There’s one big advantage to having a disabled child: you automatically become a good person. In other people’s eyes I mean. Of course, it’s not actually true. You’re as good or as bad as you always were.
But in all honesty, it’s quite nice that people think of you like that. Why wouldn’t it be? The trouble comes, I suppose, when you start to believe it.
Where am I going with this?
It’s a kind of roundabout introduction to me wanting to rant a bit about some fucking hippy idiot writing in The Independent who said she wouldn’t want her profoundly disabled child “any other way.”
I say hippy because what she’s got going on there is something that all hippies have going on: a smug serenity that comes from the unshakeable notion that they are very good people.
I reckon the story this woman tells herself is this: "I’ve got this disabled child but rather than whinge and moan about it I’ll accept her and the situation for what it is and… no, wait, I’ll do more than accept it. I’ll revel in it. Bask in it. Everybody, gather round: see my light, feel my warmth. Look how much I love my daughter. Not just in the way that EVERY OTHER FUCKING PARENT LOVES THEIR KIDS but in a way that just defies convention. I love her as she is. Not how I wish she was. As she is. And you know what? That makes me a better person than all those parents of disabled kids out there who would want their disabled children to be different. Or ‘normal’, whatever ‘normal’ is. Why can’t they all be as gracious and as serene and as accepting and as giving and as loving as me? Because ultimately, this is what it’s all about, my attitude to my daughter: it’s all about me. Look at me. LOOK. AT. ME."
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I want my daughter to be normal. And I’m not going to apologise for saying normal. This is what I mean by normal: being able to eat through your mouth, being able to walk, being able to talk, being able to reach out for things and pick things up. I’d love my daughter to be able to do normal stuff like that. So yes, I do want her to be another way. I want her to be normal.
Not wanting your daughter – another human being – to be something other than profoundly disabled doesn’t make you a good person. It makes you selfish and stupid.
What’s particularly monstrous is the way this woman wears the whole disability thing as a badge of pride. Unlike the rest of us, you see, she’s not so blinkered and small-minded to regard disabled people as disadvantaged. And unlike me – because she’s on another fucking plane – she doesn’t weep for the possibilities her daughter had and all the good things she’s missing out on. Her daughter will never read or appreciate music. But what of it? She’s relaxed and content and perfect. Her daughter will never dance or have children. So what? Look how she smiles, happy in her own little world.
And when she says “I’ve been let in on a little secret: profoundly disabled people are awesome” I could happily punch her in the face. What a cretinous thing to say.
Also, look at the way she engages in the standard hippy trick of invoking children: they don’t notice disability apparently. Because they’re too busy mooning around in fields of grass and making buttercup thingies and having wisdom that comes from the innocence that cynical old twats like us have lost. Maybe she should have been a witness in the recent case where that old fella with mental problems was hounded to death by the neighbourhood kids. Yes, because when they were picking on him and taunting him and making his life an utter fucking misery they were doing it without the knowledge that he was disabled. Right.
So her daughter is ‘happy’. So fucking what? For many people and their families having a disability isn’t a blessing that helps them to build character or become a better person or become a cheerleader for the disabled ‘community’. For many people a disability is effectively a life sentence of hardship, misery, pain, frustration and sadness. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s fucking horrible. What kind of monster would want anyone to be like that?
Oh, and of course she’s written a book. Order it now: it’ll help you to open your closed, unenlightened minds about disabled people.