May the 1st 2017 was Blogging Against Disablism (Ableism) Day. There are so many topics I wanted to write about but I had to settle for one that I have been dying to address which is → Able bodied people you are not entitled to know details of our disabilities, stop asking me what happened.
It was Easter Sunday, I am minding my own business listening to music on the tram. All of a sudden this man on the seat on the other side turns around and says to me “if I could give you my legs for Easter I would”, I simply smiled and continued to listen to my music. A few moments later I moved seats to avoid him because I really was not in the mood to converse with him. Minutes later he follows me and asks “what happened to you?” I simply looked at him, rolled my eyes and then took out a book from my bag and started reading. The lady next to me gave him a stern look and it was at this point I think he got the message and walked back to his seat.
Of course some people will think I was rude but honestly I wasn’t. A few years ago I would have engaged him in conversation and explained that I was born with Spinal Befida but now that I am older I realise I don’t have to, I don’t have to disclose details of my disability to anyone let alone a mere stranger. In the words of a wise woman I look up to “they don’t realise that you don’t owe anyone your story…they’re not entitled to your story and you aren’t obliged to tell it.”
Someone is probably thinking ok that was rude and I should have just spoken to the man but let me explain why this was wrong of him to ask. Why did he single me out of everyone on the tram that morning to ask details regarding my birth? Why did he not ask the man or woman next to him? Yes sure I have a disability, I stand out everywhere that I go but that in no excuse to invade my privacy like that. And that’s just one thing able bodied do not get nor understand, you are not entitled to know details of my disability. It is downright rude.
It Is Rude.
Able bodied people please understand this one thing, it is RUDE to ask me details of my disability. I understand you are probably trying to make conversation but you asking me details about my disability simply tells me you have placed me in a box. All of the topics under the sun to discuss you choose to ask about my disability? You see there is more to my life other than my disability. Engage me in other topics if you want to converse with me otherwise please stop wasting my time by asking me stupid questions.
It Is An Invasion Of My Privacy.
Able bodied people you would NEVER in a million years ask other able bodied people how they were born or details of their lives why because it is an invasion of that person’s privacy. You probably don’t also ask strangers such questions because you wouldn’t want anyone else to ask you such questions. Now explain to me why you would think it is ok to just randomly go up to people with disabilities and ask details of their lives, details that have absolutely nothing to do with you? You don’t see us people with disabilities just randomly walking up to you and asking how you were born because it is none of our business. In the same way details of our disabilities are none of your business, please learn this.
You Are Not Entitled To My Story.
Able bodied people you are not entitled to my story. I am very open on my blog, I do not sugar coat anything, I say it as it is; after all I created this as a safe space for me to talk about my life with a disability. Having said that it does not mean that just because I post something on my blog I am expected to tell my story. I am very protective of my story. I choose when and how I want to tell my story or disclose details of my disability. If you ask me something about my disability and I refuse to disclose any details do not take it personally, me not talking about is is simply practising self care for me.
Able bodied people I understand that for whatever reason you may be curious about details of our disabilities and you may want to know certain things but no you are not entitled to know anything about our lives or struggles nor are we obligated to disclose anything to you about our disabilities just because you’ve asked. Please STOP ASKING US WHAT HAPPENED. It is rude and an invasion of our privacy.