It is shocking to find that the following vignette, while based on a real person, is truer than most people would like to believe. In the following vignette, a young woman with disabilities is treated and abused with such cruelty, and in the cases of rape and incest, she lies.
Ashlee was seventeen when she was first used or raped by a family member. It was years later that she would find herself in trouble and going to the hospital again and again and again, not having any luck getting better. Because of Ashlee’s past, she became addicted to morphine and other narcotics, and her sister Lisa was worse. Drug use in her family along with cigarette smoke and other problems led to Ashlee’s diagnosis with diabetes and high blood pressure. In her Southern home, there is no hope, and because she also got diagnosed with histrionic personality, bipolar, and borderline personality disorder, she receives little treatment. Nobody believes her story of rape, abuse, and torture. This is a common pattern in Ashlee’s life, as it gets worse and worse. She copes by collecting dolls, dolls that won’t talk back or make a fuss. It is harder to prove her story is true in court, and at present, Ashlee has had three or more ex-fiances, all of whom say they won’t date her again.
Ashlee’s story is though based on reality, it is a composite sketch of what proving abuse looks like for all young women, not just disabled women. However, it is noted that most disabled young women are raped at a higher rate than 60% by family members. Even sighted women like Elizabeth Fritzl look like rare diamonds compared to the many other disabled people who are regularly treated with cruelty and abuse.
IF it isn’t physical abuse, disabled women are denied cash funds or flow by husbands, brothers, or any male guardian in Saudi Arabia. The same is true of other women, but disabled women receive more of the sensational attention.
Because of vignettes like the one I just composed, real cases like the next vignette are all too impossible to let slip through the cracks.
Leah is blind and her parents treated her like scum. If asked why they did this, Leah, 12, says, “Because I’m blind.” She’s also autistic, and her parents threw her in the basement. They told her nobody would believe her story of cruelty and abuse at the hands of her family. Upon taking her family to court, however, Leah found that her rights were considered, and she told the judge she didn’t want to live with her family again because her parents threw her in a basement, forced her to wear stinky diapers, and called her names. She was changed frequently in front of friends, guests, etc. This is a form of discipline called diaper discipline, and it hurts, not helps the child grow and learn from mistakes. It’s a form of abuse.
Leah’s story is far more important in this sense that the abuse is more obvious. But do we see a pattern? Leah’s abuse story here is a composite once again of several real life stories, and adding disability to the mix makes it hard for the parents to cope. Leah is who we should be helping more, right?
IF Leah had not been helped by Children Protective Services, she would have ended up like Ashlee, obviously. It’s obvious that nobody knows the difference between Ashlee’s and Leah’s stories. Ashlee is a composite of what happens when the story is made up, but Leah is the real case of abuse.
So how do you tell that the abuse is real? Ask the potential victim. One other way victims are abused is by way of spiritual abuse as well. You can force your child to go to a place of worship as a form of abuse, but remember, Congress shall make no law establishing the free exercise thereof means that Christians should not impose their beliefs on others. No religion is sanctioned by the States, therefore forcing a child to attend a church with dangerous criminals in it should be noted as a form of abuse. Muslims who don’t accept their daughter or son’s conversion to Christianity are more prone to abuse as well. Remember the story of Rifka Barry? Her family didn’t accept her conversion and planned to ship her off to Sri Lanka, where she would have been in more danger. She eventually got a foster family in Ohio, but aged out of the system without a job, but clearly she’s gone to college. She has done interviews with CBN and Fox News, two conservative channels of information, among others she interviewed with Pat Robertson, the 700 Club’s famous host.
Spiritual abuse is not noted in court, but should. Psychological abuse is another issue as well. My family psychologically abused me as a teenager because they wanted to stunt me as much as possible so they could get more money for having guardianship. This is the most wrong thing a person can do to someone. Psychological abuse and isolation are common tactics that courts overlook, but look closer at what could happen if this goes unheeded and untreated. I left Florida because not only was I financially abused, I was morally and spiritually maltreated, and worst of all, I was told with whom to live, spend my life, and to whom I should communicate. This is wrong beyond wrong, and there are more things to ponder on that subject. I left Florida because my services were robbed, hijacked by my parents because image seemed to trump abilities on my end. They didn’t want me to cross streets until my head wobbling stopped, something that will not 100% happen at all. I’m downright horrified that my parents blamed me when the mobility instructor, a dual certified TVI as well, had to cut lots of class due to a surgery and colon screening. Those aren’t fun.
I’m sorry to say but Lighthouse of the Big Bend was manipulated by guardians who should never have had the power. I picked Denver because it was the biggest and most ideal of two places I researched. I didn’t want Ruston, Louisiana because of the Southern way of life, Louisiana being also among 25 fattest states in the country. Arkansas is the fattest by far, with about 40% of its residents fatter than normal. Diabetes and heart disease are too common in Louisiana and Arkansas and the other Southern former Confederacy region states. I also would not allow myself to be told what center to go to, informed choice being the big kicker. Colorado had a better staff back six years ago, seven if you count this coming year. However, I don’t believe people in CCB and NFB curriculum are getting the kind of training in safety things. Ruston is probably no better than CCB, but it’s in a small town, and you have to go to Monroe to do bus travel.
When I got to Colorado, I still had to take counseling, and now I don’t do counseling with the guy I was doing counseling with before, I’m strictly with a provider. Medicaid pays for my treatment, which could come under attack by Congress. Ugh.
Anyway, CCB did a few things that triggered stuff from past abuse, among other things I had to clean up for being late, which to me was too much punishment for a day. I wasn’t going to put up with it any longer. CCB also condemned my abilities and strengths and said I was unemployable, same with Florida. DVR in Colorado would not let me go back to school for support in being a social worker. It’s the only job I can see myself in, but with a doc saying I was unstable, I filed a DORA complaint against his statements I was pretending to be Arab, which is absolutely offensive to olive skinned and American women alike who practice the religion of Islam. I left the religion in part because of Dr. Benson’s harsh judgments, and I can’t get a job easily because of this either. Now I have to be a homemaker, stay at home and unemployed for life because of a lifetime of some physical and mental abuse. I know how this impacts others, and it is horrible how it can impact your clients or friends with disabilities.
The best thing I would recommend would be to turn in the abusers to court, ask your client or friend to document the abuse and when it happened. Recording phone calls is a very important thing. I’m recording phone calls because my father could call and say things that are truly not called for.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to your comments.