Why “Standing Up For Myself?”

Why? I can stand. My mobility limitations are all related for pain and fatigue. I can stand- if not for as long as people think I “should’ be able to. It’s meant to be ironic.

For most people, disability refers to people in wheelchairs, people with Downs or mental retardation. It occurs to veterans with battle injuries, amuptees, Jerry Lee multiple dystrophy kids.

My experience with disability is different. I didn’t identify as disabled for almost 5 years after being granted SSDI and the LEGAL status as disabled. My mental illness and Asperger’s were always things I could overcome ‘if I worked hard enough’, if I ‘arranged my life right’, if I ‘could get out of X’s control’. And it’s not. It’s honestly a disability, and it’s not going to stop being such. My anxiety does not go away simply because I ‘should know’ that things are okay.

My family is not supportive of my identifying as disabled. The stereotype of ‘grateful incompetant’ makes me incredibly angry, but as part of my ASD, communicating this effectively is difficult.

I want to do a better job for standing up for myself and for my ethics with my family, friends, co-workers, and people in my life.

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