Sunday, 10 January 2016

An Intro to The Affliction Fiction

I've been told by various people that I should start a blog, so after putting it out to vote and getting a 100% yes result, here it is!

So my spine kinda looks like this...
Credit: Altor Gultarte
So first, here's a little about me.  I'm generally known as Elle.  I'm a Kiwi woman approaching my 30s and studying Policy at university, and I have multiple disabilities both visible and invisible.  Some I was born with, some that developed in my adolescence.  The one most affecting my life being a severe case of kyphoscoliosis (Scoliosis) that started when I was 14.  Another disability that I have had from birth is still as yet a medical mystery even after consulting a myriad of specialists.  My body definitely likes to rebel the norms and keep things 'interesting'.

This blog is going to be predominantly about disability: what it's like living with a disability, the obstacles that come with it (especially social and systemic), effects on other areas of life, disability issues, ableism, and my personal thoughts and experiences with all these things.  I do not claim to speak for all people with disabilities so what I might experience is unlikely to resonate with all of the disabled community, but my aim here is to reach out to those with disabilities and those without, to show disabled people that they are not alone (something I could've used while growing up), and able-bodied people how they can and should help, including a lot of examples of what NOT to do!  I want to make a quick disclaimer that my experiences are almost exclusively with physical disability and chronic illness, so I may inadvertently write about disability to the exclusion of other forms.  This is not my intention so please feel free to let me know if and when I do so.  (Side note: if you have any expertise or experience with other forms of disability including intellectual and would be interested in writing a guest post, let me know!)

I'm also an avid consumer of media and a self-professed geek.  So to keep things light, I will also be making posts about various geek related things of interest to me, such as tabletop games, youtube channels, video games, tv shows, movies, books, and so on.  Just because I can! :)

I plan to make at least two posts a week.  One on Tuesdays (NZ time) relating to disability, and one on Saturdays relating to geeky stuff.

So you're probably wondering about the name... I came up with The Affliction Fiction while looking up synonyms of disability and found 'affliction'.  Thing is, while I understand that disability can make things difficult and can be a struggle - particularly for those with chronic illness and chronic pain - it's not a universal reality for people with disabilities.  We're not all 'suffering' 'confined' 'victims'.  A lot of us cope just fine thank you very much, and words like 'affliction' paint a very bleak picture of the disability community.  In fact I'm a firm believer that it is society that is disabling, as much if not more than the disabilities themselves (I'll talk more about that in a future post).  I generally ascribe to the social model of disability and I'll talk more about that in a future post too.

I think that about covers it as an intro to The Affliction Fiction.  Feel free to post a comment with any questions or even issues you'd like me to cover.  You can also follow me on Twitter @afflictfiction

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