My friend just had someone tell her that her disability defines her too much. Listen abled bodies people - we ARE our disabilities. I cannot separate my body from ‘me.’ And the impairments my friend has are made disabling because of interpersonal and structural ableism.
Having a disability isn’t a personality flaw. It is a difference. Having a disability means you have to deal with a lot of discrimination in many, if not all, areas of your life. That is exhausting. That is traumatic. You end up often just responding to each new blow.
There is no way to completely harden yourself against it nor should anyone expect you to. If someone punched you in the face every day you wouldn’t expect it to eventually hurt less. It doesn’t. You need to hurt and process that shit.
The experience of being disabled can feel overwhelming and can take over much of your energy and life. That is society’s fault. Not an individual’s fault for not performing disability well enough. Or in a way that hides it to make it more comfortable for you.
If you require your disabled friends to not make you uncomfortable with the trauma they experience and how it takes over their lives - do everyone a favour and don’t be friends with or date disabled people.
Or better yet, learn how to be a better ally and human being.
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