I need my able bodied friends/family to read this…

March 24, 2012 at 6:35 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

and try to understand why persons with disabilities get to a point where they do not trust any of you.

Peripheral details have been changed here…but this really happened. [ my friend from high school. Michelle S From Florida passed this on]

Anna and her daughter Molly live in a building for people with disabilities in the sunny state of Florida…

They are really generous folks and pass on good advice and help to anyone who comes to them…

They met a young fella with disabilities, who was visiting someone else in the building..he was 35 or so…He lived with his mother.

Over time, he trusted them and would rather visit them, than his own cousin.  And told them what his home life was like…

The house was cluttered enough for the parents to be called ‘hoarders.’

He never saw his disability check, because his parents used it all….

They had a spare apartment for him…and had told his doctors years ago that he was living in that, when in fact, the hoarding blocked it…and he lived on the couch downstairs…

Anna and Molly knew that things could be better for the young man, so explained how to get on a waiting list for their building…and the young man did so.

Furniture and household goods were purchased for him…kept in waiting at Anna and Molly’s, a grand Christmas party was thrown by Anna and Molly, and he and his mom had a great time.

Two days before his move in date…the complex got a call.  Someone claiming to be the young man himself, and sounding enough like him to fool the office staff…called and said he would decline the apartment.

The young man came two days later….and was told by his cousin the apartment was no longer available.

Of course…the parents weren’t going to let go of that money.  Not for anything. Even the difficulties of caregiving (such as it must have been) in the middle of a hoard wouldn’t pry their hands off that young man’s disability check.

Sometimes  we have loving family and friends that help us too much…they’re overprotective out of concern.

Sometimes, we have loving family and friends who consciously try to strike a balance between help and support and helping us handle a lot of things on our own.

And much more often than anyone knows…we cannot trust those with our DNA. We cannot trust those we believe to be our friends.

When I heard this one, it made me sick.  My hands shook for two hours. My stomach was a mess.

I’ve never been comfortable with ‘separatist’ movements among minority groups…it just always seemed like you’d miss too much, knowing only your own identity and no others…

But now, I begin to get it.  Not like I’m signing up…but there is a powerful attractive pull after hearing stuff like this.

I now understand better than ever persons with disabilities’ wish that  we could get the care we need, socialize and relate and count on those like us…and bond amongst ourselves….and handle every societal need without ever having to count on the abled. Not friends, not family, not aides or other professional caregivers.

…and lock those who would be predators out of our society…even as we’d have to lock out genuine able bodied allies at the same time.

We live among cavemen…the law of the jungle…can be acted out just down the street.

They didn’t just take his money.  They take his freedom every day, his thought, his spirit, and the hope of independence…

Someday, I truly hope they get called out for the way he has to live.

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Weary…

January 17, 2009 at 1:06 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

So, I’ve been surfing and lurking on some old and new style message boards for PWD’s…and it’s made me tired. More tired than dealing with a truly unwanted post op side effect that is making me housebound.

And gotten a bit staggered at the stories people are writing about….

And it’s all about targeting, vulnerability and, again and again…abandonment. (and it’s not just men abandoning women…while there’s more of that, there’s also a hefty amount of women bailing on men.)

A disabled person meets someone…that someone seems to be the answer, perhaps to a long long while without a physical relationship or a romantic one….not only do they have a relationship, the significant other appears quite positive about cohabitation and or marriage.

So the two move in together…and after a varying timeframe the drug problem, or the money problem or the abusiveness, or whatever is discovered…and a long time or short time after that the person leaves for their next victim, leaving, more often than not huge debts, or worse competing restraining orders, assault etc.

So, radically, this is what I say.

As you are goofily and shamelessly romantic and phyiscal with this person…who may turn out to be completely marvelous….

Part of the attraction for any predator is physical or emotional vulnerability, and people who exhibit these things are, let’s face it, more likely to be targeted.

Don’t tell them where you keep your checks or credit cards. If they stumble on them, put them somewhere else….

Keep your money completely separate. Track the joint expenses, and make sure there’s a fair balance between the amt of money you have/take in every month and the amount you’re paying out.

If you cohabit or marry, make sure the other person is utterly clear beforehand of the list of actions that they could take that would result in immediate separation or divorce. Use humor, but make completely certain they know you mean what you say.

And here, to me, is the most radical suggestion of all…

Have the romance the relationship, the real connection, but wait *years* before you move in with an able partner…because by then they’ll know if they really have the spine to have a longterm relationship with a disabled person. For some reason, for a lot of them, it’s some hugely terrifying thing….

(How many in the audience have had the breakup that begins with “I’m sorry, it’s me, I just can’t cope…” after the first physical crisis…or the second…My hand is raised…)

And then, from my own personal smoking ruin of a past relationship….don’t give another PWD a freepass and figure they’ll change, just because they understand impairment in many of the same ways you do…jerks, losers, and users are both able and disabled.

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Tortured Argument

November 11, 2007 at 10:17 AM (Abuse, Institutionalization, Torture, Waterboarding) (, , , , , , , , )

Here’s something that’s been waiting around in my brain for a couple of weeks and I finally have it clear enough to write:

First, let me say to potential critics: I am completely aware that the discussion of torture that has played out over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is meant to be discussed as military opponents employing specific techniques against enemy captives.

But when President Bush or Vice President Cheney (See? I can use the titles to respect the office, if not the holders of same.) says “We do not torture.”

…..

First, if they spoke to *any* person with mental ilness that has spent any time in an institutional setting, chances are, they or a fellow patient have suffered things at the hands of staff that a POW would agree is torture.

Also anyone with physical impairment who has spent time in an institutional setting as a child or adult, or in any nursing home could very possibly have the same story, if not about themselves, then about someone they know. If they, and a POW were in the same room, would the POW consider it torture? Yep.

So, lets put that to rest right away. The US does still torture its’ most vulnerable populations from time to time right here on our soil in individual cases or as a practice in some institutional settinngs.

And now, for the strictly military side.

I am laying aside *any and all* moral outrage arguments

Not because I don’t share them, but because the administration ain’t havin any of that.

I am laying aside all Constitutional arguments.

Not because I don’t share them, because the adminstration ain’t havin any of that either.

I vote for an argument they are going to have a ***** of a time countering.

Straightforward support of the troops, and grim pragmatism:

If we do this to 10 detainees, those who permit it, order it and execute it are saying by their actions that they believe that it is an acceptable risk that 100 of our own troops be tortured in the same ways or worse. Because, *that* is the response that would come.
Remember, as far as we know, we have beheaded no-one.

But Daniel Pearl, an able bodied civilian journalist was beheaded, *simply because we responded to 9/11 *at all.* Before Iraq was up and running.

We cannot waterboard if our policy is to protect our own troops.

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