Please treat us as equals

Jill's Experiences with Mental Health , Stigma, Alzheimer's Disease, Grief & Grieving & serenade2seniors

People with disabilities are human beings, you know. They need to be kept safe from malice and abuse. When we meet a person with a disability, we all need to remember that he/she is a unique human being with knowledge, interests and talents like the rest of us. They may do things differently from the way we do them but, they are able to achieve the same outcomes. The way we behave, demonstrates our respect for that individual.

Nobody likes to be pitied. In fact, I have learned many of life’s lessons from people who are disabled in one way or another. When I meet a person who has difficulty hearing what I am saying, I realize that many of them learn to lip read, while others use sign language, so it’s a good idea to ask how they prefer to communicate. Or, write a short note.

If I meet a person in a wheelchair, I try to place myself at…

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I, Too, Am Not Okay

Kitt O'Malley

You are not alone. I, too, am not okay.

Yesterday I wrote this response to Tempest Rose’s post It’s Okay for Me to Not be Okay on STIGMAMA.COM:

I, too, am not okay, and I’m okay with it. Often other people do not understand what they cannot see. For many years I wondered, do other people think like this? Do other people have to tell themselves not to drive off that cliff, not to push that stranger in front of the BART train, not to hang up the telephone in mid-conversation – for no reason whatsoever? I used to think, if so, then why aren’t more people driving off cliffs, pushing people in front of subway trains, and rudely hanging up the phone mid-sentence. They are not doing these things, yet I have to tell myself over and over not to do it. For years I struggled with manic symptoms, intrusive thoughts and disturbing impulses, without knowing what…

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Art by Rob Goldstein
Padre 2016

This is part of a large mural on the Woman’s Building in San Francisco. I’ve described the murals as a visual conversation on the themes of community, service to others, parenting, and our responsibilities to our children and to their futures.