The reality as a variously disabled person is that i’m going to be doing work around and having conversations about access / inaccessibility / ableism for the rest of my life. The current cycle i’m in is this:
i have yet to learn how to pace myself or to brace myself for the constant impacts of it > so i burn out > but i can’t totally burn out because i need access > so i try again in new ways > then i burn out > then i give up > then i try again > then i burn out.
While there’s certainly been some progress, actually little has tangibly shifted. i’m tired but i don’t have the privilege of not talking about this stuff, of walking away from it > then i get seen as (or am) harping on it > then my tactics are challenged or called out by able bodied people no matter how i change / adapt those tactics and critique and fine-tune them and dial them back, no matter how much i compromise myself and my politics and my ideas about what community means, no matter how much i try to consistently use my body and brain and heart and resources (such as they are) in service of the ultimate goal i seek which is the liberation of all people on their terms > or how much room i open for dialogue with me on this and how much i show up for dialogue with others on so much more, no matter how it is expressed > and still little changes > then i burn out.
i’m in a constant cycle of listening > trying > adjusting > working my ass off > showing up > listening more > being open > trying again > sharing > being vulnerable > shutting down > listening some more > offering help > showing up > trying again > shutting down … and while all of this is happening, because of the fundamental lack of access which remains throughout i am losing and missing out on connections with people and communities which could be helping create more actual tangible change on this, connections which could mean you and i know one another a little more intimately (and not just over the course of me doing an audit of your space or only related to this shit) and maybe we could actually have some fucking compassion for one another (and no, i don’t mean just me having compassion for you dealing with the struggles of creating accessible space, which i already have for you. This cannot be a one-way street, and it sure as fuck cannot be a one way compassion which prioritizes the struggles of able bodied folks around inaccessibility over the struggles of disabled folks around inaccessibility — can we please not reinforce that same fucked up systemic ableist shit?) that goes beyond words on a screen, goes beyond ideas and moves into actual action…
And i cant sustain it. i just. fucking. cant. And i honestly do not know what to do any more. i need more help, i need to be part of other people’s work on this, i need to share where i’m at and hear where others are at. Any and all suggestions welcome, particularly but not only from other variously disabled folks.
This is an actual plea for help/ insight/ community/ action, not more of the same.
i don’t need more promises. i need more fucking action.