Posted April 23, 2019 10:01:53I can’t even remember how I got to the point where I could not say ‘yes’ to the questions of disability.
I have been diagnosed with a wide range of conditions and have to endure a range of forms of discrimination, and in Australia, I’m constantly told that ‘yes, I do’.
When I first started living with Asperger syndrome, I was told I had autism, that I had a mental illness and that I was ‘a bad person’.
And the response was always, ‘No, you’re not a bad person.
You’re just not’.
And that’s just a lie.
When I had Aspergers I felt like I was on a rollercoaster.
I was a bit out of control, and I was obsessed with what was going on around me.
I couldn’t control my emotions and I wasn’t able to control the things that I wanted.
I could get into arguments with my mum, and she would go, ‘I know what’s wrong with you’.
And she would say, ‘What’s wrong?
You can’t have a bad day.
You can have a good day, and you can have no bad day’.
I just couldn’t deal with it.
And I think that’s because I didn’t understand that I’m not ‘different’.
I could say, no, I don’t need to get up at four o’clock in the morning to get to work.
I know that.
I just don’t get it.
And I guess what happened is I developed this very extreme sense of entitlement.
I thought, ‘Oh, if you don’t say ‘thank you’, I will have to pay for your breakfast.
I will pay for dinner.
I’ll have to buy a box of crisps.
I can’t live on my own.’
So I got really, really into this obsessive behaviour and it’s got me quite a bit further than I could ever have imagined.
But I think I’ve got to say, it was a really good experience.
Because I learnt a lot about myself, and about how I can cope with different situations and that’s important.
And it’s not just my mum who’s helped me to understand and accept who I am.
A lot of people have been there.
A lot of my friends have been like, ‘Hey, we’ve got a problem too, so we’ve been looking for advice.’
It’s a very important thing to say to people, and it takes a lot of work to do it.
But it’s something that people don’t realise how important it is, and they think, ‘Well, it’s just an annoying thing.’
So it’s really important to get that support, to be able to say ‘I’m disabled and you’re my friend’.
If you want to say yes, say yes.
If you don, say no.
And hopefully, we can get some of that back into the world.