Another post that has been inspired from that Facebook group I was telling you about. This post is a bit of a mess, but it's written more from an emotional place than a thinking place. I thought about deleting the page and not reading it anymore, but it seems to be good material for my blog. :)
The forum question was something along the lines of "if you could tell the public anything, what would you tell them about being disabled and a dog user?" It wasn't worded exactly that way, but that was the gist. Again I was appalled at the answers and then realised it shed some light as to why the able-bodied public thinks that disabled people are useless/rude/whiners. (Not all of the able-bodied public).
A lot of the answers were along the lines of "I'm in pain, my life sucks, but I do the best I can." Great freaking attitude if you ask me. One person wrote "I'm broken." Those were her exact words. Really? That is what you want the general public to know about being a service dog user?
Yes, it gets annoying people pointing, shouting, petting, commenting Etc., but if it's such a big deal, then don't use a stinking dog. A lot of the people commenting have invisible disabilities and so could get away with being in public without people knowing they are disabled. So, if it's such a big deal, get rid of the dog and quit bitching. My disability is visible all of the time. The only time someone doesn't know is if I'm out in public without the dog sitting down-then I just look like a space cadette eating my lunch. My gaze doesn't focus on anything as my eyes are both prosthetic. Plus, my right eye is shaped strangely due to radiation treatment I under went to try to eradicate the cancer that was in my retina. So, basically, I always look disabled. And do you know what I say to that? Who the F*** cares. I am who I am and if the general public is uncomfortable with that, that is their problem. I'm not broken, I'm just different. I do things differently and sometimes certain things are a greater pain in the ass for me than sighted people, but oh well. It's the cards I've been dealt and it has helped shape who I am.
Sure, I've had some horrible experiences because of it, and I'm sure I'll have more. Yes, I get annoyed at the pointing, shouting, staring, petting Etc., but everyone has bad days. How is the able-bodied community going to be able to respect disabled bodies if we ourselves do not respect our differences? We're not broken. I'm not usually all in your face with my disability-if people ask questions, I will answer if I have time. I don't only talk about being blind to my friends, nor do I get all up in arms about someone who looked at me the wrong way. But, what I do get worked up about is when people with disabilities think we're "broken." Things will never change with that kind of attitude, especially coming from people who are experiencing it.
There is this British artist-I can't remember her name-but she is disabled and she sculpted herself nude and pregnant. She depicted her disability and just put it out there. She was, of course, ridiculed by some. They said it was ugly and horrific, but others saw it as beautiful. We need to be like her and embrace our bodies and see the beauty in them, regardless of your abilities, shape, size...whatever people may discriminate for. It's something I struggled with as a teenager. I never thought I was broken, but I was uncomfortable with my difference. It wasn't until I went through university and grew up a bit that I realised that difference is beautiful and definitely not broken.