A Strange Kind of Envy

I initially thought I had nothing to write about for today’s prompt. Not because there’s nothing I envy other people for. There’s things I envy about other people. Like people who can walk in a straight line or order food for themselves in a restaurant or buy a train ticket without freaking out about it. More lightheartedly I envy anyone who has a Freiburg season ticket or a ticket for Bayern’s Champions League game with Juventus tonight.

But I don’t want to write about any of that, it’s all so negative and I don’t want any such thoughts in my mind. What I should say is I don’t want anymore of them. The kind of envy I’m actually going to write about is a very strange kind though unfortunately it’s one very familiar to me. It concerns people who show a kind of twisted jealousy to what they see as the “perks” that disabled people get. I’m familiar with these kind of attitudes in many forms. From parents who complain about the “special needs kid” getting special treatment, questioning why they get extra attention in the form of one to one and adaptations such as a special chair. Never does it occur to them they should be grateful their child doesn’t need such things. Children showing such attitudes is somewhat understandable but for adults to behave in the same kind of way is disgusting, there can’t be any excuse for it, none whatsoever.

Whilst such attitudes would be understandable from younger children not so from teenagers. I have direct experience with this myself, with being cornered and asked why I got taken out of class. It seems some people think it’s fun, to get to miss lessons. They have no idea how lucky they were, to just be able to go to any school. To not have schools turn you away because they don’t want to deal with your problems. Do you think it’s fun being out of school for months at a time? Or having to repeat a year? I can tell you it’s no fun at all.

Such attitudes don’t end when you become an adult either. Then you get the comments about having a disabled rail pass and not looking disabled. I’m not quite sure what they expect a disabled person to look like but that’s a rant for another time. And that’s not the end of it. Now I can get to my point, to what gave me something to write about today. It was a comment to the effect that the person they were referring to (an autistic adult) should consider themselves lucky to have a place to live and to get support to live independently. Having autism is a lot of things, lucky is not one of them. It’s a comment which made me unbelievably angry, enough to realise that I needed to step away and just stop engaging in such things. I don’t need that kind of anger and negativity right now. They are right about being lucky though, just not in the way they intended. They’re right in the sense that you are lucky to get any such help. Because such support is in many places non-existent and where it does exist they’ve been cut to the bone. The criteria is written in a way that only the most severely affected qualify, everyone else is left to sink or swim. Like where I live for example. In order to qualify for such services you have to be “intellectually impaired.” Deliberately written to cut out people who are autistic but have a normal IQ. It’s illegal to set their criteria that way, the government has said so. But they don’t care whether or not local authorities actually follow such edicts. It’s not their problem.

It made me angry because if that person wasn’t autistic he wouldn’t need the extra help, would he? How can you begrudge or even worse envy what you take for granted. There’s going to be a lot of things that an autistic person may not be able to do, things that you do without even thinking about. And yet you begrudge them the chance to have some kind of help, to have some kind of quality of life. This isn’t some kind of feeling sorry for yourself rant, I don’t feel sorry for myself right now. I’m just angry at the things that so many people take for granted. They’re jealous of the so called perks but I bet they wouldn’t want the problems you need to have in order to have them. You want discounted rail tickets, think it’s a sweet deal. I admit it’s something I find helpful. You know what would be more helpful? Being able to learn to drive, like my younger siblings are doing. Also shame I can’t actually get the most out of having such a “perk.” Leaving the house isn’t as easy as just stepping outside and shutting the door behind you. I want to go out this Friday to the cinema and to buy more stickers. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I’m not sure I have enough energy left, not only that but I’m not sure I can get dressed in outside clothes. I may have to content myself with watching a Sebastian Stan film at home instead and the stickers may have to wait. But it could be worse. I have plenty to occupy myself with should that be the case. Not to mention Bayern’s game which kicks off soon. On the pre-match show two of the presenters played out the match on FIFA. Out of curiosity I decided to try the same thing, I’m currently one up against Juventus courtesy of a Lewandowski goal.

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