That is what is all comes down to, from a very early age everything was geared to being or becoming more independent. To your average Joe or Jane this means, getting a job, getting enough cash to move out from your parents house. To a disabled person however this independence can mean something most of the able bodied world takes for granted, like dressing yourself for example.
I am lucky I suppose my disability is by the standards of many quite mild, so I am able to function and live a “normal” life. I have a job, a handful of good friends, family and I live alone in my house where I pay full rent and have no assistance at all.
So as independent as one gets.
This year I have found I have become less mobile. Things are starting to hurt, or even worse just not work in the way of which I have become accustomed. (I’m not talking about issues that Viagra can fix here either) So where do I turn? Again the average Joe or Jane in the street seems to be under the impression that the disabled are either paralympians capable of bounding over buildings like the bionic man or so disabled that they cannot possibly function and have all the help and money to enable them to live out their days in comfort.
So in the view of the outsider, disabled people either, A don’t need more help or B have all the help they need.
Let me add my C to that list of options.
From a early age I was taught and pushed to be as independent as possible, to do things myself. This has brought me opportunities and allowed me to meet many wonderful people but it’s made me very single minded and set in my ways at at times a bastard to live with or be around. I haven’t needed help, so I have been off the radar. No huge social services file, no massive cash hand out that means I don’t have to work, no case worker I can ring up and get someone to help me.
In order for me to get assistance for anything, I have to be referred by a GP. The GP probably knows less than me about my disability and I have to wait along with everyone else to receive treatment from a guy who specialises in sporting injury. My sporting days are long gone!
Independence has for the most part been a very good thing for me. I just wish someone would have told me to ramp it back a little so that it would be easy to get support I need now. It seems the more you do, the less is offered, which when you think about it is very wrong. Only option to keep on going until you drop.
Still Happy 4th of July America from the old foe across the pond.
“Lincoln Memorial July 4th 1” by J.W.Photography from Annapolis – Flickr. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons.