When I reflected upon this reassuring reflection that popped into my WordPress box yesterday it brought to mind the hurt and damage that words alone wreck on our lives and turn us from potentially healthy human beings into shivering wreckages.
I know I have imperfections – yes the healthy minded person, whether disabled or not understands that their character is flawed but that in themselves they are perfectly wonderful human beings. They are valuable, esteemed and capable of functioning in their particular realms.
However: given I am not the usual rambunctious child, sure of themselves, completely disregarding all negative assaults on their minds then such a comforting statement may reduce in us the concept that we are less than human because of all our apparent many faults.
“Of course I am imperfect … but I’m perfectly me.”
Will become “Of course I am imperfect…. therefore I am an imperfect being – less human”
Our gross deformities, our crazy sick minds, our funny turns, ” Can’t you bend your elbow any further than that”, ” He’s useless”, “no son of mine”, or “I am ashamed to be seen out with you” ” Can’t you be more like your brother/sister”, “when I was your age….”
Out of context these seem little things, there are the bigger things we face when we are LBGTQ, or when we are Bipolar or Schizoid, Dissociated in our Identity, Autistic, Aspergers, on and on and our very Ground of Being is dragged from beneath us by parents, siblings and society, Church that would squash us into a mold into which we can never fit rather than allow and accept us to be ourselves.
But for the Agents of Social Control only the right SELF will do.
God accepts any SELF, in particular, especially the Self that is downtrodden, of low esteem, unloved, uncared for and who could not care less about themselves. Who see themselves as outcasts, crazy, crippled, lepers, of no account Blacks or Hispanics, Aboriginals. White trash, Housos,homeless, Trailer Trash, any label you can think of and God loves that person and divests them of it.
And all of us who are disabled congenitally or as contributed to by the lived in environment of our youth-overbearing, ignorant, scared and scarred humans like ourselves caught in the web of convention. Recognising how we become as we are, because we love too much and respect too much our very parents who torment us, because we trust that they love us. When it is too late we feel betrayed and lost and la nullité.
Understanding that the joint collective of Parents called Society and the religions within it have for the most part continued the trend and if we haven’t trusted society we have trusted the Church because ‘these people follow Jesus’- has further contributed to our concepts of ourselves as sub-human.
Finding our reason to be our ‘raison d’être’ whether in God or in Transcendence of another ilk still leaves us our pain and much unlearning to be done.
Now, if Christian, we have an ally, through the Spirit, in Christ we have a teacher and guide – only if we learn from him the truth about ourselves, the truth about himself by disregarding all we have, or mostly all we have, ever learned from convention.
Religion, belief, relationship with God is not the instant cure, as you all know, but the beginning of the painful return to ourselves and forward to do for our neighbours what we would have had done for us and into the Room allotted to us in paradise.
Living Stigma: The Impact of Labeling, Stereotyping,
LIVING STIGMA 197 Separation, Status Loss, and
Discrimination in the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities
and Their Families
David E. Gray Perceptions of stigma: the parents of autistic children