one more step at resolving internalised ableism
January 13, 2014
so it isn”t a big secret that i got triggered last night and kinda trapped in an anxiety spiral.
and i noticed that i was doing something that revealed one way that my internalised ableism manifests:
i kept trying to rationalize my agoraphobia. like. really. the whole point of phobias is that they aren”t rational.
yes. i did have some rational concerns about the situation, but everytime i raised one and the very lovely people i”m coordinating the twoc amc network gathering with would suggest a very good alternative, my brain was still screaming “NOOOOOOOO”. and i really wanted them to pressure me into going and insist that i had made this obligation and, thus, had to go, regardless of how i felt about it.1
sadly… this sense of obligation and duty (abused into me by my dad) is how i manage to leave the house 90% of the time. this and routine. and going only to familiar places. are what reduce the anxiety and fears to manageable levels.
relatedly, the ways i”m neuro-diverse (my current shrodingers autism), also means that i don”t really manage things like change and uncertainty very well. i live a pretty routined life. when i change the routine, i usually need ample warning and preparation. this trip to detroit felt very last minute (i hadn”t known that i was even able to go until about a week ago). and all the travel preparations (and the speed of everything) were all up in the air but very much out of my control. i didn”t know where we”d be staying and with whom. i didn”t know any of the people i was travelling with (save one person).
so i was being ableist in two ways: by trying to rationalize what isn”t rational (nor does it need to be) and by feeling like i wasn”t allowed to ask for any accommodations because i felt like i didn”t deserve them.
and the thing is… when i get pushed into serious crisis mode, i shutdown and withdraw. which means if i had either kept thinking about this and trying to force myself to go or succeeded into forcing myself to go…..
i probably would have deleted my entire online presence and refused to talk to anyone remotely related to all of this ever again. because this is what i do when i feel i have no other options. and it would have been a shame because i do have other options and everyone is being kind and accommodating — i just had to convince myself that it was okay. that i actually deserve to feel safe, comfortable, and secure. that i don”t actually need to rationalize this:
my safety is important. me feeling safe is also important. it is not a bad thing to want either and to insist on it.
i hope that, going forward, i”ll be able to really internalise this instead of the ableism that tells me that my safety or sense of safety isn”t actually important. that because something is a phobia (thus irrational) doesn”t make it less valid2. that having cognitive limitations that compound and magnify these irrational fears is silly and ridiculous and thus not worth mentioning.
going forward: that — with this knowledge and work to internalize — i will actually address these things and not trigger myself or push myself towards a crisis/meltdown.