It's Blogging Against Disablism day, and I actually have a post up for it!
Elizabeth of Screw Bronze! got me thinking more about how I see myself. And how, from my perspective, I'm absolutely normal. It's everyone else who is weird. What do you mean, you don't pick things up with your toes? You have a hard time with clothes that have back zippers and you can't scratch your own back without a tool? When something is just a little too far away behind you, you actually move back toward it instead of subluxing your shoulder and just reaching further? How freakish! I don't know how you can live like that.
MD and I were talking about this earlier tonight. We both find that we are surprised to learn how much most other people are built differently than we are. Last week, I learned that one of my sisters can't pull the skin on her shin away from the bone. See, I thought everyone could, but apparently, no, I'm the odd one. MD noticed that her husband's hands and feet aren't nearly as creased as hers. Again, it turns out that he's what passes for average. So that's "normal"? Who knew? Not us.
I suppose that if I were to wake up tomorrow with a "normal" body, it would be nice to not hit the wall of pain that immobilizes me if I can't rest. But I think it would be hard to get used to my new limitations and I'd probably end up breaking something when my body didn't give the way I have come to expect.
We started talking, MD and me, about how our being different and our family members and friends being different than us, is no big deal. On our own, or with certain family members or friends, we aren't disabled. Everything we need to do, we can do. We have what we need to do what we need at the pace we need. It's only in going out into the world that we find ourselves disabled. I'll find myself having to carry too much weight or bend over too often, and parts of me will start going numb from pain or subluxation. There will be heavy doors I cannot open, steps and ramps I cannot climb. Though most people can't look at me and tell that I am disabled, that door, that incline, disables me. MD is tall and robust looking. She also has a large side helping of autonomic dysautonomia to go along with her serving of EDS. So, yes, she does need to sit down. Right now. In fact, she's going to lie down for a moment. Offer her a seat, and she'll take it. Refuse a place for her, she's still going down.
To us, it all so unnecessary, these doors, those stairs, that lack of seating. We go to our respective homes, and the disability falls away. We are our own normal again. And we wonder, who are these freaks who design a world that disables people?