hard truths

Special Needs

Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities or who are perceived to have disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled. ~ Wikipedia

I made the mistake of reading comments on an Instagram post in favor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They were mostly positive. But, there was one naysayer who stood out for his initial lack of vitriol. He was just mildly snarky. But, it was like he had committed some heinous sin, instead of posting a disagreement rooted in ignorance.

He was immediately under attack. Mostly the responses remained as snarky comebacks. However, one of them made me cringe.

It sounds like your boss is good at hiring people with special needs.

I couldn’t scroll past without addressing it.

Back in the day, the insult used was, “retard,” frequently accompanied by a physically mocking action. Much like 45’s mocking actions regarding a reporter who experiences a physical disability.

Another one is, “riding the short bus.”

However you frame it, it’s showing a prejudice toward people with disabilities, especially intellectual ones.

How about how mental health challenges are referred to?

What are you, crazy?

Man, that was INSANE!

She’s so bipolar.

That one’s not right in the head.

Or the fact that so many movies and TV shows portray mental health patients as dangerous killers and all the shootings being reported as someone with mental illness, before an evaluation can be done?

The stigma and prejudices against people with physical, developmental, and mental disabilities is real and insidious. Just as we need to recognize, call out, and address racism, in all its forms, sexism, genderism, and sizism, we need to call out ableism.

It isn’t about political correctness, it’s about human rights.

For more on my perspective on ableism, go here.


Inventory, grief, and comfort

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Matthew 5:4
5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

I haven’t really considered that just journalling my day to day experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc. is part of a 4th step inventory process, but I think it is, at least for me.

Since starting this blog and restarting my recovery journey, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional and spiritual roller coaster.  Experiencing some really good “high” days and recently, during the few days leading up to Christmas, some really dark “low” days.  During the low days, I didn’t blog, but I did write out what was happening, in my relationship with one very important family member, and the other members of our immediate family as well.

I actually listened and heard what this person had to say to me about how my current actions had triggered and contributed to feelings of woundedness and rejection.  Even though I absolutely love this person with all of my being, my actions were sending a completely different message.  It was very difficult and painful to hear this.  It grieved my heart to see and hear the pain this loved one was experiencing as a result of me practicing my “addiction” – I don’t even know how to define it other than my self-involved, disassociation from everyone in my world because I was tired of being in pain.

So, we grieved, I grieved.  I am being comforted in the knowledge that my relationship with this person is being strengthened by my recovery process and being willing and able to listen to hard truths about me and my actions without getting defensive and wallowing in self-pity.  We have a long ways to go, but it’s progress.