I’m starting to hate humanity

Is it really so bad for me to ask not to be called a freak, looked at with disgust, and compared to a pedophile?

I would have thought that a person with a disability would be more understanding of how fucking hurtful it is to have someone dismiss your entire existence.

I never hurt anyone. I don’t deserve to be told that the attraction that I have, that I have always behaved responsibly with, is reason for me to be hated.

How dare you tell me that me defending myself is the equivalent of  a guy complaining that a woman he harassed got upset with him? 

Well, this is my blog. And I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to say that I have devoteeism and I AM NOT SICK.

I am very sorry for the behavior of devs who have harassed, stalked, and frightened people with disabilities. I have no intention of defending them.

All I asked was that I not be thrown into the fire with them. How can you condemn an entire group of people? How can you say “people who are attracted to disability are sick and need to be in therapy”? (For the record, I am in therapy. My therapist doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with me.)

I was abused by a boyfriend who was disabled. I’ve had many frightening and creepy messages from men who have disabilities.

I did not use those experiences to tell everyone how vile and disgusting all people with disabilities are.

I’m a human being. I have a heart. I have compassion, love, and conviction. I’m not here to say that your experience isn’t valid. You should hate the scumbags who treated you so poorly. Why must that hate take the form of “It’s because they are attracted to disability that they are such creeps”? No it’s not! It’s because they’re fucking creeps.

You have no idea the pain and struggle that I’ve been through because of being a devotee. I cannot dismiss your experience and you cannot dismiss mine. You think you’re the only one who suffers? 

Thank you for spreading hatred. For increasing the disharmony of this world. For providing another space where a young dev can stumble across vitriol encouraging him or her to hate himself, to give up on her life.

To attack those who hurt you and put them in their place does not require condemning my existence.

I don’t exist because of you. I am not a response to disability. I just…am. I didn’t ask to have this attraction. No amount of therapy or self-hatred or any other course of action has caused it to disappear. I didn’t choose this. But I do behave in a responsible manner. Because I have always believed that we as human beings are a family and we need to show care and respect to each other because you have no idea what another is suffering through.

Don’t scoff at me and tell me that my suffering isn’t real. It’s every bit as real as yours.

But then, I don’t need your permission to exist. I am as I am and I will continue to be whether you like it or not.

3 Comments

  1. Jen
    Sep 29, 2012

    Well, this will be an experiment in tolerance. Will you publish my comment as I published yours initially?

    I’m going to address some specifics in your post. You ask:
    “You have no idea the pain and struggle that I’ve been through because of being a devotee. I cannot dismiss your experience and you cannot dismiss mine. You think you’re the only one who suffers? ”

    I don’t think I suffer at all. I find that quite telling. My life is not about suffering, I live quite a busy, active life. I work, I engage in sports and social activities, I travel, and I engage in activism. That’s quite a leap to assume there is suffering here.

    Additionally, you post: “Well, this is my blog. And I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to say that I have devoteeism and I AM NOT SICK.”

    You HAVE devoteeism?? Like one has syphillis or the flu? Interesting self-identification. The people I know who have an atypical social identification never say “I have” we say “I AM” “I am a PWD” not “I have paralysis.” or “I AM LGBTQ” as opposed to “I have homosexuality.”

    Thank you for this view into your world. It’s been quite instructive.

    • RuthMadison
      Sep 29, 2012

      I’m so glad that you’re here! I wanted the opportunity to apologize, but thought I best not go back to your blog. I was told about your post by a paraplegic man I know and I had intended to leave a few comments to try to provide some balance, but I was so distraught about it that I spoke to my female dev friends and they all wanted to help and support. I never meant for you to be inundated with comments.

      Well, for the first point, I definitely did not mean suffering from your disability. I meant the suffering you experienced from the behavior of these creeps. You don’t deserve that.

      I will have to think further about the semantics of how I talk about my devness. To say that one is a devotee can be misleading just because the word “devotee” has such a broad meaning. One can be a devotee of fashion, a devotee of Krishna, a devotee of just about anything. It’s a silly word to use. so I tend to frame sentences to use devoteeism because that word means only one thing. Still a silly word, but it’s what’s been attached to me. I think I might invent another, if I can think of a word that doesn’t sound dumb.

      I don’t know why my self esteem tends to rest on the perception of others. I’ve been getting better about that. But I’m not entirely good at letting things roll off me yet. I still take things very personally. I worry about other children growing up with a sexual desire that terrifies them they way mine did. I want to help to guide them to a place where they can have good relationships with people they are attracted to. The deep and meaningful relationships that I have had with men who have disabilities helped me to see myself as a natural part of the world and not broken. They have seen me as a blessing: the lid to their unusually shaped pot, as it were.

      But when I was a frightened little eighteen year old, posts like yours drove me very close to suicide.

  2. Devo Girl
    Sep 30, 2012

    Go Ruth! Keep fighting the good fight. I AM a devotee and I have nothing to be ashamed of. Saying all devs are sick is like saying all gay men are pedophiles. A lot of people believed that until quite recently, but luckily attitudes have started to change.

    People may not like it, but we can’t help feeling this way. We can control how we act on those feelings though. Those of us who have healthy relationships never get noticed, because we seem just like everyone else.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/07/12/sl-letter-of-the-day-devoted-devotee

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