Ableism in Disguise: Earning Your Validity

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes — Maggie Khun

I am worthy.

When you write, when you write your truth and you send it out into the world it is a fierce act of vulnerability. It is one that is met with deep, authentic connection; not only with others but with yourself.

It is also one that is met with anger. And that anger often looks like a person attempting to deny you your right to a voice.

Most do so by attempting to discredit what you say; “you can’t say that”. They do not want to hear the words that you speak, the message, the confrontation it brings to their own reality.

But then there are those with a different emphasis; “YOU can’t say that”. They do not want to hear you.

Photo by my friend; you can find her on Instagram — justourjoyfullife

When I began writing about neurodivergence, I certainly expected some backlash. The pathology paradigm with its control agenda is deeply ingrained; the conveniences they afford are not things people want to have to change.

What I never expected was for it to be from fellow activists and advocates who would come to me, demanding that I prove my worth before I was afforded the ability to speak to my experience and beliefs.

I was under the impression that we were all working towards people having agency of voice so it never occurred to me that there would be issue with me using mine. Yet here they were, insisting they were the caretaker of my thoughts and I had yet to pay my dues. I was in debt; my voice worthless.

Image created by Racheous

I am worthy.

I attempted to resolve the situation: what was it that I had written that they believed to be misguided or uninformed? That is a concern I am open to exploring. But they could offer me no clarity other than it was not my place to speak.

I am worthy.

My mistake it seems was daring to speak before being granted permission.

I am worthy.

But my experiences are valid. My beliefs are valid. My voice is valid.

I am worthy.

And I am simply not interested in demands to earn something nobody else has the ability to afford me. My worth is not up for debate or discussion.

I am worthy.

If the issue is not what I say but that it is me saying it? Then that is not my responsibility to address.

I am worthy.

And so are you. Nobody’s endorsement required.

Your voice is your voice. YOUR voice is YOUR voice.

Image created by Racheous

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