the sick bed
written by Isabel Abbott
“Reading again and again that ‘we are all in this together.’ Except, when disabled, fat and old people are being told they will not be saved, saying we are ‘all in this together’ is hurtful and untrue and a kind of gaslighting. It reveals, very quickly, who your ‘we’ and ‘all’ really is. who it includes and who is left out.”
“A letter to my abled friends,
“These are strange and difficult times for so very many of us right now as we experience collectively a global pandemic that changes the way we live our lives and experience the intimacies of our day to day realities as well as our basic assumptions over safety and security as we wrestle with lack of control in the presence of so much unknown. And by us I mean both abled and disabled humans, this far reaching experience where we are a collective ‘we.’ Many of us are living in isolation, staying at home and having limited contact with others in person; many are losing work at rapid rates because of this.
“And, there are also distinct differences between my experience as a chronically ill disabled person and the experience I witness you, my abled friends and fellow humans having in this current pandemic. The distinction is striking and it has made a difficult experience all the more painful and gutting, this layer of anger and sadness that gets stuck in my throat and makes it hard to connect.
“Comparing suffering as if there is a hierarchy has never seemed that useful and usually only serves to make others defensive, and that is not what I want to create here. I am not diminishing … ”