Only Anecdotal

No numbers, just stories


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I resolve. I solve. I wish I could solve the difficulties I see in the lives everywhere.

In particular, I am thinking this eve of 2013 of the many, many people who by some stroke of bad luck are seen as “less worthy” of entitlements, like life.

I am thinking of the non-elder community. Not to discount the very real needs of people over 60, but after four years and 275 visits to consumers, I have to say: age really is just a number. I am saddened enormously that on a policy level, we still remain separate, we aging and disability folks. In many respects, I think our communities are farther apart than ever right now.

I have thought about this over and over as I have worked in my own mind without these sorts of biases. In spite of my efforts to look at people as people first, and categories second, I remain frustrated by the “eligibility” requirements of programs that help people.

A few words of advice:

Do not acquire any other chronic, progressive disease that hits in your 40s or 50s. It will derail your entire life and leave you bankrupt just when your teenage kids and middle-aged spouse need you to be in prime earning power. If you have to get sick like this, wait until you are 60 and can get help more easily.

If you have to have a developmental disability, do your family  a favor and score low on your IQ test. Please. Otherwise, you will not qualify for the help you need, and will either exhaust your family or be left to figure out a sometimes cruel and confusing world on your own.

Do not have a mental illness. Just don’t. There is a reason that people who recover from mental illness call themselves survivors, and it has more to do with the “treatment” system than it does with the illness itself.

I know this all sounds quite cynical, and sadly enough, I could go on and on. It is difficult not to be pessimistic as we approach the many changes happening in the disability world right now. Over and over, we see younger people with disabilities all the more marginalized–and perhaps more tragically, fooled into thinking that they are truly included in the unified effort to streamline services and health care. I believed in these efforts, once, and want to think that understanding will still come.

But I see much more often that money changes hands behind closed doors, that those who do not understand the very human right of self-determination are left with the funds to reward those who are compliant, those who do not question, those who play nice…

I resolve to cause more trouble, to question more, to speak up, again. And again.

I resolve to tell these stories, to love more, to convince you to love more, too.



Written by Only Anecdotal

31 Dec 2012 at 5:25pm

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