Disability Discrimination and Me.
I’ve seen posts circulating social media recently about how discrimination has affected people and their lives, and also about how people should be free to be themselves without the worry of being mocked, judged or bullied.
Being disabled, I’ve been discriminated against a few times in my life. But it’s not just in the workplace or at a job interview, it was in my personal life, too. It was from high school crushes and so-called friends. It was random people in the street. I’ve had guys say they wouldn’t date me because I’m a “cripple”; me having a stump was repulsive to them and a total turn off. I’ve had friends say they don’t want me to go swimming with them in case my stump scares their younger sibling. I’ve had another friend say I can’t go for a bike ride with them because I’d be too slow. Those are just a couple of examples. Kids can be cruel, too. Growing up, I had my fair share of comments from kids making nasty remarks about the way I walk and even about the way I talk (I’ve scarring from having tubes down my throat as I was a prem baby, born 13 weeks early so my voice is now husky and quiet). And I’m not going to lie, it really affected me! I often worry what people will think when I tell them I’m disabled. Every time I got into a relationship with a new guy I’d brace myself when telling them about my disabilities (I’m also blind in one eye) in case of rejection. It can be scary. You don’t know what their reaction is going to be. Will they accept you for who you are or run for the hills?
Other than a few bad apples, I’ve been fairly lucky in my life to have surrounded myself with very caring and supportive friends and family who love me for me. We’ve certainly had some laughs down the road in regards to my prosthetic leg and funny mishaps. I will never live down the toe socks episode, that’s for sure! Or there was the time my sister and I went down the slide as kids. She was in front of me and for some reason held on to my prosthetic leg. As we were sliding down she accidentally pulled it off and it flew a few feet on to the wood chip ground. Suffice to say there were a few shocked faces! And that’s just a couple out of many stories for you haha. I’ve never taken myself seriously. Why have a chip on your shoulder and be angry at the world when you can find the funny? Laugh, love and live life to the best of your ability. There’s no point being angry and bitter all the time; it’s faaar too exhausting!
I went on to have a career in business administration where I was with the same company for 12 years before I left to start a family. I have since worked in retail over the Christmas period for the past few years. Marks and Spencer were incredibly understanding of my disability and were so lovely to work for. Sadly, I couldn’t work for them last Christmas because I’d had my second baby so wasn’t ready to return to work yet.
Now that I have a little family of my own, I hope to bring them up with the same outlook on life. I will always teach them to be whoever the heck they want to be, do whatever job they want to do, and love whoever they want to love. They’ll get no judgement from me, just my love and support.
#disability #discrimination #loveislove #livelife #beyou #thisisme #acceptance #bekind #amputee #disabled