Recently, someone who doesn’t have a disability thought to share her rather shitty opinion with me that I was not an advocate. She’s not someone who has even met me, nor now will she ever. After she listed the reasons why she didn’t like me (when I say she told me she didn’t like me, I mean that she said ‘she didn’t hate me because I had a disability and she didn‘t hate me for other reasons but she hated me for some other reason she listed”) Interesting that during 2020 I was the only person she claimed she ever chatted to, now she has no-one.
Anyway, she felt the need to inform me I wasn’t a great advocate. So, while I’m not suggesting I’m creating world peace (gotta save something for later right?), I’m doing some of the little things to make life easier.
So, here’s an example:
I’ve been part of a self-advocacy group for 8+ years now. They do the big projects and some local day to day stuff. These things don’t pay. It’s monthly meetings and lots of emails and reading and things you do in your own time. It’s a good way to stay connected to a community so you can share problems and discuss with each other how we solve some of these problems. Some problems have systemic change required, some informing the public (who don’t want to know) and some is just how we are better prepared so when we get harassed by a ticket inspector on a train that we don’t move to scramble for our ID or ticket.
Anyway, during 2020, they started rewarding us with a pocket money incentive every month. I can’t get ‘paid’ as it;
1. Impacts the pension.
2. Would have my super fund completely taken from me as it would be imagined I can one day return to work.
So I had to emphasise to the powers that be that not everyone can be paid. Not everyone will start a business, have a career (from their ABI) and life will not resume as normal and I was more than happy to take my pocket money in the form of a vouchers and I mentioned about four retailers where I could happily do some damage.
JB Hi Fi
There are options, all the things are there and the person with the job to find out if I could do this, got back to me with some calls and it was a yes. Now, ladies, if you get $150 once or twice a year, what do we spend it on?
That’s right! BRAS! These days I get new bra’s every two years, and it’s a painful and expensive endeavour.
My carer that I go do ‘stuff’ with is not one of my ladies who have seen me naked (well, in any way unclothed) mainly because, and it’s a reasonable reason and I’m sticking with it. I don’t want any of my carers getting between me and my need to buy ice cream.