Walk In My Shoes

I want you to walk in my shoes
Not because I want you to feel what it means
To be disabled
But because I want you to understand
How it feels to be excluded

I would like to see you walk in my shoes
Not because I need your pity
I don’t need it
I don’t want it

I want you to experience
The uselessness of feeling pity for others
Like me

I would like to see you walk in my shoes
And experience what I feel
When my rights are denied
When I am silenced
Ignored
Mocked
Bullied
Abused

I want you to walk in my shoes
And understand why
I cannot be silent
Why I fear for my life
Every time another disabled person
Is murdered
Just for being who they are

I want you to walk in my shoes
And understand how the uncertainty of care
Scares and consumes me every time
A hospital staff fails me because they don’t see beyond
The obsolete thoughts of normalcy

I hope my shoes help you see
The pain and hurt I feel
Every time I am called
Burden
Tragedy
Disease
Every time my existence is devalued
And blamed for causing my family despair

I want you to walk in my shoes
And try to not feel pain
When the people pretending to help
The people saying you are wrong
Refuse to see I am complete
I am not broken
I am not normal – nor I want to be
I just want to be respected for being me

If you walk in my shoes
Maybe you will value me
And others like me

Maybe you will stop feeling sorry
For people who feel betrayed
Because their idea of normal and perfection
Is utopia

Maybe you will stop feeling sorry
For a social system
That does very little for me
Yet, it blames me for its incompetence and disregard

Walk in my shoes
Listen
Feel
Then you will, hopefully,
See me as a human being

Copyright 2014 by Amy Sequenzia
Image description black and white photograph of woman with short dark brown hair. She is smiling. Dark grey text reads:Amy Sequenzia Passionate Autistic activist, writer, and poet . Read more from Amy on Ollibean and visit nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com .

About the Author:

Amy Sequenzia is a non-speaking Autistic, multiply disabled activist and writer. Amy writes about disability rights, civil rights and human rights. She also writes poetry. Amy has presented in several conferences in the US and abroad, and her work is featured in books about being Autistic and Disabled. Amy is deeply involved with the Neurodiversity Movement and has been outspoken about the rights and worthy of disabled people. Amy serves on the Board of Directors of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST). http://nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com and Autism Women’s Network. You can also follow Amy on Twitter at @AmySequenzia.

8 Comments

  1. […] include Judy Endow’s How to Figure Out if an Autistic Needs Fixing, Amy Sequenzia’s Walk in my Shoes, and Henry Frost’s All the People Saw my […]

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