Disability Pride Set Me Free

I finally finished my degree in Disability Studies after seven years of late nights, empowering lessons, and life-changing conversations. Hands down, Disability Pride was my most valuable takeaway.  Not only did Disability Pride help me rethink my role as an ally, it also helped me reevaluate everything I thought I knew about myself (no exaggeration). 

The feeling that can be attached to what Disability Pride has given me is liberation

Young woman in dark blue shirt and denim shorts with long brown hair running in forest. Trees on either side. Her back is to the camera.
Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

For years I had been shackled by shame. That shame, however, is no longer living within me. I am not ashamed of myself anymore. I am ashamed of the ableist values that surround me that I had accepted, and even upheld without realizing it. 

I have memories that bring me right back to where I was—vulnerable, lonely and hating myself.

I was told that I was being excluded because no one wanted to be around the kid with an Educational Assistant at their desk. I sat by the door waiting for recess to end. 

I am fine with who I am. I am not fine with ableism. 

My bully ran after me flailing his arms and legs saying “Look at me, I’m Robin.” I pretended I was sick to get out of gym class. 

I love my body and the way it moves. I don’t love ableism.

I am still unravelling the way this darn ableist shame has followed me into adulthood. Internalizing ableism is a habit that’s not easy to break. It’s painful, difficult and necessary work and it is so worth it.

It takes repeating until believing: I am enough, always have been, and always will be. 

Thank you for reading. 

One thought on “Disability Pride Set Me Free

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: