Excellent post from [livejournal.com profile] shinga, plus my response.

Mar. 29th, 2016 12:58 am
ashbet: (Abigor)
[personal profile] ashbet
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] shinga here.

So I know there are people talking "behind my back" (probably not in a purposefully mean way, just talking) about the fact that I post a lot or "too much" or whatever on FB.

Well, to those people...

Deal with it.

I don't have a workplace. I don't have the option to drive and go out during the day. I don't have SOCIALIZATION. If friends can come over, they do, but my friends have busy lives and it's a rarity. I have Will but he works all day and has his own social obligations outside the house.

I do not talk to anyone, all day. Facebook is my way to keep in contact with friends, with the world. It's one of the only ways I can share my life with them and vice versa.

So get the fuck over it and unfollow me if my frequent posts are so annoying to you... if you find me "pathetic" for being too disabled to find some other social outlet besides social media.

I won't miss you.


* * *



I shared [livejournal.com profile] shinga's post on FB (she had originally written on FB, but was generously willing to post it as a public LJ entry to make it easier to reblog), and one of my friends said (very kindly!) that I didn't need to justify or defend, and that I had the right to speak my truth and have my friends stick with me.

I started to write a response, and, well . . . it wound up being fairly long and passionate.

I'm sharing it here, and making it public, because it means so much to have friends who *do* listen, and who will stand up for me when others use silencing tactics to try and shut me up.

* * *

Just to be clear, I wasn't feeling defensive, I was sharing the words of a friend because they resonated with me.

This IS my life that I talk about, here and on LJ. It's not "dwelling on negativity" or "TMI" or "identifying with my illness" to say, hey, I deal with a lot of medical stuff in my day-to-day existence.

And being disabled does kinda suck, even before you add the terrifying financial uncertainties and realities, the lack of human dignity when dealing with the leaky mesh of the supposed social safety net, and the dependence that the system creates on getting insurance through an able-bodied partner, rather than being ALLOWED to purchase it on our own.

It's not my WHOLE life -- there's a lot more to me than EDS -- but I don't ever get a single day's vacation from living with this disease, and I don't have the ability to just overpower it with the strength of my will, or else I'd have done it by now.

Every day, I overcome.

As I was just saying to a friend who is dealing with a life-altering diagnosis and a terrifying prognosis -- sometimes, I'm riding the tiger. And sometimes the tiger is riding me.

But I don't stop fighting to get on top, I do my best not to surrender to despair (and if I do fall into that pit, I keep clawing my way out again.) I've lived with this long enough, and made those changes, and forced myself to accept repeated "new realities" that are different from my hopes and aspirations . . . because I know that I can get back on top of that fucking tiger.

And when I'm riding it, instead of it riding me, I have the capacity to find joy in my life.

I can love fiercely, I can stay loyal and faithful to my friends and loved ones, I can do amazing things, even if they're different from what I accomplished before.

They're not less. *I'm* not less.

And that's how I keep fighting, when the tiger is riding me -- I know it's a cycle. And I can get on top again.

But I need friends who can love and respect me *while* I talk about these things, *while* I grieve for my losses, as well as celebrating my triumphs and the things and people that bring me joy.

I can still help people. Tonight, I started work on helping a friend with no insurance to get access to the meds she needs.

It's something I know how to do. It's something I can give.

And that's the kind of thing that I want and need the space to share, too.

*YOU GUYS* are fucking awesome. The friends who stayed with me, and the friends who joined me along this journey -- you are literal lifesavers, and I love you all.

But I've also heard all those hurtful things that Amanda talks about, sometimes from people I thought would understand, people who I'd been there for.

Having this space to express myself means so much to me -- but it's important for everyone to know that *every* person who opens up about their disability or pain or chronic illness -- we have all had people try to silence us, because our stories make some people in our lives uncomfortable.

Sometimes, it's someone as close and trusted as a partner, a parent, a child, a best friend.

So -- when you listen to me, and you still care, and you don't disengage or bitch behind my back about how I won't shut up about my boring struggle with disability -- you're counteracting those silencers, healing those betrayals.

You're making me (and everyone else fighting this same battle) remember that we didn't lose our humanity by acquiring (or being born with) an illness or disability.

You matter, so very much.

Thank you. <3
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