Every day for “Disability Pride Month” – I am committed to writing pieces that reflect the diversity, truths, and reality of our disabled community If you want to share your piece with me or be interviewed this month, I would love to share your voice! Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Life would be pretty cool if we all had crystal balls with the answers. Today, I actually consulted a “joke” crystal ball. I felt relieved when it gave me an answer. That prompted a thought about myself and the present. I was lost in thought. I looked at myself and how I don’t hate my reflection. There’s a lot of contentment in who I am. There’s a sense of liking my skin, the way I am.
I wish I had a crystal ball when I spent multiple years of my life telling myself that I was not worthy of love. I wish I had a crystal ball when I thought a man being flirting was a cruel joke, almost like a pity. I wish I had a crystal when I was being cruel to myself as a way to deal with ableist beauty standards.
Basically, I wish I would’ve asked the crystal ball if I was worthy of desiring someone romantically and being desired. Was it normal to desire someone – even if I felt that I couldn’t have that because I wasn’t “normal”? Even if people said I wasn’t allowed to have those connections or my body wasn’t worthy of those desires?
Mostly, I regret that I could not see that my disabled body was worthy of love in any form – including self love. It was immensely hard to see value in my disabled body. I regret that it took me until me until my 20s to see something beautiful about the weird curves of my spine, the way that my leg calves are big from NMD, and the way that my arms are atrophying. I wish I saw a lot of things differently.
I was very adverse to the idea that I was lovable. I seriously could not fathom that this body was desirable. It was difficult for me to see myself as desirable. Finally, I realized that so much of what I felt about myself came from things rooted in ableism and self-hatred. Things rooted in toxicity.
It was hard to get here. I did though. You are desirable, too, even if you feel unattractive. You are worthy of desires in any sense and especially romantic. You can want people. You can want dreams. You can even find yourself desirable.
Disabled women can want love. They deserve love. They are lovable.
I see a body worthy of LOVE. Now go and look into the ball and ask yourself if you’re beautiful. Wait. Don’t bother. I already know the answer is YES.