When it comes to talking to people in real life about issues facing those with disabilities, I feel like I'm talking to a wall. Given what's going on with the current debacle featuring the American Congress of Idiots and Do-Less-Than-Nothings, I'm sure most people feel that way.
We face many issues that most people fail or refuse to understand for the simple fact that they've never had to face what we have, especially when it comes to finding and maintaining employment. The problem has never been that I am unwilling to work. I know, I know, many in my age group (25-34) are going through similar problems these days, and I do sympathize with them on that. But chronic unemployment and underemployment have been a constant for myself and many others with disabilities across the spectrum.
Until recently I never really knew how to 'self advocate'. To be honest, I think I still don't. It seems like every time I try to take a step forward I always find another wall or obstacle to any sort of independence. It's a constant, uphill battle made worse by a mostly uncaring society where many people choose to live in their own realm rather than open their eyes and see that situations like ours could just as easily become theirs in an instant, and of course, anytime I bring this up to people in my neck of the woods, I'm labeled an outright Juche practicing Communist.
There's really no point in trying to find employment anymore when the only thing I can seem to find is a contract job or an internship, or even volunteering. This leads me to a phrase I'm getting really tired of hearing: "Look at all the experience you're getting." I can't tell you how many times I've heard that one. Every time that I do I'm always tempted to respond by saying: "Yeah, but at the end of the day I'll be right back at square one because we live in an area where there's no real employment to be had. That goes double for people my age."
I guess I can see why people call me negative, but let's be honest: My anger and my demeanor are, at least in part, a reflection of a society that has become selfish and the favorite phrase around here is "Fuck you, I got mine!" You'll have to forgive me if I want no part of it.
See you around,