We all need safe spaces to cry, vent and just be safe and comfortable with our weaknesses. We can join the existing spaces or we can create them.
I repeat, we all need safe spaces in life.
So, a number of good friends have been asking me what my story looks like. And they were particular that they wanted to know what motivates me to be so passionate about disability and especially experiences of women with disabilities.
I have been writing so much about the realities of disability from the perspective of women with disabilities and remember I am a woman with disability so to say the less, the stories I write about affects or have affected me as a woman with disability either direct or indirect.
I started coming into what I could call a harsh contact with life as a woman with disability when I joined campus for my first degree, not that I had not experienced life before. My previous harsh life as a child and a young girl with disability had moved on before I joined campus for my first degree.
All my term papers, Assignments and any form of research during my first degree were about disability related issues. How could I have written about life without writing about life with a disability, the reflections that I had all my time in campus brought into my soul these dark clouds and to my heart a dull emotion about what life looks like with a disability.
When I say that I had my first harsh contact with life as woman with disability when I joined campus all I mean is that: I saw the future glaring at me and I was scared of what was to come after the four years, I was honestly scared and I could steal some minutes, lock myself in the campus washroom and cry. I did my final project among women with disabilities in Kibra, one of the biggest slum in Africa. I could go back home from the field and I wished disability was not real, I cried still. The last chapter of my project was titled “Action Plan”
I knew I had to take an action so that I don’t need to continue crying alone, or no woman with disability should cry alone when the harsh realities of disability check in. I might not have had, or maybe I will never have the power, resources or even ability to solve all the problems facing women with disabilities, but my joy is that we have a platform where we can cry as a group.
I have always known myself to be that kind of a woman who never does things just for the sake of doing things. I finished my final exams in May, my birthday month and I was waiting to graduate in October. In the meantime, I was jogging my mind around “Action plan” and WARD was born.
When I went to graduate I took the powers to read and write with all the pride since I felt that I had just seen one of the fruits of my tears and fears.
Why have I used the word “cry” instead of what someone may say a “better” word? Here are my two simple reasons;
1.The highest level of dishonesty is when we claim to be always OK. No one is ever always OK. We should always give room to vulnerability. That is the highest measure of integrity!
2.We can measure the complexity of women’s experiences by understanding that they are humans and not a collection of emotional and logical bones and flesh!
About my deep personal stories: I am at that stage of my life where I am saving money to buy the best couch that I will sink in and swing as I share my reality using the Freudian free association method.
We don’t only realize change by putting our hands on material things that we have gathered in life, which is important all the same. We can measure change and growth by looking at how much our tears have shaped us and how much our fears have made us strong.
I am not a strong woman as some will assume, say, think or imagine, I still go to the shower, open the water and literally scream! I have a strong will, that is what I know with no doubt.
I have stains on my pillows that are as a result of the tears that I cry when the realities of life check in here and there!
We are weak and we are strong in our weaknesses!