“Feeding Ourselves To The Wolves

Maria R. Palacios

 

They say we don’t have to

disclose our disabilities,

but we are constantly

having to do so.

We do not owe you

the skin and bones of our disabled story.

And yet

we give it to you

over and over

because not doing so

will make us even more

invisible.

 

You want to know

how we cope, how we live

in our disabled bodies…

intimate shit like

how we wipe our asses when we have short arms,

or how we have sex when we have no limbs

or

how we pee if we’re paralyzed,

or if being blind is as dark as it sounds

or if being disabled means always being jealous

of nondisabled people

because you  believe

that somehow becoming disabled would be

the end of the world…the end

of your world.

 

You admire the disabled because

ignorance, fear and pity look better dressed up

as inspiration.

It becomes easier to say “You’re so inspiring”

rather than

“Cripples are interesting to watch.” Or

“Glad to see people like you out and about”

Or

“I’m so glad I’m not disabled”

Or

“If I were disabled,

I would just want to kill myself.”

 

And society has no problem

wanting to kill the disabled.

They kill us in movies and in real life.

in movies they paint us as bitter, pitiful

characters who cannot conceive the thought

of being able to live a fulfilling life

in a disabled body

because nobody

would love you any more

or want you any more,

and because unless you can walk and talk,

and do everything in the conventional

able-bodied way,

life is not worth shit.

And that is

the bullshit portrayal of most disabled lives

in the movies.

 

Then, in real life,

society secretly wishes for a “cripmageddon”

which is a wish for a crip-free world.

They want to heal us

or make us disappear.

I really do believe

there is a  deeply rooted, fear based,

medical model

wish for a world free of disabled people.

 

They want to kill us and they do so slowly,

by eliminating funds and killing programs

that give us a chance to live

in unity

close to those in the community

rather

than an institution

or some shit-hole assisted living place

that houses the throwaways

of society…the ones

labeled too broken for anything…

too broken to work…

too broken to consider

a human resource…

a life worth saving.

 

I think that’s one reason why

we, as disabled people

agree to feed you the skin and bones

of our disabled story

because you seem so unable to see

that a real person exists

in each of us.

 

We feel forced to disclose

the intimate details of our disabled lives…

let you satisfy

the hungry wolves of your curiosity

just so you can digest

some

of our truths.

 

 

 

 

 

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