When you live with a disability you hear so many abled people say thinks about us that they legimately think is true but actually is not true at. It is hard to live with disability because you are forced to put up with ablelism and it only makes it harder when you hear your friends saying things about disabled people that just aren’t true. Spreading lies about any disability negativiely impacts us and it makes it harder to spread awareness because people pity us and think our lives are much worse than they. Living with a disability is hard and has it’s challenges but it’s not as hard or miserable as society makes it out to be and a lot of the reason it’s so hard is because we don’t have resources to make our lives easier or we are forced to deal with inaccessibility. Noone cares to address this issue that so many disabled people need just to function and leave their home. In this post I am going to talk about a few myths you probably have heard and maybe even thought was true but actually there is no truth to it at all!
People with disabilities are in constant pain-In one of my volunteer positions, someone approached me and asked am I in constant pain because of my disability? I am in constant pain now but at the time I was not so I said no because truthfully most people with my disability have some aches and pains occassionally but not usually chronic pain. If I were to be asked that question today my answer would have had to be different so it’s important to know that although some disabilites have pain no all of them do. When you have Spina Bifida some people will have chronic pain like many other disabilities while other people may not experience any pain at all. Some people chronic pain and are in pain all the time but not everyone does and it really depends on what disability you have and the severity of it.
All disabilities use wheelchairs- Not all disabilities will require a wheelchair but some of the more invisible ones that experience less pain may not need it. Some people who have paralysis in their legs and difficulty walking may need a wheelchair for short or long-term use but that won’t be the case for all disabilities. If you have Spina Bifida depending on what form you have and the severity of it you may not need a wheelchair full-time but only need it to for part-time use. I use my crutches to walk short distance and do need my wheelchair for longer distances but my wheelchair does not come in my house unless I am recovering from surgery and need extra help with tranfers. Some milder forms of Spina Bifida may not need a wheelchair at all and whether or not you will need one depends on what disability you have and the severity of it.
Abled and disabled people live completely different lives- Disabled people have challenges that most abled people don’t have but our lives are not much different from an abled person. We have responsibilities like paying bills and doing laundry just like abled people do that we have to get done. The only difference is maybe we have to make different accommodations so we can complete these tasks but for the most part, it’s pretty much similar to the life of an abled person.
All people with physical disabilities have limited feeling in their legs- I have limited sensation in my legs and have limited sensation below my knees and none in my feet but not all disability are that ways but my friend Karly who has Muscular Dystrophy has complete feeling in her legs and feet. Every disability is different and not all disabilities have a loss of sensation in their legs and feet so never assume a disabled person cannot feel their legs because there is a good chance you could be wrong. If you think they wouldn’t mind then ask them first don’t make wrongful assumptions.
Dating is out of the question- When you are disabled you will face more discrimination when going into the dating world than abled people and it may be more difficult to find a parter but it’s not something that is totally out of the question or that we should give up on. You may have to plan your date more carefully than abled people would to make sure it’s accessible but you learn to work through these challenges as a disabled person while in the dating game and some people even find the love of their life during that experience.
It’s alright to park in an accessible parking spot if it’s only for a few minutes- Whether you are planning on using that space for an hour or five minutes it is never okay to use it if you are perfectly capable of using a regular spot and walking the longer distance. When you use an accessible parking spot and don’t really need it you are taking away spots from people who aren’t just lazy and can’t walk the longer distance. Here in the US it’s actually illegal to park in an accessible parking spot without an permit which sometimes you can get away with if noone is checking (still wrong to park there ) but you never know if they are doing random checks trying to catch people parking illegally and I don’t know about you that’s not how I would want to spend my vacation!
Disabled people can’t have sex– If all disabled people couldn’t have sex it really would be depressing to be disabled so luckily that’s not true for most disabled people because a lot of them do have families and have definitely have had sex! I don’t have a partner so I have never had sex before but if I found one I could because my disability does not limit that. For some disabilities, it may be more difficult to get pregnant or physically challenging to have sex but that is no the case for all disabilities and it really depends on what disability you have because not everyone has this limitation. If you want to say this with some accuracy you need to say some disabled people can’t have sex not all of them because as soon as you say that it’s completely false.
Disabled people only date other disabled people- Almost every single person abled person I have known has either thought this or something like it and it drives me crazy everytime I hear it because it’s just so wrong! Granted friendships can be easier when all your friends are disabled because you don’t face as much ablelism but that doesn’t mean just because we may hang around more disabled people than abled that our partners will also be disabled and that we are only attracted to disabled people . Disabled people sometimes will have partners with their same disability or another one but not always and a lot of the time we do fall in love with people who don’t have any disability at all. If I fell in love with someone I wouldn’t care if that person was abled or disabled because all that matters to me is being able to provide and care in the best way that you can. If you are able to do that it’s good enough for me because we can work through the challenges.
Disabled people aren’t as smart as abled people- A disabled person may need assistive devices to get around but it does not make a person smart or dumb but I know a lot of disabled people that are highly intelligent and just as smart as an abled person would be. . Some disabled people may have learning delays and need extra assistance in school but that doesn’t make a person stupid and nothing infuriates me more when people talk to me like I am a child but talk to abled people normally.
Living with a disability can be exhausting because disabled people are forced to live with ableism but that’s not the hardest and it’s dealing with all the stigma. Society pretty much hates disabled people and some people even tell disabled people that we should all die which I never understand because why is an abled person’s life more worthy and a disabled person? Disabled people have more challenges than abled people but we are still worthy of life and I think if more people understood our disabilities people would be less scared and understand better that our lives are not as horrible as society makes it out to be. Spreading lies about a disability only makes people think badly about and not want to talk to us because they think our disability is contagious or are unable to have a conversation. We need to break this stigma and normalize disability because it hurts disabled people and so many of us are lonely without friends because of it. What myths about disability have you heard that aren’t true?
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