Deaf geographies, and other worlds.
I think everyone goes through periods of pain, but for some, those periods are longer than others.
I’ve had enough accidents and incidents that I’m quite familiar with pain; long-term pain… as in years of pain. I’m familiar enough with pain that when I hurt, I get used to it quite quickly, and tend to notice the pain less than what it does to affect my behaviour and my choices.
I recognise that I’m hurting more when I get tired, or frustrated, or irritated more quickly than usual.
I recognise that I’m hurting when I start to step back and force myself to be more mindful around people, to be more patient than I otherwise want to be to make sure that I don’t snap.
I recognise that I’m hurting when I start to think about what I want to achieve, and make decisions based on whether I want to be comfortable, or be able to think clearly (for example).
I also recognise that I’m hurting when I start to think about how society can’t really do anything to help, or adapt, other than to relax the expectations around achievement, speed, and social decorum.
And then I think about how weak the social model of disability is to explain pain… it’s invisible, it’s enormously consuming of energy, and it most immediately appears as self-absorption unless the person in pain decides to explain – which can also appear to be very self-indulgent.
As a friend wryly observed the other day “Well, if it helps to theorise pain away…” !