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There's A Thing That Needs To Be Said.

And I shouldn't have to start with a whole bunch of provisos, and meeting of people half way, when I say that it is not hard for carers to do wrong by their careers.

It is not hard to leave someone when they have a problem. It's much harder to stay. Especially if you're male.

And men who leave have many people oh-so willing to paint them as heroes and martyrs to put up with so much for so long, as though the person left is somehow in a better position. As though the person left behind has not been struggling with guilt, struggling with making extra effort to be the right person, a good person, not a burden. Struggling to endure their place as a less valid and acceptable person.

I'll add that parents who wish to be sympathetic to parents who murder their disabled children (young or adult) and receive lesser penalties should perhaps not expect to have their voices heard among disabled people, for whom such situations have horribly real and personal implications.

Captain Awkward has written about the process of supporting a friend whose issues are so painful that *you* need a space to debrief and support for yourself in order to cope, and she points out an obvious truth: the people you vent to are not the people you are trying to support. You vent elsewhere, you don't inflict it on them and ask them to understand. It boggles the mind that this is not happening on groups purporting to support disabled victims of violence: instead, carers tell disabled people that violence is "understandable".

No. It's wrong. And if they feel tempted to violence, if they feel empathy for the perpetrators, then they need to find a space to work that out without inflicting more damage on disabled people by ablesplaining.

This entry was originally posted at http://splodgenoodles.dreamwidth.org/2308719.html. You may comment here, or there using OpenID if you have no Dreamwidth account.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2014 09:32 am (UTC)
No. It's wrong. And if they feel tempted to violence, if they feel empathy for the perpetrators, then they need to find a space to work that out without inflicting more damage on disabled people by ablesplaining.

Hear Hear.
Jun. 16th, 2014 11:51 am (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2014 10:23 am (UTC)
"ablesplaining". Adding that to the vocab.
Jun. 16th, 2014 11:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm adding it to mine too. (Go me for inventing it!)
Jun. 16th, 2014 11:11 am (UTC)
Mmm. I agree with this.. . but also, I think it's a problem where carers "work out" their feelings publicly in advocacy organizations and in the media. Instead of normalizing the idea that "caring is hard and carers often feel overwhelmed and carers need support," it normalizes the idea that "this is the expected and in fact only logical way for carers to feel."

Have you read the short story, Understandable?
Jun. 16th, 2014 11:50 am (UTC)
Yes this! It's the public 'working out' of feelings that is doing so much damage.

I once did some reading on people with Alzeimer's and their loved ones. Their loved ones were saying "we are happy to be carers, we just want help and support so we can do this well".

Will look at that link tomorrow - I'm having a rough patch and my bed beckons me.

Jun. 16th, 2014 12:00 pm (UTC)
I wonder if there are differences in the typical portrayal/self-portrayal of carers for people who were once non-disabled compared to those who care for people with developmental disabilities. . . although there are certainly reports of euthanasia in stories of care of people with acquired disabilities as well. . .

What a mess.
Jun. 17th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
That's a really good question.

My first thought is denigration of the elderly, elder abuse, and the acceptance of poor standards of care in nursing homes.

Another thought: among able bodied people who develop disabilities as adults, before they become old (and therefore denigrated and voiceless), there's more awareness of the shift and difference, and perhaps more ability to speak up.


It needs more research.
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:03 pm (UTC)
My father was my mother's carer for almost 20 years. She was severely disabled after a stroke and never walked or used the left side of her body again. He never wavered and was loyal and dedicated until he couldn't any longer and was dying himself. Quite a role model, my dad.

I so agree with you. Violence is never understandable in the situations you describe.
Jun. 16th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
The things you're complaining about are just alien to me. I don't understand why people would feel that way.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 16th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
I can't fathom how anybody could believe that violence towards disabled people is understandable. My 50 year old brother has Downs' Syndrome and has been cared for by my parents all his life until a few years ago when they themselves were too disabled by old age health problems to continue. They had many faults as parents to me and my sisters (who are all older than our brother) but I never saw their care for him lacking in any way.
Jun. 17th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
Ugh, people do this in groups supporting disabled victims of violence? That's horrifying.
Jun. 18th, 2014 06:20 am (UTC)

Yup. There seems to be a surprisingly lack of insight into how carees (and people who have to manage alone) might be affected by their words.

It's quite telling.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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