i know that disabled folks dont look a certain way. i know that folks who are disabled but not perceived by the culture as disabled deal with a whole range of shit that i dont anymore. And i also know that there are things i deal with, as someone who is labeled disabled, who is identifiably disabled by an ableist culture (meaning, because i am identified by people living in an ableist culture as being disabled, because sighted folks can see that i am disabled, and because of that put all their bullshit about disabled folks on me, every day, all day, and i cant escape it for a moment), there are things i deal with that others dont. i want to be able to speak to that without that meaning im invalidating the experiences of folks with invisible [to sighted folks] disabilities. Because thats not what it is. i dont have that kind of power. i just want to be able to speak to my lived experience.
So. If i want to have a photo taken of me with someone/s else who is also identifiably disabled by an ableist culture, i think thats ok. If i want to sit around and chat with other folks who are identifiably disabled by an ableist culture, i think thats ok too. Its more than ok. Its super important to me to share those experiences, to support each other with the particular kinds of shit we get when we are identifiably disabled by an ableist culture, to make art about it, music, words, something i can look to when i feel so completely fucked up from having to deal with it every single day. Because while those experiences are hugely variant, there are some commonalities that i want to chat/complain/cry/create/laugh about with other folks who deal with it. When i have these moments with folks who also deal with this stuff, there’s a connection there, an understanding–even in our differences– theres this common experience of being seen[sic] & and yet not seen[sic] at the same time.
There are so many things i dont yet know how to talk about. But theres something to connecting with other folks who are also seen/not seen[sic] at the same time that means something to me. Not to any other disabled persons exclusion, holy fuck no, but to grow my heart, to figure out where some of the fissures are, to sew it up or let it bleed. i need this.
What do you need to help you heal your heart? And how will/do you find it/create it?