Monday, September 5, 2011

Discriminating Behaviour

I feel like people either believe I am okay and can manage on my own now so they don’t offer help, OR they have decided what my disability is and base their decisions/expectations/judgments on their perception of my limitations.

I know my limitations; I know stairs and heavy boxes are my enemy; I know what to do when I get winded or dizzy, and I know that I feel better and heal more when I am on stage and involved in theatre.

Not hiring or casting me based on your perception of my limitations is discrimination. Additionally: it’s fucked up.

Being treated like that is like when I go into restaurants with meat eaters who know that I am vegan and they spend 20 minutes listing all the “vegan” stuff I can eat. Hey, thanks, but it’s my diet and I know how to manage it; let me worry about that.

I realize these people mean well—or that they don’t recognize how rude what they do is—but doing it feels to me just as bad as not understanding what I am dealing with. I am in pain pretty much all the time. Nerve pain, joint pain, bone pain… and the best things for it are massages, swimming, and any kind of dance/movement. These things renew me and invigorate me. They also get endorphins flying which lifts my spirit and fights the depression I’m dealing with as well.

So, please don’t make judgments on me based on what you think I cannot do. How will that encourage me to do more? I can’t deny I am disappointed that this is being done to me. I don’t ever expect anyone who hasn’t had cancer, gone through chemo and dealt with the follow-up medications to fully get the picture, but if I say I can do it the least you could do is give me a shot.

xxo M