by Melanie Barbaro
I love being disabled
I fell in love disabled
I started a band disabled
I broke up with my mean friends disabled
None of that seemed possible before I figured out I’m disabled
It was satisfying, like pushing a puzzle piece into its right place
Like there was a happiness-shaped hole in my life that’s now filled up
Some people will have a problem with my being disabled. Some people won’t
I’d like to seek out these people – the people who won’t have a problem – and leave the others behind
I might recall them every once in a while, feeling a twinge in my gut as they creep to the forefront of my mind
At times like this I’ll hug my cat. He doesn’t care I’m disabled
I’m not lacking for being disabled; nor am I amazing. I just am
It’s a big deal, you know. Before, I couldn’t just be. I had to be something
Whether it was dutiful daughter, easy-going friend, doormat employee, it didn’t matter.
All of these roles were bollocks.
They didn’t suit me. I hated the script. It felt good to throw it in the bin
Sometimes I like to remind myself that endings are beginnings too.
I love being disabled.
Melanie Barbaro is a 34-year-old Naarm/Melbourne artist working in music, poetry and crochet. She loved to read and write as a child, and returned to these pursuits after a traumatic up-bringing. Melanie likes to write about her favourite things: movies, happy memories and other artists she admires.
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