Blaming people’s disabilities on them not exercising, and why it’s fucked, and a real problem:
(tldr at bottom)
I absolutely hate when people invalidate chronically ill people with exercising. Someone could be like. hey I’ve been in heavy pain, experiencing extreme fatigue and nausea daily, and am unable to perform daily tasks, and it’s been like this for a very long time now. And then someone else will respond. Well you know, it’s because you don’t exercise. I cant stand this.
This is bad for so many reasons!!
it puts the blame on the chronically ill person. being chronically ill is very difficult physically and emotionally, and many people already feel a lot of guilt and shame in relation to their disabilities. And some don’t. But either why, a person is not to blame for being chronically ill, and implying so can be so damaging and honestly, heartbreaking.
it can be so invalidating!! You’re basically saying, well it’s your fault and if you just exercised you’d be better! But that literally not the case for so many disabilities. It’s not true. Exercising can be so difficult and even painful for so many.
if someone knows that exercising won’t be the fix all solution, but you keep insisting that it is, that can make people become discouraged from exercising and even resent exercising. If you’re blaming all of someone’s already emotionally and physically difficult medical issues on something, especially when that something can be so difficult and might not even be a realistic solution, it can be so hard to view that thing as something can help you. And resenting exercise can be so difficult in the long run. Because it’s true, exercise is so important that in some cases can be a really important part in healing, in others not, but weaponizing exercising can make people see exercising as a weapon, as something offensive, as something used to invalidate you.
with any other form of ableism, it can actually make people believe what you’re saying, at least on some level. Even if they know it’s not really true, it’s difficult to not internalize the stupid shit that ableist people say to us.
My experience of all these effects for me:
I’ve been hyper mobile for most of my life, if not all, but I didn’t know that. Then when I was ten, my knees started to hurt. And it’s hard for anyone to go through mass amounts of pain, but especially at such a young age. It was especially hard for me because I was very isolated at that age. For me, my only life was home and and school, nothing else. And at school, I spent the first few months barely speaking at all because of my autism. I was at a new school, with a class full of strangers, and I didn’t feel comfortable speaking to anyone or just at all.
Eventually, I made a friend and being able to speak to people just kinda kicked in. But it was still difficult. And it was around that time that I started having more problems at home. I was fighting with my parents, my parents with each other, bad, my sister with me and my parents. So when my knees starting hurting, it was really hard, I think especially because they hurt so bad. Whenever my knee would lightly brush against anything, and because of autism I would always be spinning in ny chair a lot, hitting things, that would be often, I would be in excruciating pain. I would hurl over and have to stop myself from screaming out in class.
And it took a while for me to finally come up with the courage to tell someone something was wrong. It was mainly because my home and school life at the time wasn’t great, and my pain was very great so it was really sensitive, but I don’t even really know why I was so scared to bring it up, but I was. My mother and I pulled up in our drive way after school and before we got out, I told her that I had to tell her something. I told her that my knees have been really hurting lately. It was probably going on for a few weeks or a few months by that point, I can’t really remember a lot from that year but I know it was going on for a bit by then.
And maybe if she had asked more questions, I could have told her more. I could have told her that my pain was excruciating, I could have told her it was going on for a while, I could have told her about the growing bumps on my knees, I could have told her about how I whenever I hit my knee on the leg of the table at school it would take all of my energy to not scream at the top of my voice in pain and burst into tears. But she didn’t ask. She told me, well, it could be something, but she was scared I’ll get mad. I told her to tell me, and she paused and told me that people that are fatter sometimes have knee pain. At that point in time I was always getting frustrated with her cause she was telling me I was too fat and too heavy and trying to restrict my food.
I would’ve stormed out of the car then, but because of her being like oh you’ll just get upset I told her. No but it like really hurts. And she just brushed it off and said it’s because I’m over weight and I need to exercise more. And then I stormed out. I never brought it up again. Fast forwards four years, more or less, summer of last year, it was arthritis. Osgood Schlatters. This specific type of inflammation affects the growth plate in your knees. Obviously, since then I have grown, and I no longer have a growth plate, but my knees have been fucked up since.
And when I finally went to the doctor for knee pain, I brought up other symptoms as well, and it was like a flood gate. And since then I’ve been diagnosed with various disabilities (partially to fully diagnosed. Also self diagnoses). And throughout my disability journey, I was so resentful of exercising, and of my parents and doctors. My parents, my ableist pediatrician, just loved blaming most of my problems on my exercising habits. And it was hard to differentiate that blaming and good doctors actually trying to support me with exercise. I was finally able to get over my resentment once I started physical therapy.
5. Resenting doctors and help is another reason! This can cause people to become afraid of doctors and appointments and reaching out for help. The more sensitive a topic is for a person, the more painful it is when they’re let down, and then the more sensitive it becomes, and the more they fear getting let down. Let down by parents, friends, partners, teachers, bosses, etc. Not just doctors, but sometimes also especially doctors. And it’s so hard to be able to advocate for yourself to doctors, when you shouldn’t have to, they should be helping you. It’s painful when a doctor lets you down, and it’s really not easy to insistent more testing, more options, more treatments, different doctors, etc.
But because of my difficulty with exercising, I have such a hard time with exercising habits and at the moment I can’t exercise because I just don’t know how to form these habits.
6. and also!!! (Back to the list) All of these reasons are so important, and especially if you’re disability makes exercising extremely difficult or near impossible. In many cases, people won’t be able to or will be too afraid to exercise prior to a medical appointment. For example, I have pots (well basically but this isn’t the time to get into that). For a lot of people with pots, it can be so difficult to exercise. And if you don’t know your limits, you can push yourself too hard (especially when your entire life is basically pushing yourself just to get by) and that can cause a flare up! Or let’s say for example you have pots and are hyper mobile. Some exercises can be really painful and damaging. Without knowing that, exercise can just seem to make things worse in it and of itself, or worsen things. And without a doctor to explain that and how to advise on a routine or something, a lot of people just avoid exercise! But the thing with pots is that the less active you are, the worse it will get, and then the harder exercise will be and it’s this horrible loop. And it’s loop that some people don’t even know that they’re in because others are invalidating their experience and just telling them to exercise and discouraging them from going to a doctor and blaming the disabled person, furthering the vicious cycle.
And this is an example specific to pots, but situations like this or similar are so prevalent and fucking blaming someone’s lack of exercise is just horrible, even if someone just does it out of ignorance. There’s a difference between knowing exercise will help and blaming someone for not exercising. It’s heartbreaking when this happens, and it does happen, a lot. People need to learn how to treat people.
TLDR: blaming people’s disabilities on them not exercising is horrible and shit and damaging. It’s invalidating, blaming, and leads to people not taking symptoms seriously. Don’t do it. And if someone blamed your disability on you not exercising, fuck them, and don’t give up on yourself, I know it’s hard.
[Image Description: gif of sleepy gray kitten's head falling, face planting onto bed]
these overalls are kinda my new personality (disregard my lack of makeup and clips, im autistic and chronically ill and it was 5pm when I took these lol i cannot keep full decora on all day.)
[ID: Two mirror selfies of a white decora boy. He is wearing strawberry overalls over patterned shirts. He has several necklacs on, and his hair is in pigtails. He has a fruit patterned mask, and a milk carton themed purse. end ID.]
Outfit Breakdown under the cut for those interested!
Pink hoodie- Tj Maxx 💖
T shirt- Ocean in Space (❤️)
Overalls- Ocean in Space (🧡)
Button Up- PEPPERONCCINI (💛)
Mask- Reallyhardydraws (No Longer Available! Tumblr:💚)
Accesories- Handmade! 💙
Tights- GIMMEfashion (on Hiatus currently 💜 )
also tagging @accessfashion!
why are you so comfortable excusing nazi rhetoric when you talk about disabled and autistic people?
1. I think its a bit far to call the term "aspergers" "nazi rhetoric"
2. Not everyone knows about Hans Asperger, especially if they were just diagnosed. People can use that term and not be a Nazi. You know how many things came from horrible people/pasts/etc.? Having blue for boys and pink for girls came from Hitler when he divided and labeled people, the food "Husbpuppies" were invented for slaves to keep tracking dogs quiet, the red and white pole in barber shops are from when barbers were the ones you would go to for bl*od-letting (red= blo*d, white = bandages) are you telling barber shop owners that they're promoting c**ting? Are you telling black people they can't eat hushpuppies? I'm not saying that we should be proud of the word's past, but using the term Aspergers is not agreeing with its past.
3. Some people use aspergers/aspie because they want to be seen as separate from "autistic" and considering how much people get bullied, abused, mistreated, etc. for being labeled autistic, I don't blame them. I'm lucky that I feel comfortable saying I'm autistic.
4. I am autistic. It is my "culture," the same as any culture has their negative terms to call themselves as they dang well please. It is a term used poorly to describe my people, yes, but that doesn't mean none of us can use it. You can have whatever opinion you want, but do not tell me how to label myself, or how others in this same group can/should label themselves. We have enough on our plate.
Tldr; Anon from tumblr.com, go talk to someone else about how mad it makes you that a random blog uses a word you don't like, cause I'm done caring about people who think like this. Next message about this is getting deleted.