I used to worry that I was boring, and that I don't have the type of life others do.
I haven't travelled much, or had children.
I won't pretend not having kids doesn't totally break my heart, but maybe I was never going to do 'normal'.
I've certainly never felt like I fit in anywhere.
I tend to see things differently to a lot of people, and notice things they don't seem to.
Maybe that's just what I have to do.
I don't worry quite so much any more.
Some people think 'she doesn't do anything' - but they're comparing my life with theirs.
They are usually able-bodied, have energy, and they tend to take those things for granted.
For obvious reasons, (my Cerebral Palsy), as well as some not so obvious reasons, (depression, anxiety, lack of confidence), my life doesn't work that way.
It never will.
I like helping people, and I'm passionate about making a difference. I have been ever since I was a little girl.
It's taken me a long time to get here, but I realise that's what I do. My role IS to help raise awareness of disability. It is essentially what I've been trying to do, all my life.
Before, I used to think that I had to be this, or that -living up to the expectations of society, my family, and myself, but I never thought I would have to do the same with government.
Government has demonised disabled people.
They tell us that if we don't 'contribute' to society by having a job, being a superhuman athlete, or someone else's idea of an 'inspiration', then we are worthless 'scroungers', that are not worthy of support, or a place among worthy, 'hard-working people'.
Iain Duncan Smith said at the Tory Party Conference, that he wanted disabled people to 'work their way out of poverty'.
For many of us, that is simply not possible, no matter how much we want it!
We have exhaustion, pain, and so many other limitations to cope with. His words (as well as the Welfare 'Reform' policies), have consistently belittled, alienated, and trivialised, what disabled and ill people face.
They have seemingly been designed to cause us as much pain and hardship as they possibly can, and they are. Not only are we losing independence, and vital support, but we are dying in our thousands!
Following his heartless words, I cried -again. It's not the first time, (and it won't be the last) that the brutal, compassionless policies of this government have reduced me to tears, or made me so angry that I don't know what to do with myself.
The points I want to make to Mr Duncan Smith, this government, and to the people in society that believe the lies and 'scrounger' rhetoric, are as follows:
Disability IS hard work! It is an endless struggle every day from which you never get a break, and it IS a JOB! A job which no one would chose!
Many disabled people do work or have worked and paid into the system. Those that haven't, (through no fault of their own), still PAY to live in society! We are human beings - even though this government is failing to treat us as such.
Even if we can't work, we contribute to society in other ways! It's not all about money. People learn from us, - we have other roles to play.
To put it bluntly, maybe it's not me that has to accept my life, and what I am. Maybe it's Mr Duncan Smith, this government, and society.