Thursday, November 24, 2011


Trigger warning for ableist bullshit. Also, disclaimer: "you" used in this post is a general "you" that isn't addressed specifically to you, the reader of this blog.

ETA terminology: "zie" and "hir" are gender-neutral pronouns, sort of a cross between he/she and him/her.

My facebook status:
For the record: when I say I can't drive any more today, I mean I can't drive any more today.

I know I don't LOOK disabled, but do you really want to see for yourself what happens when I push my body too far? Because been there, done that, have the (emotional) scars to prove it.
This has been bothering me since something happened earlier this evening in which the individual in question thought that telling me zie'd been driving a lot more meant that I didn't have the right to complain.

But, this individual, I'll call hir A, is able-bodied. Zie rarely gets sick, doesn't have a disability, and as far as I know is only chronically short on sleep (not that that's a good thing, either, but that isn't nearly what I have to deal with).

Hint to the world: I don't kid about how much pain I'm in. There's actually a good chance, depending on who I'm talking to, that I understate it. So if I'm telling you I can't do something, it's because I have absolutely no spoons left to do it, or will have to borrow against the rest of the week, or have already gone beyond my limits, or some combination of the above.

To suggest otherwise is to disrespect my autonomy and ability to judge my own body. And it isn't a fucking invitation to play the "my life is harder than yours," card. It's a simple statement of what I'm currently capable of, and I frankly don't give a shit what you've had to do today if you think I'm deliberately trying to elicit that response.

Have a good fucking night. You know what? Have a good night. Have a great night. I hope it's one you enjoy so that maybe you'll be nicer to people tomorrow.


  1. That's like if someone decided to take up running and was really sore after running a few miles the first day out and Paula Radcliffe showed up to say, "What are you on about? I ran 20 miles during lunch."

    I'm always amazed that people refuse to believe that bodies aren't all the same when it really is integral to so many things--population hardiness/gene pool diversity, sexual reproduction, getting anyone to hand you things from the top shelf. And with a nod to Ms. Radcliffe, the Olympics would be a right bore if it were hour upon hour of people doing things that I (and everyone else) can do just as easily. You'd think after about 10 minutes on earth people would notice this and stop with the "my body does this ergo yours does so" nonsense. (Though I suppose that's valid when this='stop entirely eventually.')

    I personally think driving is miserable and a worthy cause for complaint. So my vote cancels the other person's and once again everyone is free to decide for themselves.

    I hope you can replenish your silverware drawer soon. :)

  2. I struggle with this in my own head a lot. I observe that other people are able to go on shopping trips to more than one store (and don't have to plan and psych themselves up to go), or go to work 8 hours a day every day or do more than a couple chores in one day. I ask myself, "Why can't I do that? Surely I can if I just tried." And then I try to do more than I should and suffer for it the next few days, whether I'm super tired, sore all over or feel like I have the flu. Yesterday I spent an hour taking pictures for a client and I was exhausted the rest of the day and felt like crap today! So frustrating.
    And I hate driving as well. It is SO much to think about and concentrate on, and I get teased a lot by my family about it. They really don't get it that I have to consider carefully the things I'm able to do. I procrastinate a lot, trying to pace myself and my mom gets so annoyed with me that I don't "just do things now".
    I'm doing a bit better in regards to feeling stuck in the last couple weeks, and have acupuncture tomorrow which I always look forward to SO much. Yay!
    Hope you have a good weekend, Shauna!

  3. @aforalpha--I like the metaphor there. I may use it at some point, or a similar one. And thanks for the support, even if I didn't say it earlier.

    @Megan--I don't think it's unusual to struggle with this. For me, I was able-bodied. I used to do a lot of things. I did marching band, which is really intense and has a lot of physical work that I don't think I could do anymore even if given the opportunity. And I overdo it sometimes, as with driving (there's really no way around a two hour drive if I want to go home, though).

    It is hard to learn to pace myself, and to not do "just one more thing" that comes up and needs to be addressed. The thing I've learned, though, is that unless it's an emergency, it can usually wait a while, and then I'll still be able to do things the next day.

    And then there are times when I wonder if I'll be able to hold a steady job outside of my university, which is supportive of accommodations and has work in small chunks designed to work with and around classes (which incidentally also helps me take small tasks or amounts of time in which to do my job). When I'm in a multi-week flare-up and falling behind in everything, I wonder how on earth I'm supposed/going to manage any kind of job, including the one where I'm a student.

    I'm glad to hear things are looking a bit up for you. I hope they continue to improve. I hope you have a good weekend, as well!