Invisible Disabilities Create Added Stress for Sufferers
In the first episode of Speaking Out: Living with Disabilities, three women provide insight into how having invisible disabilities creates challenges in their lives, and sometimes distress. People assume that if you look fine, you are fine. But that just isn't the case.
All agree that their disability affects nearly every aspect of their lives and that financial stresses add additional weight to their challenging lives.
Eileen Davidson is a single mother who has rheumatoid arthritis. Eileen talks about how it seriously affects her dating life and her ability to provide her child many of the experiences that she would like him to have. "My world has definitely gotten a lot smaller but I like the term quality over quantity," says Eileen. "I do a lot more for myself and my son and take care of myself better. It's deflating and lonely at times but that's why the chronic illness community is so important."
Jacqueline Martin is a disability advocate who has epilepsy. Jacqueline speaks about the added difficulties of keeping relationships because people are frightened by seizures. Also, she shares some humiliating experiences at school and on public transportation along with a touching story of finding unexpected support after a seizure.Aphrodite lives with ADHD and autism. She says her disabilities make it almost impossible to function at a regular job, although she has the knowledge and skills. As she is polyamorous, queer and trans, she luckily has four women who help support her basic needs. "What we really need is neurotypical people to get out there and support us... so many of us are just struggling with our daily lives... that we don't have the energy to advocate for ourselves."
Speaking Out: Living with Disabilities is hosted by Sita Sahasrabudhe. Sita is a disability advocate who lives with severe epilepsy and autism. Her book of poetry, "Knocking on the Body's Door: Poems to Read on the Bathroom Floor", talks about living with her seizure disorder.