On disabilities

So I just started work at a bakery/deli/coffee shop. It’s only my second week, but I am no longer wearing my trainee badge. Just my name badge, and I’m still on probation for another 11 weeks but things are going pretty okay.

But my disabilities, and the disabilities of others, or abilities as it were, are being thrown into sharp relief. For instance, the custodian? Cleaning lady? She likes to be called the cleaning lady, so I’ll go with that. She’s openly got OCD. She is very proud of it–she says it’s the reason we always pass inspection with flying colors.  Some of the girls aren’t so great about it though.

I worry they won’t be understanding of mine, and I have…a lot of differences. I’m autistic, I have chronic pain that involves joint subluxations and various other symptoms, and I have depression and anxiety. I’m medicated for most of this, aside from the autism and the main part of my pain.

Someone found out today, though. My ankle popped partially out of socket, and I couldn’t help but limp. One of my supervisors noticed and commented. She was perfectly nice about it, and considerate once I explained, asking if I needed to sit. I didn’t really, I just popped the joint back with a twist of my ankle and a clicking noise and boom, I was okay (I mean, it does hurt a little–kind of like when you crack your knuckles too hard when they don’t want to and you get really sore and stiff). But I’m used to pushing through things, and I think it freaked her out. It freaks a lot of people out.

But it’s a part of me. All of it is. I don’t consider myself a person WITH disabilities–I’m a disabled person. It’s all me, and it’s all okay. Well, it sucks, but I’m allowed to be how I am and there’s nothing bad about ME because I’m disabled. The disabilities are bad, but they don’t make me bad. They’re a very real, very big part of me.

I’m getting a doctor’s note tomorrow to bring in to discuss with the store owners. I haven’t mentioned any of it to them yet, but I wanted proof before I brought it up. I’ve been fired for not having a doctor’s note and mentioning it before. People really do discriminate.

I grew up with that. My father is paranoid schizophrenic and was only treated on and off because he denied and denies he has anything “wrong” with him, and my family didn’t want to admit something was wrong. They were forced to recently, but that’s another story. But I got the message early on that mental illness and disability wasn’t to be talked about. It took me a long time to get over my older sister insisting I was “crazy” (and a bunch of other stuff, but again that’s another story).

So I’m just…taking it a day at a time. And now I’m sitting here like, “SHUT UP RIAH HOLY SHIT YOU DRAG ON AND ON” so I apologize for long-windedness and not really having a point aside from just…talking out the shit that comes up.

Til next time.

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