I am worthless.
It’s not just a feeling I am giving a name to.
It’s a painful, lifelong reality I am speaking truth to.
In this world, in this society, I am worth less.
I am worth less because I create less worth.
I can’t work. I don’t produce and contribute like others do.
I can’t have children. I don’t procreate and contribute to the survival of my species like others do.
I am worth less because I cost more worth.
I can’t work. I cost money for housing, food, clothing, and all my other needs.
I can’t be independent. I cost resources like support staff and healthcare to mitigate my symptoms.
I don’t function well. I cost the people who need to care for me time, energy, and often their own wants and needs.
I am worth less because I am different.
My thoughts are worth less.
My feelings are worth less.
My needs are worth less.
My voice is worth less.
As a disabled person, I am told and shown every day that I cost too much, am too disabled to employ, am too complicated to accommodate, am not a healthcare priority, take resources away from more worthy people, am a burden, am better off dead – and that the world would be better off without people like me in it.
To the world, I am at most an afterthought.
More often than not I am not even thought of at all.
Whatever worth I may provide, you do not see.
If you do see it, you do not think it enough.
At the same time, people say I shouldn’t feel worthless.
They tell me to be unaffected by what they do and say to me.
To fight off the sense of worth-less-ness they cause me.
Not to feel worth less while simultaneously reminding me that I am.
And so my worth-less-ness becomes just another failure of mine.
I didn’t fight off this feeling.
I wasn’t strong enough.
I allowed them to make me feel worth less.
It is my failure, my fault, my responsibility that I feel worth less.
It is easy to blame the worthless for feeling worth less.
Then those who make them feel worth less are not to blame.
Then the worthless makers don’t have to take responsibility.
They don’t have to acknowledge the harm they do.
And most importantly, they don’t have to change.
I am worthless.
As a disabled person, I am worth less in this world.
As long as I am worth less, do not tell me that I am not.
I dream of a world in which I am not.
- CO-OCCURRING CONDITIONS
- PUBLIC STATEMENTS