What is the geography of the voice in the body? What is the effect of the embodiment of silence?
Disability is often viewed in society as something to overcome. Something to look past. Something to ignore and something definitely not to stare at. In a general sense, (and this can be exemplified through the geographical lay out of cities and buildings; how people with disabilities are represented in the media; government policy; lack of accessible sexuality and sexual health education; the education system; and how many individuals both able- bodied and minded and non able- bodied and minded perceive and relate to each other), disability is something to be silenced.
I often find myself automatically embodying that silence, it is full of voids that somehow get lost in my body.
One effect is that I struggle
with the thought or self - induced pressure of having to be the skinniest and sexiest female with a disability. I think that because I walk differently, I have to be extra skinny or extra sexy to compensate for what society views as a damaged body. The thought that I have to compensate for the body that I was born into is akin to me thinking that I owe someone, somewhere,an apology for my body and/or mind. This pattern of thinking can be disabling.
In my womb, lives a diagnosis, a fetus with ductape covering her mouth and eyes. My uterus is home to leg braces, old walkers, broken wheel chairs, anti - anxiety medications, written food plans, and business cards with appointment reminders scribbled on them. I am swollen, sometimes nauseated. I am not depressed or self pitying. I am the redefining of a diagnosis. I am the first draft of new, empowered narratives. I am a female crip aborting the silence I was impregnated with. I am a voice developing.