What Scares Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Cassaundra Bell seated in a green chair wearing a Cream and Black lace dress with black gloves.

“Write about what scares you,” is a recent work assignment and something easily said and hard to do. I have to start by saying this blog might be one of the hardest things I have done in a long time. When I have written about disability issues before, it has been from more of a distant, academic perspective. Writing from more of personal perspective, especially writing about my own feelings makes this a more difficult task and, to be honest, it scares me.

I believe that one of the reasons it is hard for me is because the disability identity can be so hard to define. For example, sometimes there are months when I am so depressed and even getting out of bed is a challenge. This impacts my daily living. Other times I am depressed and yet from the outside I may look the same as I do when living without depression. Then, other months I do not come close to fitting the symptoms of depression. How do I fit in to the disability community when my disability is something that comes and goes? The second layer of confusion is the broadness of the label. For example, I have close family and friends for whom the disability labels impacts the way society views them because they have visible impairments. When people look at me they don’t see a disability, so in our society there is a certain level of privilege that I have and they do not. Is it fair for me to include myself with a group of people who have struggles that I have only observed secondhand?

Finally, the more I personally challenge myself to deal with this topic, the more I recognize the strength and seduction of ableism. We have found ourselves in a society where being able-bodied and neurologically typical is so desirable, that we don’t even notice when Disabled people aren’t included. As I learn more about disability pride and examine my own thoughts, I am forced to reconsider what I consider desirable. In the words of Mia Mingus, “Disability has forced me to shift racist, gendered, and capitalist notions of desire; of who and what is desirable.” This is a deeply rooted problem, and I can certainly say as I start to write this blog, I am scared.

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Disability Advocates of Kent County.

 

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Photo of Cassaundra Bell seated in a green chair wearing a Cream and Black lace dress with black gloves.

Your support can help in many ways. You can donate money or donate your time by volunteering. We greatly appreciate any support you can give. Click through to learn more about the different ways you can help support people with disabilities. Donate >

Our highly qualified staff is ready for any questions or concerns you might have. Please do not hesitate to let your voice be heard, because when it comes to making a difference in yours or your loved ones lives, change starts with you.Contact >

Photo of Cassaundra Bell seated in a green chair wearing a Cream and Black lace dress with black gloves.