Monday, 29 July 2013

moving in non-normative ways

I have been staying at my new(ish) girlfriend’s place a lot, she lives with 3 other girls and their lovers and the house is accessible mostly apart from one step outside my gf’s room which leads up into the rest of the house- the lounge room, kitchen and bathrooms so needless to say I hate this step as I have to jump outta my manual wheelchair and pull it up and down said stupid step every time I wanna go from her room to the toilet. So I have started not bothering and crip-ing my way about the house like I would do if I was just with family- crawling from her room through to the toilet (the place is only small so its not far). At 1st I did this as fast as I could and in the middle of the night when I just couldn’t hold on from my neeed to pee to get my CP muscles + need to pee re the increasing tension to be able to in time get my chair up the step to go pee and wheel to toilet and then back down step and into bed. But slowly as the weeks past I am getting braver/lazier and now I am considering doing it, crawling in the day when people are up and about. However, doing this, crawling, brings up a LOT of issues re shame, internalised ablism, years of forced normalisation (re painful and intense daily exercise regimes for the 1st 14yrs of my life) and thinking how her housemates will/might view me a grown person scuttling through their house.

Initially when 1st crawled back into bed with my new gf I was thinking ‘oh man, I hope she still finds me sexy’ etc but I have implemented the crawl with all my past lovers at some point within the 1st few weeks, outta necessity mostly, like I need to get my pants quickly and crawling is the quickest option, (or more likey I am too covered in sex to wanna sit in my chair and share the sex with it). Plus it ‘tests’ if they are really cool with my non-normative body and my crip politics (social model based) to see if they are into how I move and use my body differently. Also I have grown up pushing my body through the exercises-which I now view as having done no long-term good and contributed in a major way to adult depression and anxiety about my body and myself as the exercises entrenched everyday that there was something, my cp, inheritably ‘wrong’ with me that need to and couldn’t be fixed, irradiated. But also I have pushed myself through loving the outdoors and de-chairing as much as I want to, to climb, to stumble on walks around the neighbourhood etc. I enjoy being able, and acknowledge my level of/degree of cp privilege to be able to de-chair and still move my body about. I like not always being in, or attached to my chair, to be a body moving free of my chair which I use 90% of the time for mobility. I like just being a body in space and these days that is done through crawling.

But even with this joy of movement and my crip politics I am acutely aware that I am pushing boundaries when I do it in front of people, my own and their boundaries. So should I just take the plunge the next time I need to pee in the day time and holding my politics in the fore-front of my mind crawl out into house and view it as a form of crip activism in motion?

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