I hope you take the time to read my stories. I would rather people read my stories rather than my poetry.
It's happened again. Another review on my poem, "Stressed Out". I know I should be very grateful (at least I'm getting read!!), but the truth of the matter is this: I don't write poetry anymore, nor will I ever do so again. I don't like how I write poems, and besides, my twin sister is the poet of the family, NOT me. Read/review HER poems, NOT mine.
Is that asking too much? If so, I am going to have to stop writing, even if only for a while. I know I write a lot about disability issues. So what. I feel it is an issue that needs to be out there, especially for those families who are going through some of what I write about, or for those families who have children with conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, asthma/allergies, or multiple sclerosis, or those families who have children who suffer from rare, unfamiliar diseases like Tay-Sachs, Canavan disease/or any of the leukodystrophic diseases, progeria, cherubism, giantism, or xeroderma pigmentosum.
Autism seems to be the disability/disease of choice. It's like the other disabillities or debilitating conditions or illnesses have been thrown by the wayside, and those who don't have autism or any autism like issues have seem to be forgotten by society, with nobody to speak up for them.
This is why I write about what I do. I care about what happens to these people, and I think there's a huge need for children's (or young adult) books about physical disabilities or unfamiliar illnesses/diseases; that way people who are going through this won't feel so alone or forgotten. In other words, I choose to be their "voice".
God's given me a gift to write about this; it's my passion. Maybe it's because I am disabled, but I want people to know that even though we may walk with help or need special appliances/aids to help us get through life, we are not our disability: we are people too, and we deserve to be noticed, recognized!! Just because we are disabled in some way does NOT mean our minds are too!
Give us a chance to show you what we can do. Don't make us prove to you what we can do; just let us do our thing and let us blow your socks off! We are capable of so much; don't hide us away or give us less-than-desirable jobs, housing, or opportunities! Don't hang onto the old school ideas that we should be hidden; let us be seen in broad daylight, and give us a fighting chance!!
Again: we are people first. Our disabilities, no matter how severe or how "obvious", should NOT matter! Get to know the REAL person inside our bodies, and try not to judge us based on what you see!
I want people to know that even though I am disabled, I am a person, and I want them to treat me as they would want to be treated: with dignity, compassion, and above all, respect!
So this is why I write the stories I do. The message needs to be out there, and I think it would be a great idea if schools, churches, or places of business could offer "disability-awareness" classes or courses. Let them "walk in our shoes" for a while, see what it's like to have to sit in a wheelchair. Walk on crutches, a walker, or a cane. Wear dark sunglasses or walk around with your eyes closed and try to find your way around. Wear earmuffs or any other noise-reducing device, to see what life would be like if you were deaf or hard-of-hearing (as I am). Try to do things using your non-dominant hand or act as if you were paralyzed. Or pretend that you can't talk and try to make your needs known by pointing or writing things down.
I have done this, and it was an unbelievable, eye-opening experience.
Maybe if schools, churches, or places of business could do something like this, people would have a little more understanding of what it's like to be disabled or see what people who are disabled have to go through just to get through a typical day! It couldn't hurt! And maybe people who are disabled would be accepted or even given opportunities to succeed when for years they have been given anything but!
I believe my stories could teach you a thing or two. It could also teach you about tolerance or that even during the worst of times, you can get through them with God's help.
This is a message I use time and time again in my stories. I also write about adoption because I think it is a wonderful thing for a person to take somebody else's child and raise them as their own. I have known some adoptive families in the past (one of the men was my teacher in junior high for two years), and they truly touched me. I write about adoption as a way to pay tribute to those brave famillies who don't see race, age, abilities, or disabilities as an issue; all they see is a child in need of love, a home, and a forever family they could call their own.
Now if that isn't true love, then I don't know what is!
Well, I've stepped down from my soapbox. I do hope you will stop by and read some of my stories (or at least take the time to comment on them; I'd love to hear your input!). Thank you in advance, and thanks for understanding my feelings about my stories verses my poetry.
~Regards, Karen Lynn, the Texas Tornado. :(