The Inconvenience of Disability and a Throw Away Culture

Public opinion considering that disability is an  inconvenience to others mixed with the growing trend towards becoming more and more of a throw away society is both disturbing and frightening to me!

Can’t cope with your child’s annoying and inconvenient disability?

Then just get rid of him or her.

Now please don’t get me wrong.

I’m well aware that many loving parents of children with disabilities make the very difficult decision to place their children into living situations outside the family home.

In fact, I personally know several children who are happy and thriving living as independently as possible away from home.

I’m reasonably certain though, that most parents who place their child to live outside of the home did not come to that decision lightly or because they felt that their child was too much of a burden.

Sometimes as our disabled children become young adults, they want to explore and experience growing up, leaving home, and living as independently as possible.

Other times, parents make such a decision for the safety of their child or for the safety of other family members.

I’m sure there also are a myriad of other good reasons why parents sometimes choose to place their disabled child in living situations other than at home with them.

And then, of course,  as parents of children with special needs age, we would be negligent if we did not at some point, begin preparing them for life without us and to do so involves eventually transitioning them into other housing options.

I have no issue with any of these options!

My criticism lies with the opinion that if your child’s disability causes you an inconvenience, is annoying, or makes life difficult for you in any way, then by all means just get rid of him or her!

Tragically, the horribly despicable opinion that some aspects of my daughter’s disability are too much of an inconvenience to me, has reared its ugly head in my life.

This alarming attitude of someone close to me has broken my heart!

I feel as if I can’t express any hint of distress, despair, or depression when I am with this person because every time I do, she responds by telling me to place Bethany into an institution for the disabled.

She tells me that I deserve a less stressful life!

Perhaps she means well and has good intentions, but all I hear her saying is, “Throw away your inconvenient daughter so you can have a better life!”.

It’s heart wrenching for me that this person wants me to throw away my daughter as if she were just a piece of dirty trash.

As close as we once were, I have decided that I need to cut her out of my life.

Because no matter how difficult or inconvenient Bethany’s disability be at times, I will not give up on her or send her away out of selfishness!

Bethany’s happiness, safety, and welfare will always come first and she will always be worthy of  being treated with love, kindness, dignity, and respect.

My husband and I have absolutely no intention of placing her into another living situation until the she is ready for it.

Actually, Bethany recently turned twenty!

Now that she is an adult, the time to transition her into different living arrangements will soon be upon us.

In fact, we are currently working on a 5-10 year plan to purchase a duplex where we will convert one apartment into a sort of mini group home for her and roommates where she can learn to live more independently without us and my husband and I will live safely nearby in the other unit.

I’m sharing at That Friday Linky.
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12 Replies to “The Inconvenience of Disability and a Throw Away Culture

  1. The most difficult example of this was my father -in-law, who urged us to instiutionalize Alex. Isn’t a grandfather supposed to support his son in keeping his grandson home?

  2. I’m like you Sylvia, it’s not even a question for me. Our society is so quick to throw people away and I get that some people have it so much harder than I do. My heart breaks for them, it really does. For me, the second I was pregnant with my kids, that was it – they are my joy and my pain and my life no matter what! If I put my son away, they’d have to get bunk beds because I’d be there next to him!

    1. Most people don’t understand that life would be so much worse if Bethany lived somewhere else because I’d be constantly worried about new bad things that might happen to her that I really would have no control over, I’d wonder constantly of she felt abandoned, and I would feel selfish. The guilt would eat away at me.

  3. I used to work with kids that were basically thrown away by their families and… No. I would never do that to my son no matter how bad things got. Kids know when their families want them gone, whether they are able to speak or not.

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