Friday, 12 August 2016

#disabledgothproblems - Life with a black soul and a blue badge

It's one thing standing out looking like the spawn of Lucifer's sordid affair with a can of hairspray, but there's also walking with a stick. Venturing out into the public with goff* tendencies and disabilities isn't the most pleasant of experiences, but one thing's for certain - you're not alone.

1. The view from the festival viewing platform is... no view at all.
When it's raining, you've got no choice but to plonk down in a metal chair full of water and accepting that you'll never see the stage behind the umbrella in front. Risking the wrath of the pit isn't worth the lethal mud, though...

2. Smiling at other disabled people on the street without realising you look like a homicidal mastermind.
So maybe the makeup's a bit much for other humans, maybe your eyebrows are too intimidating, maybe that skull on your shirt is giving them a funny look. No matter how much you grin politely, you still look like a Bond villain out for a grocery shop.

3. Tolerating the usual excruciating pain just to get that added bounce to your Robert Smith hairdo.
Agony or no agony, that hair ain't gonna lift itself. However many pain breaks stall you on the journey to volume Valhalla, that extra hour is well worth it in the end.

4. You'll never know if your teachers and classmates picked on you because of your disability, attitude or style.
The bane of us triple eye-catchers, there's no easy way of asking if it's the limp, the limp sarcasm or the limp eyeliner.

5. Spending actual years searching for the most goth walking stick.
Avoiding comparisons with the elderly population must mean carrying a stick with style, right? We put so much effort into our image, we wouldn't even draw the line at Lucius Malfoy's majestic snake cane.
Lucius Malfoy's Walking Stick and Wand

6. You can't always dress yourself up for Halloween, but asking for help is admitting defeat.
The one day of the year we can let our hair down, and we're faced with a difficult choice - elaborate cosplay that takes half a century to get into, or the same thing you wore last Friday night?

7. Lace, fringing and tights are basically doomed.
You're really not making life easier for yourself, catching every item of clothing on a passing door and losing more of your precious energy on releasing yourself from your fabric prison. There's nothing quite as stressful as trying to make a symmetrical hole on the other side.
The Art of Sandra Von Ruin

8. You're speechless when you bump into a fellow disabled goth.
You've spent so long avoiding eye contact with the rest of humanity, seeing a like-minded soul pretty much floors you when you least expect it. If only your condition could allow you to rugby tackle them and shower them with hugs.

(This is written from the perspective of a 24-year-old with ankylosing spondylitis, so my views are primarily that of a young person with elderly symptoms. My sincere apologies for any offence caused or any occurrences that don't appear with other disabilities.)
(* No, these aren't all goth stereotypes, the term is used loosely to cover the many of us that appreciate rock and metal alongside gothic royalty. Love thy sinister neighbour.)

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