Often students come to OOO because they are required to attend for class credit and write a paper. They can go to any type of meeting, AA, weight watchers, etc, and sometimes they choose us. That's the background.
It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time
It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000
Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! http://adaptfunrun.org/runner.php?id=7 I thank you very much for your support!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Recently someone came into OOO clutching their planner to their chest. They looked rather put together, in jeans and a top I think and like they have better hygiene then me and some of my friends. That coupled with the planner lead me to think that this person was a student.
One of the first things a staff member asks when someone new comes in is how they found us. "oh," I thought in my head after the answer, "this person is one of 'us'." Then I thought about the fact that neither I nor my friends (the ones who will admit to bad hygiene) look like we don't shower daily.
I've been thinking since then about how I'm still buying into the ableist assumption that people with psychiatric issues are "'...the woman waiting for the city bus with the drool,'" to quote a recent Baltimore Magazine article about Therese / Beyond Blue. If someone looks like they shower daily then they must be functional, NOT crazy, NOT one of "us." Forget about the ones of "us" who do shower daily.
I then connected this to my irrational intense fear about discussing my psychiatric issues (in any capacity) with my supervisor this summer. I'm terrified that people will find out that my hygiene is less then stelar (which is a big possibility now that it's out here on the net), that I will be outed, and they will judge me. But actually, people keep telling me recently that they would have had no idea if I hadn't outed myself.
I've also been thinking a lot about disclosure this summer, as you know. But one day, also recently, I was processing things out loud and realized that over several occasions I'd already told 4 or 5 people my supervisor works with regularly, so what was I hiding for? The ridiculousness. It feels so much better now that I've gotten that crap outta my head and can be truly transparent now. I was forsaking my entire value system not to be.
I've also gotten past the whole "crazy people are unreliable," stereotype I hope. I realized last night, which is why I'm writing this, that I AM generally unreliable, but it is unfair to project my personal feelings of inadequatecy onto another person, who probably, in all reality, does not hold that view. And who says that I have to be unreliable anymore? My biggest fear though is still that I will be unreliable transportation wise, which is something I have feared for the last 10 years. I had an OOO staff meeting 5 days ago and I was picked up 3 minutes before the meeting started. If the meeting was only 3 minutes away I would have rolled. I feel like this is a realistic fear.
I'm saddened that I have not been able to get rid of all these ableist fears. I thought I was enlightened enough now to know better. It's just that just because I know something, it doesn't mean other people know it, and apparently also, just because I know something it doesn't mean that I believe it. Interesting, isn't it?