Disability's, a word I don’t really like, yet have been confronted with all my life. for different reasons. My mother was handicapped, / disabled, yet was as able as the next woman to do whatever needed to be done. Sure she was in a wheelchair, couldn't walk,, but I swear if I hadn’t known that I wouldn’t have believed it. Actually I didn’t even know that my mother was considered disabled (did I mention I hate that word) until I went to school, where others explained to me what my mother was. (or rather supposed to be)
Then my father had a stroke when I was only seven or eight years old, Afterwards I was informed my father was now disabled too, because part of his arm didn’t work well and for the first few years (if I remember it right) his speech was a little off as well.
As a child I didn’t get it, even as a teen I didn’t get why they classified my parents as disabled, when in my opinion they were very able. to conquer daily life.
I got it when I learned that I had dyslexia, that most of my struggle in school came from that. I got it when I learned that my dyslexia had to do with the Syndrome I was born with, (Nail-Patella Syndrome) Another disability by the way, well, depending on the country your in.
But I really got it when in 2011 I found out why I often felt like I had run a marathon I hadn’t trained for, why I was tired all the time, and pain a constant companion. In that year all I just mentioned got worse, up to the point where holding a coffee cup or a book was painful, where driving a car hurt and every morning I felt like I had a run in with a truck. It took almost three months until I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Never heard of it, don’t worry neither had I.
With medication the symptoms where under control at least for another two and a half years. Winters where the worst, the cold made my pain worsen and I had many days where I couldn’t go to work, In November 2013 I worsened to the point where I had to stop working and ended up in a tough spot. My body was unable to do hard or even easy labor and my dyslexia prevented me from a desk job. (You won't find a boss who hires an editor for it’s secretary.)
I get it now, why the generalization disabled is needed and used, because now I am part of that group. There are day’s or even periods of time (sometimes weeks, especially in summer) where I can work as hard as in the times before I got sick. However, there are more times where the pain prevents me from simple things like doing the dishes or using the vacuum.
In retrospect, looking back over the years, I realized it’s not the word disabled that I hate so much, it’s the attitude many (not all) people have towards people that are disabled. Being disabled does not mean the person in unable in general, neither does it mean incompetent or stupid, or useless for that matter. It means that a person can’t do thing to a certain degree. Like my mother can’t walk, but otherwise can do everything like a able body person. My father might never again have full strength and motion in his arm, but otherwise can do everything he want’s and set’s his mind to.
And I.... well, I might never again be totally pain free, winter will be my forever hell and in the years to come I might never be as fast or strong again as I was with twenty (who is), but I will still find way’s to do my daily chores, and it will never prevent me from writing or being artsy (as my kids call it).
In my books, (not all of them) I also show about rising above disabilities, and coming to terms with them. If I hadn’t grown up with disabled people, I would have had a harder time dealing with my own. Thanks to them I knew from the start that it didn’t mean I was useless now, or incapable, only that I had to adjust and readjust my life until I could manage.
I’m not a great author, I don’t put myself beside Silvia Day or Karen Marie Moning, I don’t expect to write bestsellers or win awards. However I thing that I am creative, have good ideas, solid characters and most of all, a message in all my stories. No, they are not all about disabled people who have to rise above their disability, but they all tell the story of mountains that needed climbing, of fear that needed conquering, and love that needed to be found and accepted. Of overcoming problems caused by others or the characters themselves, and in every book is a little part of me.
On the following pages you will find information to the disabilities I have and in time I will put infos up to disabilities that I either use in my stories or have been confronted with in life.