Many people view the disabled as slightly mythological figures, a strange genetic combination between an animal, a human and a divinity.
We are viewed as ideal objects to touch to obtain a magic power, meaning something that will make their own days better.
Others see us a late-night TV show and cannot imagine that we would be normal workers. No, “we” are never real people, we are an endless source of inspiration!
I am about to reveal a big secret to you:
my name is Valentina Tomirotti, alias Pepitosa, and I am not here to inspire you, but to unmask anyone who tells you about a world of disability that does not exist!
They have lied to you. We have been taught by heart that a disability is something negative and that living with limitations turns us into heroes.
I get really angry about this every day, because 90% is the result of poor communication, and incorrect use of social media has not made it any easier.
I imagine you have all seen those pictures of children with deformities or hospitalised for cancer or with Down’s Syndrome on Facebook? Or pictures of someone with an artificial limb who is considered to be a hero just because they can run?
You are asked to click on “like” or “share” and I find this both offensive and obscene.
These pictures diminish one category of people to the benefit of another. They lead you to believe that, even if your life is sometimes hard, there is always someone who is worse off than you.
You should not share or comment on these images, you should report them, because they are carefully designed to monetize your click or your like for whoever publishes them, making you look bad.
They are often deliberately created or simply fake and they certainly invade someone’s privacy, which is a crime.
People think I am courageous no matter what, or a source of inspiration because I lack something. They do not realise that life is not just your body!
I know I deserve this in a certain sense, as I write daily about a life that is not exactly easy, but I also know that sometimes society disables me more than my actual disability.
Using our bodies to the best of our abilities is not a rarity, it is simply living as best we can.
And please: don’t make us feel bad about this as well!
Congratulate me when I graduate, when I get a new job, get married or have a baby, but please stop seeing my simple survival as something exceptional.
If you do, don’t be surprised if I answer abruptly or do not thank you.