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  1. Debi
    Debi April 14, 2013 at 5:28 am | | Reply

    I admire your strength & determination. My friends & I where recently discussing the invisible disabilities. The not so obvious ones like mental illness especially depression. Fibromyalgia, Vets with PTSD or early onset dementia, Even recovering addicts living with things like HIV or hepatitis. Sometimes when things like these aren’t obvious or noticable, people have higher expectations of you. Not understanding why you might need to lay down in the afternoon because you have arthritis pain at 35. They make assumptions or jump to conclusions like “She must be lazy” Even worse is when the invisible to the eye disabilities make it unable for you to work. Automatically we’re “Scheming the system, playing games or conning others. I’ve even had 2 relatives actually get jealous because I get a disability check. How foolish can anybody be that they could be jealous of an overweight, tired chic in bad pain & unable to take pain killers? Do they even realize I’m making about a half of what I used to & as far as pain goes I’d give back those checks & more not to be hurting like this! Please guys, just because we might not be in a wheelchair doesn’t mean we’re 100% fine and dandy… No wonder some think us as week. Sometimes I get so tired of it all that I don’t want to be social. Don’t want to be judged, stared at or talked about. No wonder there’s so many times I’d rather isolate or even detatch. Then theres the associated problems with doing just that, prefering to be alone. At least alone I don’t have to argue with anyone trying to defend myself. So my hats off to you for being the stronger, better person. Maybe as a strong feminist you don’t have to contend with the issues. Because who would dare bother you? Aww shucks, can I get a chuckle?…Wishing U Peace…

    1. Andrea
      Andrea April 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm | | Reply


      Another chronic pain/invisible disability person here, and yeah the way we get treated is obnoxious. I use a service dog for mobility most of the time so your points about not wanting to be stared at and talked about really resonate with me!

      I’ve found the internet is an awesome social resource. I can talk to people without having to leave the house & I have a fine fierce community of crips and crazies here who understand.

    2. Andrea
      Andrea April 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm | | Reply

      Just a quick note — you DO realize that the canes blind people use for navigation look and function absolutely nothing like canes used for mobility aids, right? They’re at least as tall as the person using them and extend out in front to sweep for obstacles. So yeah, it’s entirely reasonable to expect people to notice the long white cane and get out of the way.

      And while it’s fine that you enjoy discussing your medical problems with other people, let me assure you that not everyone does and there is nothing wrong with wanting some privacy. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting people to shout at you. Shouting is rude. Asking strangers to tell you about their medical problems is rude.

      I’m also a disabled woman vet. I prefer to be able to go to the grocery without it turning into an hour-long Dog And Cripple Show where I’m expected to explain to every passing stranger what my diagnosis is, how I ended up with it, what my service dog does for me, and why they can’t pet him.

      Just as you say that Elsa doesn’t speak for all people with disabilities, you need to realize that you don’t, either. Instead of making excuses for non-disabled people being rude, try having some empathy for other disabled people who don’t have the time, energy, or desire to answer questions about private medical matters. Try wondering why we’re always getting told that we have to be understanding when people are rude to us, rather than rude people being told they need to understand that they’re being rude as hell.

Please comment politely with a regular pseudonym or real name.

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