Well hello

Welcome to the blog of me, Paige Tabone; student, writer, nerd, self-critic, telly-addict and self-confessed Cerebral Palsy-er (or wobbly if you will). It is the latter that has brought me to blogging. Ramming my way through the bullshit stereotypes that surround disability, showing the undiluted truth of someone twenty-two years into living on the often bumpy and unpredictable road against what's seen as 'normal'.

I'm aware you might have just got lost trying to navigate yourself to a hilarious cat video; now you are looking bewildered as you see nether a ominous looking jump or an unwittingly naive cat. Yet whether you find yourself here by purpose, mistake or luck I welcome you and offer you to get yourself comfortable, grab a nice cup of tea or a strong, stiff drink and stay for a bit. You see this isn't a story about some poor, unfortunate girl with a disability; it's simply a story about a girl with a set of tits, a set of tires and a mission to set the disability misconceptions record straight...

Monday, 20 July 2015

Sorry, I'm Too Disabled...

Two people have said to me today that they are 'too disabled' to contribute to society; by my standards that is two too many. I have been talking to you about all the ways in which other people differentiate us from society, but the upsetting truth is some people with disabilities bring it upon themselves. I know that this post may rub some people up the wrong way and they may think that my view on this is unforgiving and inconsiderate, but so far you've valued me for my honesty and this needs to be said.

Not that long ago people with disabilities were locked up. We were seen as useless defects of society who had no purpose. We had to fight for our chance at equality and chain ourselves to buses in protest to even get the right to walk unaccompanied down the street. We are so damn lucky in comparison to now live a society where we are not treated like that anymore. Okay, I know it's not perfect. The government are conning us at every opportunity and the whole country isn't exactly built with a wheelchair in mind, but we are not locked up anymore; we have freedom. We can work, have kids, get married, drive, go drinking, drink too much, have sex, be sexy; my god if we put our minds to it I bet we could do whatever we damn well liked. So why choose to lock yourself up? It may not be a physical entrapment but letting your disability hinder you is worse than any cell. So when someone says to me 'oh I can't do that because I'm disabled', my reply is bullshit. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and living up to people stereotypes of disabled people; you are proving them right!  I can almost feel my blood turning molten in my veins. By saying that you are giving society exactly what it wanted 50 years ago, to have you mute and motionless, a thing to be pitied, a useless cripple. I for one can't think of anything worse.

Enough of this bullshit pity party.

If you do feel like that, then I'm sorry, but I urge you to get a grip and look at all the things you can do. Yes, I know some things are a physical impossibility. I'm quite aware that I'll never run a marathon anytime soon, or that someone with Muscular Dystrophy won’t be running around doing jumping jacks. Jeez, even carrying a cup without spilling it when you have CP can sometimes feel like the 'Krypton Factor', but that doesn't mean you are useless. Right now you are reading this. That means there are at least two things you can do; read and think. If you ask me that's a strong basis for pretty much anything. Those two qualities may seem insignificant but they can allow you to live your life. You can read a menu and make a decision on what you want to eat; or read the cinema listings for your local theatre and decided what to go and see; you even have the basics to be a really good employee.

You know what? So what if you can't walk? Just because your legs don't work doesn't mean your mind doesn't either. With a bit of drive and creativity you could do something like set up your own crafts business.

So what if you have limited movement? Technology is a wonderful thing! Pretty soon we are all going to be kick-ass robots anyway. Trust me, have you seen the film ‘Chappie’?

So what if you have 24 hour care? Some people pay a fortune for their own chef and chauffeur... I joke, PA's do a fabulous job and they are there to help be the person you want to be.

I might sound preachy and a little harsh and for that I'm sorry. I'm just sick of people putting themselves down. If we want to be seen as equals we have to accept ourselves as equals; get off out backsides and ramming ourselves full force out into the world around us. C'mon people it's a beautiful day... ish.