Monday, 10 September 2012

Paralympics and the war; wining hearts and minds?!

The Paralymics ended and the debate over its positive value for 'the disabled'  continues.

Michael Rosen · 1,909 subscribers 11 hours ago ·Posted on Facebook
Honest question:did some disabled people ever feel that this was like: paralympians are 'good' disabled, the rest of you 'not good'?

And I, preparing to publish my response here on my blog, I have stumbled onto another poem bubbling up erratically from my mind interface.

  • first the poem I have just roughed up,
  • and 2nd my comment poem (10 likes) on Michael Rosen's FB page
  • and then some reactions to that from the Michael Rosen's Facebook!

No 2
A million shades of disabled grey.  

And I,
aware of people with chronic disabilities,
am torn by happiness
that people with certain types of disabilities
can find themselves able to meet personal challenges
to push themselves towards remarkable instances of achievement,
to compete, work in teams toward sporting recondition,
and the realisation that this represents so few,
that it is a distorted mirror of us,
whispered rumours that change society's views of us
for both good and bad,
I  posted a comment yesterday
that perhaps
reflects things as they are
for the majority of people with disabilities and chronic health conditions,
with no possibility of sponsorship or additional funding.....
who perhaps like me can not stand 'toe to toe'
and fight my condition on a physical level and win,
can not fight the perceptions of others,
can not demonstrate in front of thousands of spectators
in front of millions of viewers
my needs to be social, creative, successful on a sports field, track or gym,
I can not undertake and win against these battles
fought with physicality,
I am engaged in a long term military campaign
against all these issue,
loosing,  forfeiting battles that I could not undertake,
to just keep on surviving,
leading a resistance and guerilla war is the flip-side of my disability,
to keep on breathing in life and its opportunities,
to be happy
to 'win' the bigger picture,
the on-going forced on us campaign
of just to be recognised, seen,
valued for ourselves alone.
no cash or economic values given,
just to be recognised
against the back ground of any disability.
A disability that keeps on sneakingly becoming
the foreground of the photo,
that the Media,
the Politicians,
the Public
and even You create.
That disability,
the background of my life,
jumps up and becomes the foreground
takes over and obscures me
colours me
and all my fellows,
a million shades of disabled grey.

No 1
Can I have a medal for that?!

I have an invisible disability,
so can I have my invisible medal and my life back?!
I get an income for the job I just about hold down,
can I have a medal for that?!
Physical effort does not give me release,
it don't do that for me,
Instead what is left of my life crumbles, falls away.
Aching and bruised limbs, dulled and a faltering brain,
lost co-ordination comes to stay when physical effort is called up.
Like an unwanted and over enthusiastic paralympic commentator it crushed the spirit; remarkable!?
Do I really have to stay here watching all the adverts and chatter and have no say in my life while this malaise ripens. yes I do,
do I get a medal for that?!
I get no 'joy through work' either,
but most people can not expect joy through work,
so we none of us get medals for that?!
So why is paid work so important for those with chronic illness and disabilities?
Why such a convulsive theme of all Political Parties?!

If I win an appeal against ATOS,
manage to hold on to a disability parking disk,
get and keep a reasonable adjustment at work,
stay below the sacking work attendance procedures,
have an interview when my disability and health
is not again the major subject of the meeting,
dragging out again 'we are only being equal and fair' .
'How can you improve your attendance' you ask AGAIN
when my journey to and from work
to get up and face another day,
is more of a challenge than the worst minute of your working week!
Can I have a medal for that?!
Staying calm whilst they hammer home my uncontrollable inadequacies and the disability restrictions placed on my life
Constantly trotted out again and again by our caring state and welfare mind keepers.
Can I get a medal for that?!
When all I want to do is just somehow get on with it,
to stop being reminded of it,
Remind me again, that I am 'not up to the normal standard'
well thanks, can I have a medal for that?!

I noticed that the the Paralympians,
When holding their medals high,
were not constantly reminded that their times, their sports
were not as good or the same as the 'normal' Olympian events.
Perhaps they should have been,
because in the real world, let me tell you,
that is what is going on all the time,
the disabled and chronically sick are
reminded all the time that they are not as productive as others,
That you the quisiter, are a caring person,
a fair gate keeper just doing their job.........
but that really, we need to be more like 'normal',
To be fit for work! No medal for that!

Remember, achievement is something sometimes
you can not measure, give medals for.
But callous and political double speaking news-speak;
You can not get a medal for that either!
But you still pursue your persecution un-prosecuted, un-molested
as you molest and meddle with our lives.
You try to cast us, strike us all,
into either golden angles
or devils that suck and scrounge.
Go on, give yourself a medal for that,
you do it so well because you have so much practise
You have so many training sessions,
at being shites....

Helen Jameson Jonathan Eyre, I have just broken down and sobbed reading your poem 'Can I have a medal for that?!' It is a phenomenal piece of writing that mirrors many of my own experiences and how I often feel yet couldn't put into words. Whilst I wouldn't wish this on anyone, it is good to know I am not alone.
Sunday at 23:37 ·  · 4

Chrissie Fryde 
Bravo, Jonathon Eyre, Bravo. I wish I could paste your poem to door of the Houses of Parliament. Those bastards can't even cope with a commute to London. Can we have a separate dwelling for every place we find difficult to access, because w
e need to be there in busy times. Listen, Govt. We are ALWAYS, ALWAYS busy. Busy trying to bathe ourselves, dress ourselves, achieve something tremendous like loading a washing machine. (Now that would make me an Olympian today!) Busy trying to contribute to family life, being parents, grandparents, partners, lovers. Lovers? But you're disabled! (That was actually said to me by a home-help, who had turned up on the wrong day, and let herself into my home with her key, not expecting it to matter very much to me! My reply to her - well, I'd better not type it!) Busy filling in forms for Atos. It takes us all day to get a few groceries ordered- thank God for the Internet. then when the shopping arrives the delivery men rush to unpack it for us because they are only allowed two minutes PER DELIVERY, no extra time is granted for helping a disabled person. Some of them cut into their short break times so that they can afford to help some people a little more. The ensuing chaos when a harrassed delivery driver has simply to dump it all onto the kitchen floor is hard to describe to the able-bodied. Some people can do a months' shopping in an hour, just walking quickly round a supermarket. We cannot, and one day they will withdraw our benefits us for breathing.
23 hours ago · Edited ·  · 1

No comments:

Post a Comment