When you have a disability, you have a different kind of relationship with rejection than non-disabled people do. Especially as a disabled child your day is spent in school receiving various forms of micro and macroaggression experiences of rejection all day. We receive all sorts of distorted forms of feedback that erode our sense of self-worth and question our identity based on other people’s biases. As a child you are not aware of this and internalize people’s ableist perceptions as accurate facts and it shapes a warped version of yourself for you to struggle with. No wonder people with disabilities struggle with accurate self-assessment.
Rejection is a normal experience that everyone experience. Not everyone is going to like us. Not everyone is going to want to date us. Not everyone is going to want to hire us. That is pretty standard for every single person. The sliding scale of the intensity of that reality depends on many variables. Depends how close you fit into societies definition of ideal.
There are movements happening. Movements looking to reshape the definition of beauty within the disabled community, accepting the different forms of the human body. Self-help acceptance movements in various disabilities have been building since the 1970’s in various communities and are quite established now.
When people dismiss the importance of tackling ableism as if it is no big deal, bring the discussion to the topic of rejection. Rejection is something that we can all understand and it can be a connecting point of empathy. Everyone knows what rejection feels like.
Let’s start there.
Let’s see where the conversation takes us.