, this means am lazy, scrounger, pulling a fast one, unable to hold a conversation, understand what is being said to me or indeed hear ! God forbid I have feelings, like sex, (yes I have been asked that) have romantic intentions, enjoy compliments (other than a pat on the head and a “good girl”, I sometimes feel like either panting and whining like a dog at this point or wheel myself over to a window and start licking it), let’s not forget the looks which are a mix of horror, morbid fascination and surprise when people find out that I am a wife, mother,
business woman running her own company or studying for a degree.
Then you need to add the weight. I must eat everything in sight, it’s my fault am this big, I have let myself go, am disgusting, no one could want to be with me, how can I be married or have children being this old. Now I see this kind of fat shaming all over the place. The latest being a picture going around on the internet of a girl dressed as Harley Quinn with the caption “she must have ate the squad” https://www.facebook.com/Deadpoolisasavage/?hc_ref=SEARCH Mate you’re a dick!! And while am at it https://www.facebook.com/keith.harris.3154284 you are a dick as well. What if we got hundreds of people to comment on a photo, a REAL photo of you and you had a big nose or spots or wore glasses or had freckles. Would you like to have this picture put around the internet with some derogatory comment so that anyone and everyone can have a pop at insulting you or discussing your size and whether or not you should or should not be cosplaying a character? Do people actually have any idea how this makes a person feel?Yes am calling them out on social media, whats good for goose is good for gander so they say. so if it is acceptable to fat shame some on on Facebook then it is acceptable to shame some one for being a dick. I myself am a lot bigger than the person they are insulting and I sometimes cosplay.
It can take a lot of courage and confidence to do some cosplays and I have in the past let my size and my disability dictate my costumes…no more. My weight is not from eating too much, it’s down to the amputation, not being mobile enough or being able to exercise the way I used to, medication am on that causes weight gain, and have six beautiful, highly intelligent children, IBS, Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. So no not pizza, or sweets, although am partial to crisps – but only salt and vinegar though.
Finally add my age. I am past…. Well… Pretty much everything according some people. Having fun, flirting, University, cosplaying, going to events, being a nerd just to name a few. Oh and we can’t forget the best one, the fact I have six kids. Obviously I only had them to scrounge off the tax payer and the state, because, you know I have NEVER EVER worked…yea so the last 31 years must have all been a dream then? Going to work with plasters on after major surgery to my feet, back at work three month after a double below knee amputation, signing on at the dole to look for work whilst waiting for a fitting for new legs, going to interviews with my stump boards on and no legs….I could go on but what’s the point.

Now if you add all of this together, you end up being treat like shit, ignored and feeling inside that you are unattractive, unappealing, waste of space and a sub human, non-sexualized as you don’t count.  
You are left wondering why you bother trying to live your life like everyone else or try to enjoy what others do. You give up trying to make an effort with your hair, makeup or clothes – why should you? No one cares, no one notices you are still treat less than anyone else who puts in less effort.  You are left wondering “ should I starve myself to try and force my body to lose weight? “ or “ who cares, why should I care what I eat any more instead of restricting myself and being good – sod it – am going to stuff my face, makes no difference any way does it? Still going to be seen and treat the same way.

You’re not seen as a person or a women you feel like you are seen as nothing more than a lump in a wheelchair, an inconvenience, someone to either feel sorry for or to ignore because you don’t know what to say are how to react ( for future reference, the same as you do to anybody else who isn’t in a chair !), hey I get it, who the hell would want to be reminded just how fragile life is, that this is something that could happen to anyone at any time on any day. No one wants that shit rubbed in their face now do they.
There are a lot of people banging on about equality in recognising disabilities as not all are visible. I get this, I really do people need to understand that the person using the blue badge may look perfectly healthy but they could just be having a good day, or have some health issue you are not aware about, so it is unfair to say they do not deserve that blue badge and parking space. But I often wonder if it’s not easier having an invisible illness or disability? No one knows unless you tell them. Until that point, or even maybe after that point as well with it not being visible and in their faces, people treat you no different. You’re a woman / man, attractive, a sexual being who likes compliments and being flirted with who is capable and people wouldn’t be surprised if you went to university or got married, had a job or started your own business.

You see, am so used to this crap that most days I can ignore it, but there are days I cannot. This weekend whilst working I could not. In your personal life being treat like that is bad enough, but when it is in your professional life. When you are looked down on and treat differently to all the other professionals who are there for the same reason just because you are in a wheelchair, with no legs. When, for the same reasons, you are blocked from interviews that have already been arranged, that you are made to feel that your business isn’t good enough, big enough or the people you write for are not important enough, that’s bad….real bad.

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