So I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but I started this blog at the urging of my friend Caitlin. She has a blog called Stream of Caitlinness, dedicated to discussions of physical disabilities and what it’s like to be a one-armed girl. Caitlin recently asked Anthony and me to guest post and talk about what it’s like to be a couple with disabilities. Of course, the both of us were excited to share our experiences, and we were honored that Cait cared enough to want to give us that exposure. Anthony and I each had a separate blog entry, giving our individual sides of the story.
For the most part, our posts received positive feedback. Friends told us that we had them crying, strangers told us they were rooting for our relationship. A very popular, well-known blogger even linked my post to her page, saying that she was inspired by my story. Cait was getting over 150 page views a day, and people were tweeting and sharing on Facebook like crazy. The response was overwhelming, exciting, and slightly flattering, since I didn’t think anyone would care too much. Of course, the one person I thought would support me and my writing didn’t.
Instead, Mom freaked out on me and demanded that the posts be removed, and that I stop using this blog. Her reasoning is that now that I’ve made it publicly known that I have a “disability,” no professional company will be willing to hire me. No one will give me life or medical insurance. There was a whole list of reasons. We’ve been fighting on and off about this. It got me pretty depressed. For awhile, I was actually going to take it down. I removed the posts from my Facebook wall. Anthony had posted about the blog too, so I asked him if he would take them down as well.
Of course, he didn’t want to cooperate with me. He gave me advice instead:”Why are you going to take down something that can help people? You’re a writer, and you need to write. And you need to write what YOU want to, not what someone tells you to. No, I’m not letting you take this down.”
And so I realized that he’s right. I’m already not eligible for life insurance (already tried applying, first question they ask you is whether or not you have an autoimmune disease) and well, I won’t get into the health insurance debate. So, Mom’s point is invalid in that regard. But I also realized that I don’t particularly care that companies know that I have RA. I’m not going to go to an interview and say, “Hey, I’ve got RA,” but I don’t care if they snoop around on the Internet and come across this blog or my post on Caitlin’s. If a company chooses not to hire me because I’m not like everyone else, then that’s not a company I want to work for anyway. I’ll let my resume speak for me. I mean, people with worse and more noticeable disabilities are able to find jobs, so why wouldn’t that be the same case for me? Some people may call me a stupid, naive 21 year old. But I’m tired of hiding who I am and pretending to be something I’m not. I’ve accepted who I am, and I just hope that there are enough good people in this world who can accept me too.
So that’s a long-winded way of saying that I’m sticking around. And that I’ll be more diligent at blogging than ever. And hopefully, I’ll help someone else in the process.
If your interested in reading the guest blog posts Anthony and I did, check them out below: