Dear ten or so readers:
A team of three writers with disabilities have decided to write a book. Of course this includes me. Our book will be about what it is like to be disabled in America, trying to have a life and even trying to remain employed.
1. A sociopath tried to swoon me and did not get his way even though I am disabled. However, he did manage to convince my friend that he needed her car. He stole her car. She got her car back but it was damaged. The police are still trying to find him.
2. A friend decided to get retrained for a job. When ordered to perform occupational therapy on a 90-year-old woman who was begging to be left alone, he was dismissed from the program for adhering to her request. How cruel to the patient! Don’t patients have any rights at all?
3. After being nearly killed by a drunk driver, a student teacher advisor chastised me for not being able to complete a sixth grade math problem. Well, obviously I had some cognition issues after being hit at 50 miles per hour and thrown into a semi-truck. She, however, demonstrated great skill in whacking a student right in front of the entire class. I was kicked out of the building of course.
4. Despite having MS but not even knowing it, I made a six hour long trek along the beach at Point Defiance Park in 1990 because my then friend and I did not know the tide had come in. I kept yelling for the coast guard until she said, "The coast guard is NOT coming!" We kept walking until we emerged on Salmon Beach, WA. We were quite cold and very hungry. It was December.
5. My claim for social security was approved on my first attempt. I even got a call from an adjudicator who said she was sorry I was so ill. I don’t recall filling out the paperwork to be honest. I later learned only one-third of all claims go through on the first attempt.
6. I fell down at Safeway in 1998. A team to rival that of any code called in an emergency room swarmed around me until they figured out I am ill, not a slip and fall lawsuit. I was mortified. They told me I did not have to pay for my items. I went from potential lawsuit to something to pity in less than a half an hour.
7. I was 32 when I had to use a cane for the first time in my life. Men stopped looking at me. Well, I did not mind this. It’s not that I ever take men looking at me personally, it’s just annoying. Men are visual creatures but I think they need to leave women alone sometimes. I would advise using a cane. It just upsets men to think you are not fit to bear their children due to illness.
8. My former landlords used me to get their apartment upgrades via government funding. Now that the apartment actually meets the standards one in the competitive market would demand, they have a renter who pays the full amount. In other words, they bilked me and the government to get a better renter. Oh, and they told me to wash my dishes in the bath tub when my sink broke. Go team exploit the disabled!
9. Paratransit in Pierce County approved me for services yesterday. Today I got a printed apology card. This means they are sending them out in mass. I mean, a handwritten apology would mean this is personal. A printed one means they are just sending them out as they have to. Meanwhile, they are hoping most of the disabled just give up while they keep getting paid to exploit the disabled.
10. Oh that’s about enough for now. –Alison Whiteman