Being a Woman with a Disability

If you are like me and you over-analyze everything until it is a mushy pulp, then maybe you are also confused about what it means to be a woman with a disability.

Before I begin: there are many other bloggers out there who focus solely on this topic, hundreds of articles, and academic research that is being done in this area. I am just going to attempt to fumble my way through what I think it means, or doesn't mean, or something..

*BIG SIGH* Here we go:

  • I think it means that I am particularly hungry for all things self-empowering. If you asked me to define the word self-empowerment I might give you some vague definition that has to do with... achieving goals, self-motivation, confidence, and knowledge to tackle the challenge at hand. Throw that all into a pot, wave your magic wand and voila! 
  • I believe it means I sometimes get condescending behavior and 'social norms' for how women are treated in society mixed-up, A LOT!
  • It means that I have yet to find high heels that don't look totally goofy and dumb when I wear them sitting down.
  • Being a young woman with a disability means I am, personally, staunchly averse to all behaviors related to "playing the victim" ... even when I may in fact be the victim in a situation, sometimes I would prefer to pretend that I actually am not.
  • It means that via nature's natural roles I find myself easily able to listen and empathize with others.
  • It means that it is important to me to be unafraid to take on leadership roles.
  • It means that it is even more important for me to be able to speak-up!
  • Sometimes I might misconstrue criticism as a personal fault, or as a fault of the disability - and be at a loss for what to do or how to respond. Many times I might be overly sensitive but you, of course, would never know.
  • I often think about the way I adapt to situations and always leap at the accommodations that are the most elegant, diplomatic, non-confrontational, non-disruptive. 
  • I sometimes wish to blend in.
  • It is important to me that I know my choices, options, and how to access all of them. Also that they are easy to access and not a logistical pain. 
  • It is important to me that others in my situation are given the same opportunities, same access, same boosts of encouragement. If they are not I automatically feel bad, that I did not do enough to help others achieve; part of my achievement means that others are also able to achieve.
  • I get frantically nervous about whether common practices of chivalry are done out of social politeness or out of assumptions that I cannot fend for myself.
  • I am naturally self-reflective and uncomfortable with some of the things that I discover about myself. Those thoughts hang out in my head for a while until something else 'more important' knocks it away. 
  • It is important that someday I am comfortable with being vulnerable, because I have recently discovered that is a powerful experience. However it is something that I would rather first flee from than face. 
Okay, ladies (and of course gents are allowed to opine..) what about you? What does this ever changing & evolving identity mean for you? 

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