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The C Word and The D Word

The C Word and The D Word

No matter where you come from you recognize when there is a letter then word, its generally a curse word or an inappropriate word. Well, for me when I use the terms ‘the C word’ and ‘the D word’ I’m not talking about your average curse words, inappropriate words, or bad words. I’m talking about cripple(d) and disable(d). Don’t mistake my lack of willingness to say either of those words, especially disabled, for lack of disability pride. Trust me, I’m not lacking in that, but I don’t like to be looked at as ‘disabled’. In one of my other posts I believe I did my little vocab Latin and Greek roots nerding out thing. Dis is a Latin root meaning not and able comes from the Greek root ible, meaning able or capable. So if you put the two together it means “not able” or “not capable” depending on which way you want to use it. Either way, I don’t want to be considered not able, or not capable.

As far as the ‘C word’, crippled, goes well, no matter how you spin it, being called it hurts. It’s one thing to say, “What’s up Crip Chick?” to another friend who has medical conditions, or to call yourself that. Kind of like me calling myself the Sick Chick – how’s that for disability pride? I embrace it! – but ‘cripple’ has now come to be used as a derogatory term, has a negative connotation with it, and it is not okay. At my old, old school I dealt with a lot of mean people, I do not want to call it bullying because truthfully it wasn’t, it was just harassment. When I would be in my wheel chair girls, this one girl in particular, would come up to me and call me things like, “Cripple b*tch, dumb cripple, worthless cripple, etc.” Super original insults right? The one thing they all have in common is: ‘the c word’. I would go home and cry. I would stand up for myself, act like the mean people couldn’t get to me, but what they said hurt. At my new/current school a girl had an ankle injury and when we went to Disneyland – it’s what we Orange County Girls do in our free time ;) – I lent her my wheelchair so she wouldn’t have to walk around on her ankle all day. I was only going for part of the day, so I did not need my chair. Her and my other new friends milked the entire thing. They all said, and I quote, “We are going to take your wheel chair every time we go to Disneyland from now on! It’s so great being able to skip the lines, we’ll just trade off who gets to be the cripple that day.” I hadn’t, and still haven’t, told them my full medical challenges, but shouldn’t they know how wrong that is on so many levels? Taking advantage of the system, faking a disability, and then the use of ‘the c word’, I mean come on. You should not have to have a disability to know how sickening behavior like that is. As if that wasn’t enough, when we passed some guys they said, “Whoa, look, they have a wheel chair so they get to skip all the lines. We need to get ourselves a cripple.” If I hadn’t been with my new group of friends I would have ripped him a new one, honestly I wanted to slap him. If ignorance and stupidity counted as legitimate disabilities this guy and his friends would’ve been first in line for the disability lines at Disneyland. It’s actually because of people like them and my new group of friends that Disneyland is shutting down the disability lines. It’s so corrupt; people will hire a disabled person to guide them around Disneyland just so they can cut the lines. This is a whole separate issue that I will get into in another post, by the way. But, back to the issue at hand. I am scared to go to my school in a wheel chair because of how people will react, it should not have to be that way. I do not want to go through what I went through at my old school, the harassment I mentioned was only the stuff that was particular to ‘the C word’, but it was much worse than that. What will it be like at this school? I can’t be the only one feeling like this. I know this blog isn’t popular, but for those of you who do read this, spread the word. It’s not okay to call anyone a cripple or disabled in the derogatory sense of the term.

I wrote this poem late at night when I was having a really hard time with my new/current school:

It’s just a word
Maybe to you
To me it’s my identity
I deny it, I hide it
But it is there, a secret longing to get out
It’s just a word
One that holds meaning
A spiteful one, a hateful one
To me and not to you
It’s just a word
I repeat that
Over and over and maybe
Someday it will be true
It just a word
To you maybe
But to me
It’s not just a word

This is an important subject so please, please get the word out that cripple is not an okay word and neither disabled if it is not used in the proper terms.

Sick Chick

I’m trying different out closings “Hugs” “Kisses”, I’m getting bored with ‘Lots of Love’, but I’m still sending, lots of love!

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Matt wrote:
Love it. You are obviously a very bright, intelligent young lady that deserves only the best. Thank you for sharing such an accurate and perfectly said description of what life with a chronic condition can be and feel like.

Fri, October 4, 2013 @ 5:50 PM

2. Becca wrote:
You are so right. I wish you (and all of us kids) didn't have to fight our medical problems AND harassment/ ignorance. Thanks for helping to get the word out. Love you Sick Chick!!!

Thu, October 17, 2013 @ 10:15 PM

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