|Melissa at the Seed|
Monday, September 3, 2012
GUEST POST: Where will YOU end up? by Melissa at the Seed (a newer disability blog)
I am honored to be able to share this post by Melissa who blogs at the Seed. The following are Melissa's words which describe her life and children. Please support this endeavor!
"I’m a mom; I’m a wife; I’m born and raised in New York; I’m in my early 30's; I have two children - "the girl", a 14-year-old with global disabilities and "the boy", an 11-month-old boy who has an auto immune deficiency called Bruton's; I am married to a wonderful man who is the most supportive person in my life but who can also be the most frustrating! When you're here, maybe you'll laugh or cry or roll your eyes. Maybe none of the above. Whatever brought you here, I hope you stick around."
Where will YOU end up?
I have said time and time again, the disabled are deserving of protection of their rights not because we should feel sorry for them but because they have a RIGHT to them. The Medicaid uproar going on in Congress and local governments is not a medical issue, it is a CIVIL RIGHTS issue and a SOCIAL issue. People who have disabilities are treated as second-class citizens and even as sub-human in extreme (and very real) cases and so many times it is gotten away with because they are the least able to defend themselves.
How would our society (yes, I'm talking about you and where you live and who you hang out with) look today if the revolution started by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., among others, had not taken place. When you think about how it was back then - "colored" and "white" separations, rear entrances for non-whites, standing room only for blacks, all-white juries - does it look normal to you? Does it seem like that should be the way it is? Do you, right now, today, think that MLK was a trouble-maker who should have quieted down and accepted the "separate but equal" laws because they were fine and didn't seem to cause you any problems? If you don't think agree with that notion as it pertains to MLK back in the 60's then why in the world are you allowing for inequalities that are alive and well today?? Why is it that the disabled are ignored, mistreated, killed and locked away in institutions for no other reason in many cases than they just had nowhere else to go. That's ok with you?
Tell you what -- let's imagine that you lose your job and can't afford to pay for your home or apartment and all of your relatives (if you even have a family) are too old, too busy or too broke themselves to let you live with them for free. They also can't buy you food to eat or clothes and shoes to wear. The homeless shelter is full, so you can't go there but they wouldn't have taken you anyway because you're a bit too much to handle since you have a medical condition that requires medication. We're gonna put you in an institution. At least there you'll get the medication, right? Well the doctors there are overburdened with the number of patients they are supposed to keep track of so your file got lost and your prescription was never sent to the pharmacy and it's on hold because all the paperwork you filled out to try to get free medicine got mixed up so now it will be another month on top of the 6 weeks you've already been waiting...But at least you'll have clothes, right? Well, the clothes you managed to bring with you in your suitcase was fine but now it's been a few months and the laundry at the institution lost some of your stuff (or your roommates stole it) so you'll have to make do with your dwindling stash. Not sure what's gonna happen when the seasons change, though. At least you'll have 3 meals a day, right? MMMMMMmmmm, love that institution food! Gotta eat what you're given and you better enjoy it cuz who knows what comes next! At least you'll have a roof over your head. Yes, 4 walls and a roof. Can't leave when you want, can't see friends when you want (if you manage to keep any), can't get up when you want, can't go to sleep when you want. Sounds like a dream come true!
Understand that a huuuge number of American citizens of the 1960's wished the whole thing would just go away. So many rolled their eyes and said, "There THEY go again.." So many did much worse things - lynchings, beatings, robberies, intimidating, just to name a few. Can you see yourself having that attitude back then? So why is it ok to be that way now?
"To institutionalize a disabled American costs four times as much than to give assistance for independent living. This issue is about civil rights, not about medicine. People who have the ability to live in integrated, affordable and accessible housing should have the right to do so."-Actor Noah Wyle Disabled among those arrested at Capitol protest