TW: family drama
The fact that I have a disability does not change the following:
I am thirty one years old and I am capable of making my own decisions.
I am able to ask for what I need.
I am able to take what I need.
I am able to speak for myself and advocate for my needs.
I am able to self-care. I am able to assess when I need self-care and take it.
I am able to see when my needs are not being met.
I am able to stand up for myself.
I am proud of this and even though I am not perfect, I am proud that I still try to be better so that I don’t fall further down than I can claw back from.
I can’t talk but I still have a voice and I still have the power to use it, even when it only means I hurt less instead of I hurt more.
I have the ability to take myself out of harmful situations so that they don’t affect me as much as they could.
I have the ability to say ‘No’.
Today I said ‘no’ to my mum, and it made her have a meltdown and my dad got passive-aggressive angry at me for not being sensitive enough because my mum is upset.
I kept saying ‘no’ and now I can’t stop crying but I am also very proud of myself because I said no and I stuck to it even when my mum started ‘but i don’t understand! it’s so hard! i can’t cope!’ and my dad started ‘but you have to consider your mother! why can’t you just be considerate because we already decided this without you!’.
They did not consider me, so I said no, and I stuck to it, at a not insignificant emotional cost. They are very kind and all to help me afford to live, but I am still an adult and I get to have a say in my own life.
And this is perfectly okay.
Of course, it means that I don’t get to go to my grandmother’s funeral because my mother’s apparent inability to cope means I’m not allowed to travel on my own or something, and apparently there’s some reason that all the work I’ve put into planning it is somehow invalid because nobody else knows what to do and my mum isn’t coping enough to be rational but I’m not allowed to travel on my own and when I offered to actually travel on my own and go handle everything for her I got in trouble for that too, so now there isn’t an actual funeral and my mum’s upset she didn’t get a choice in that because she did and just didn’t take it because she doesn’t have the ability to communicate with her sister as a rational adult, so she’s really sorry for me because there isn’t a funeral and so on. (Basically, it’s too hard for her, she’s decided that I miss out, and she’s sorry. Or something. It’s both ‘it’s not worth coming home for ten minutes at the grave’ and ‘we’re coming to get you and you have no choice’.)
So it’s not a win, exactly. But here’s the thing – this way I get to self-care. This way I get to choose for myself. It’ll probably take a while to go from really angry at my mother for not handling this well, but if I’m meant to be putting her grief above my own (remember, I wasn’t allowed to go visit my grandmother either, because my mother decided it was too hard for her), then the best way I know how to do that is to stay as far away as possible, not let her harm me, and not let things get to the point where I resent her and she feeds off it to the point where it turns back at me. The best way is to not get involved in family drama, so I can’t be accused of taking sides or not understanding or whatever. The best way involves not getting to the point where she has to be sorry she did something she can’t undo. Because I can’t do anything right, the best way is to actively do nothing, because while that’s probably wrong, technically, well, I haven’t done it, even though it’s not easy.