I don’t have perfect teeth, I’m not stick-thin. I do worry about the expectation to look a certain way. It’s ridiculous that loving the way you look seems such an unrealistic goal. I think actresses who are really successful are the ones who are comfortable in their own skin and still look human.
Sleepy Saturday curled up watching Doctor Who
It sucks because people who aren’t fat will never understand. Like you’ll never know what it’s like when someone says the word fat and you instantly feel like it’s a direct attack no matter what the context. You’ll never know what it’s like standing next to someone and measuring up every part of their body to yours. You’ll never know what it’s like to be self conscious while eating, to feel like people are judging you for eating, to feel like you have to eat slower and not seem too happy to be eating because people will judge you. You’ll never know what it’s like to have someone touch you and you praying they don’t feel your fat and are grossed out. Like it honestly just really sucks because your entire life and thought process is dictated by your weight.
the Impossible Girl + silhouettes
such a beautiful place, to be with friends.
So this is an example of what a disabled person looks like. You’ll notice that besides the medical bracelet & knee braces I look pretty healthy … which actually puts me in the majority of disabled folks. There is simply no way of knowing if a person is disabled by looking or even interacting with them.
But Nina, you say, this is crazy. I totally saw you somewhere and you were doing things and have conversations and being acitive. Surely you can do SOMETHING for work, right? I mean I’ve seen you be active?
Wrong! Like many disabled people, my abilities are highly variable, and I am only able to pull off periods of activity and interaction with tons of rest on either side. Basically if you see me out in public a) I’m probably feeling better than usual and b) I’m likely using a big chunk of my energy for the day. Even though I have an awesome job with flexible hours and the ability to work from bed I still only manage about 2 hours a week, and trust me I try so hard to increase that. I love my job, and it’s my only income so I’m plenty motivated, the ability to do more is just not there. If I stopped going to doctors appointments and completely gave up my small amount of recreation I am still able to do I could *maybe* get that to 8 hours a week. See my problem? Especially since I’m too ill to attend college right now and I physically cannot do most entry level jobs (or really most jobs period as I cannot sit or stand for extended periods of time, I can’t predict which days I am going to be able to work, I can’t drive, I can’t reach above my head, almost always have some injured joint in a brace, can’t read efficiently, have trouble tracking with my eyes … you get the point)
And yes the fact that I am able to exercise doesn’t mean I’m not disabled. It’s so often more complicated than “can’t walk”or “can’t hear” (and let’s be honest here: many of those people are able to work quite successfully, which is just not something that’s possible for me right now). For me it’s a complicated combination of a head injury and a genetic disorder that gave me incredibly unstable joints as well as stretchy blood vessels that let blood pool in my legs when standing for long periods of time until I pass out (however if I’m doing certain types of exercises my leg muscles can counteract that).
I could go on and on elaborating all the many ways I am effected by those diagnoses and associated conditions but tbh it doesn’t really matter what the specifics are. My particular combination might be unique, but there are so many young people like me who “don’t look sick” yet are disabled by unseen conditions. People who, like me, want nothing more to go back to school or work and yet live through the frustration of not being able to. And people who like me are constantly told they are lazy and dishonest for presumably cheating the government out of disability payments, which trust me is basically a myth- getting disability in the US is incredibly difficult, frustrating, time consuming, and degrading. (I do not have disability, although maybe if I start now and the stars align I could in a few years,and even then the payments wouldn’t even cover my monthly medical costs let alone anything else).
Anyway, point is this. Stuff is complicated. If you have limited information you might be tempted to think someone can’t possibly be as sick or disabled as they say they are. Problem is, there is really no way to know. And there is really nothing to be gained for doing so - trust me being at home doing almost nothing all day gets old really fast, you tend to be ignored rather than get attention from peers, and disability payments are not easy to come by. Soooo I’m gonna ask you to do something crazy and believe what people tell you, even if they don’t look or seem sick. Realize you don’t have all the information, respect what people tell you, and kill the myth that young healthy looking people who say they’re sick or disabled must be getting something out of it.