I just get really angry sometimes. And it's about all the same old stuff.
But I just can't handle the high-functioning/low-functioning thing, not now, not ever. And I don't really have to, often, because this is a pretty small blog and most of the people I am in contact with as a result are people with autism-ish disabilities, or people who get it. But sometimes I end up reading comments from people like Harold Doherty and I just...I can't do it. It just is too much.
Partly this is because--I mean, if you read my stuff you know that sometimes I have thought a lot about killing myself or hurting myself. Sometimes I've had to sort of disappear from myself because things are so hard. I have a lot of brain problems. And right now I get the privilege of being close with a lot of people, but this feels like a privilege because I used to be very much alone. But the social stuff is the least of it. Cognitively, and emotionally, a lot of things are unbearable sometimes.
And I just seriously can't handle these characterizations of "the kind of people with autism who don't want a cure" as being a person who isn't really affected and thinks everything is great. People who say those things don't live my life. Usually, they don't live any kind of disabled life. They don't understand that a person can be very taxed and still usually want to live. They don't understand that a person can want to die, but still think that a cure isn't the only solution to feeling that way.
I hate having to always pull this out, because really anyone should assume that people who are involved in anti-ableism know people with severe disabilities--but I know people with severe disabilities, mostly through being staff for them and volunteering with them (which is a weakness, I'd like to get to know more severely disabled people through self-advocacy and in my everyday life). And...it's not any different, when it comes down to life. They're not tragic people. Most people have the equivalent of what I was talking about the other day, when I was talking about wanting to die. People have things that move them through life, things that are special to them.
Some people with severe disabilities, like people with mild and moderate and whatever you want to call it disabilities, are very lonely and very sad and are not getting the help they need. This is a tragedy. But we, disabled people, are still not the tragedy.
I really can't handle, with how much stuff hurts sometimes, seeing people like me characterized as not really having any problems and not really being affected by disability. Things are really bad and people who are invested in the tragedy model of disability will never be empathetic enough to understand how bad things are, because I don't consider myself a tragedy and therefore I must not be suffering ever.
One problem with this whole way of thinking, this division, is that it makes all my suffering and all my hard work meaningless. These people think that if you do something that people with autism aren't supposed to be able to do, then it's just because you don't really have autism. This is one of the attitudes that most makes me want to kill myself, because I know that even if I work really hard and accomplish a lot, no one will respect me for this because they will just see me reaching a level that a person without autism could reach, and refuse to believe that I'm not just a normal (or normal enough) person operating at my base level. Sometimes it feels like there's no motivation for me to do anything.
The last problem is just that one of the people that Doherty et. al. most like to use as an example of someone who has a really easy time is one of my best friends and is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. I know that my friend is not a person who is unaffected by disability. He is probably the epitome of someone who is working way beyond their means, and he pays for this all the time. I love and respect him for doing this to himself, and I feel that even if someone doesn't agree with his work, they should respect him for how hard he works to do it.
But they don't, they don't, they don't, and that breaks my heart (because I'm easy, I guess, kind of soft), and it just makes me, more than anything, sad to read what these people have to say. It gives me a sense of being erased and thrown away, of being completely nothing. I really don't know what they want from us--if we all just laid down and died, would they believe that we're really disabled, or would they just change their definition of what disability is?