Scrolling through Facebook this evening, I caught sight of one of those “rules of this house” murals. There’s one in our hallway that we inherited when we bought our house. It has sweet rules like ‘lie in on Sundays’ and ‘say please and thank you ‘. Cute right?
But this one had a CP twist. Meant to bolster and encourage I think, but my God, my blood was boiling by the first line.
In this house, we do CP
Ugh. No. I have literally just finished writing an essay for uni about performance of identity. Namely gender identity because gender is assigned to us through societal expectations. But you know what, the same is not true of physical disabilities. Because those disabilities are tangible. I see, think and feel every facet of mine every day. Society cannot make me a disabled person and as much as it tries, it cannot shape me into the acceptable mould for a disabled person either (still proudly using my withering legs). Cerebral palsy is not something I ‘do’ – it is not something anyone does. It’s actual brain damage. Don’t cheapen it.
But that wasn’t even the bit that enraged me. People tell themselves what they need to after all.
But this really takes the cake.
The only disability is a bad attitude
Is it?! Well thank fuck for that. Send the word out. Actual brain damage can be cured simply by waking up smiling about your good fortune every morning! Why did nobody tell me?!
I recognise I am being incredibly sarcastic. I do not apologise for it in the face of such absolute idiocy!
I would be thoroughly ashamed of myself if I ever repeated any variation of those words to anyone. They are a disgrace. Coming from the mouths of people not living with the consequences of disability. I don’t dispute disabilities affect families as a whole but it is clearly not happening to the person that thought that was an acceptable mantra to slap on the internet.
How in the world can we expect society to accept and support those with disabilities when statements such as this trivialise what we have no choice but to handle every day? Is it not possible that bad attitudes are born of inescapable struggles? If you cannot see that, you have no business speaking for any disabled person. Because I would swap my every damaged brain cell for an eternally bad attitude any day of the week, just to have the option, just for a moment. But you didn’t have to think about that did you?
Because it’s not happening to you. God help the children with mantras such as those plastered in their homes by those that say they love them.