Nor should it be.
It shouldn’t take your pain, suffering, limitations, hurt, and unfortunate situation to wake me up out of my “sleep.” It shouldn’t take me comparing my pain to your pain to make me feel less of a person or even more of a person.
I shouldn’t become a “better” person because you suffer and are able to smile at the end of the day.
You shouldn’t want to “help” someone because of my upbringing or background, and joy I have found regardless of the situation.
This inspiration and disability porn I see on FB and Youtube, and read in a paper, or online article makes me truly sick.
Why does it take the pain of someone else to wake up another person? That person in pain is not responsible for your “Wokeness”. That person in pain is not responsible for your change of heart.
This does not mean it can’t change your heart. It means, don’t wait for someone to be less off than you to open your eyes. If you do, then you are a piece of SHIT! You are putting a lot of pressure on someone else to make your life meaningful.
I grew up in an environment where my pain was rarely acknowledged. Whenever I felt pain, anger, hurt, or suffering, my feelings were always suppressed with comments like:
“At least you are not in an orphanage.”
“At least you have two arms and two legs and can walk.”
“At least you have food on your plate every day.”
‘At least you have a good education.”
“Think about the poor. Are they complaining?”
Phrases like these serve no good (especially for young children who are more literal). They force you to deny how you feel, and they require you to believe that what you are feeling is not real, not important, or not bad “enough” to be acknowledged.
So I suppressed how I felt and I become a people pleaser. Because, when you are not really allowed to feel your entire essence, you take on the persona of someone who becomes your best friend. This new persona reminds you that what you are going through is “not as bad” as what someone else is going through. This new best friend becomes the expert in how you are supposed to feel, think, and do and creates within you the ability to be a doormat.
We don’t need more people pleasers in this world. We don’t need more people who pretend everything is alright because the other person has it worse. We don’t need more people in this world who decide to get inspired off the backs of those who have visible, and invisible pain but “make it through“.
The Fact that I was trafficked as a young child, sexually abused as a kid, and shunned by my adoptive parents for speaking out and speaking truth, does not make me a “hero.” It makes me a human. Please do not decide to become inspired because of my smile at the end of the day. My pain is not your gain!
I was not created to go through this hurt and pain just so you can later say “I want to be a better person.” Do you have any idea how much pressure that puts on me? Do you have any idea how much responsibility you are giving me?
If you choose to allow someone else’s pain to be your inspiration, it is very likely you are ignoring the real hero in them. It is very possible you were subconsciously waiting for the moment you could have someone who could be your idol.
How many of our idols, or people we look up to have a life that is untouched by pain? Not many! Why are those people not people we want to emulate?
My theory is that suffering is an addiction. But not an addiction necessarily for the one suffering, it is an addiction for the one who uses them to feel better about themselves.
One of the most recent short clips I saw on Facebook was of a little girl with Cerebral Palsy and she was taking her first step. She was so happy that she could do it. She had overcome some of her limitations..
My issue is not with the video. My issue is with the comments that came after the video. People said things like “my life is not that bad” or “if she can do it…” Though the intent of the video was good, the impact could leave a lot of scars. For 1, did this little girl consent to go viral? What was the intent of the parents? If it was to inspire others, I think that is wrong on so many levels.
Don’t use your kids disability, story, pain, frustration, anger…and later accomplishments to inspire others. If they choose to do it on their own, then that is their prerogative.
As an adoptee, raised in a strange religious cult-like family, I found that my story of being in an orphanage in Haiti was used to “inspire” others. I felt like the “poor me/poor her” troupe drove people to do better.
So, I had to go through what I went through so that you could be a better person? I had to lose my mother, and emotionally lose the rest of my biological family, so that you could feel better about yourself?
Things don’t always happen for a reason. Sometimes they do. But sometimes, they really don’t. Especially to kids.
No, your child was not born with a heart condition, and an inability to walk, talk, see, or hear so that they could inspire some aloof person to not be aloof anymore. It just does not happen that way.
For those who believe in God, or some higher power….I would say it is a bit sick to think that this power you believe in purposely made your kid that way so that they could teach others a lesson. I think that is pretty icky of God to do such a thing. If that is God, I want no part in it.
I’m not God, so I don’t know. But what I do know is that we are not responsible for other people’s happiness and state of consciousness.
All this to say; it does not mean that you can’t be inspired by someone’s strength through suffering. That is not in any way what I am hoping to get across.
I’m speaking mostly to those who wait for inspiration to come (and it usually comes from someone who is less fortunate.)
If you take away anything from this blog, please take away that inspiration should not come from someone else’s pain and suffering. Inspiration should come from you wanting to be a better person.