Confession time: Mary Evelyn and I have never met, but I fully and admittedly want to be her friend [Tangent: Not like in a creepy “I wanna wear you like a skin suit” kind of way more like in a “I wanna drink hot cocoa in footie pjs and discuss the crazy of the world with you” kinda way. Ok, that sounds equally weird! I guess I will leave it at the fact that I feel we are kindred spirits and she seems like a real person, who is not always the case for Internet friends.] I was introduced to her blog and the adorable beyond measure Sim Monster through my friend Beth, who I am lucky enough to know well in real life. It seems like each time I read ‘What do you Do, Dear?’, it resonates with me somehow and I want to give Mary Evelyn an actual (instead of a virtual) high five or fist bump or roof raise…or whatever the kids are doing now. This happened last week when I read her post about the mythology of the supermom. The whole time, I was practically yelling at my laptop, “YES!”
Contrary to popular (and very generous) stereotyping, people with disabilities are not all gentle virtuous souls who need to be treated with kid gloves. We are not always nice. We are not always inspirational. And pedestals do not come standard issue with diagnoses.
Whew! That felt good to say!
In my 31 years of living with Muscular Dystrophy and flowing in and out of various disability groups, I can affirm that it takes all kinds to have a disability. There are kind people. There are funny people. There are boring people. There are ‘woe is me’ people. There are people that want a pat on the back for everything they do. There are people who talk incessantly (guilty). And then there are people that are just plain ol’ b-holes. Sometimes these divergent personality types are clouded because according to those with very little direct experience, we are all “positive disabled people, with great spirits and patience.” That BS is pretty much the stuff Chicken Soup for the Soulbooks are built around. I mean it’s great and all, but the assertion that all people with disabilities can do no wrong is completely false. [Tangent: If you don’t believe me, read my blog about Oscar Pistorius. Sheesh.]
As much as I wish I could be, I am not always a sweet, patient and positive individual. Despite my best efforts, my attitude isn’t always great. Sometimes it really sucks. And if it does, you should let me know. Don’t let me get away with it.
You wouldn’t let someone else would you?