Ableism Among Us

by Iria Vasquez-Paez 2 years ago in health

Stop it, because this is not helpful.

Ableism Among Us

I have just the material I need to discuss ableism. I took a class at my job training school on the job search. Class went by quickly for me because I was having a good time—until we went to the teacher’s office and I sat down. I’m around four foot ten and somebody was loudly discussing my height as though I wasn’t there. She said, “you are a foot tall.” I was waiting for my chance to use a job search website that searches by zip code. She was discussing my height with a male coworker as if I wasn’t there. I whispered at her something scathing that went like, “I know you are talking about me. I know when I’m being bullied. You need to stop.” Whispers intimidate people more than loud shouts.

I’m not quite sure if my teacher heard the remarks or not. I have since been contemplating how to demand bullying reparations from bullies, as in financial reparations. If some feel they can demand this for past enslavement, then I can demand this for past, present, and future bullying. I mean, I demand $500 from the perpetrator. I could use the money. My height and my ability to haul a large trolley for my stuff is not an issue for me.

I wasn’t even thinking about bullies and, yet there the ableists are. I can’t help my height. I cannot suddenly grow to six foot in order to give you a better impression. Harassing somebody for taking medication is something I have also experienced, by other mentally ill people also on meds, that is. I can’t just suddenly have a pancreas. My pancreas has been dead since around 1999 when I started infusion in 2000 to 2001. I used to make small amounts of insulin to compensate for high blood sugar highs, but now it is totally done since when my infusion set goes down, I struggle with high blood sugar which makes me not feel good at all.

How dare you pick on somebody tired? I was tired, hungry, and ready to go home. Your ableism is a threat to my mental health by triggering my PTSD. It is outright discrimination. One way to counter disability is to say person with bipolar or person with schizophrenia or person with OCD. Some people also use the term "person with diabetes." For my friends on the autism spectrum, it is acceptable to say "person with autism." I was totally off the hook for autism since 2012 when I underwent psychological testing to figure out I had schizophrenia. I’m not always imagining bullies everywhere I go but the taunting voices, the humiliating voices, and the voices calling me names haunt me sometimes, and are louder some days than others. No disabled person, by the way, goes off calling someone a cripple or a retard. No disabled people say “hey retard” to each other. Or even using the term gimp. This is why I’m going to start making bullies pay up by intimidating them and asking them for financial reparations.

Like I said, I could use the money. I have to pay my taxes this year, but I’m not able to make up the loss as I can’t hitch a ride to a study I’m in because my ride is dealing with allergies. I have to write copy to make extra money, type for a transcription company that is exclusively online transcription, and keep trying to find a job. All I need is a headset for this one teaching English gig. They did hire me, but I have to finish the IT test and onboarding. This computer, a MAC, might be functional to take their IT test and pass it. I have another computer—a PC—which needs a monitor. Message to all past, present, and future bullies: I demand financial reparations for your bullying. All bullies are required to pay up $100-$500 or donate to Vocal Media anonymously, more than $1. Ableism can come in formats such as kneeling on the ground and organizing something but, oh wait, I can’t kneel because my knee is stiff from dislocating my kneecap, as in it popped out of joint. I also fractured my tibia in one day. Some medical professionals I have known are into using the word “gimp,” but this person is a nurse. Let’s not say where he works, but you know who you are. Anytime I hear ableism leveled at me, I will intimidate the ableist into parting with their money from now on.

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Iria Vasquez-Paez

I have a B.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State. Can people please donate? I'm very low-income. I need to start an escape the Ferengi plan. 

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