I’m more privileged than many disabled and poor people in that I retain some equipment from a middle-class upbringing and young adulthood from before my husband died and I became disabled and lost my job. Though I’ve sold off most of my possessions I’ve held onto these things.
For the past six months I’ve been thinking off and on about making a vlog, videos sharing what I’m often not able to go out and share with people in-person because of the limitations my disability and poverty present me with. The more I immerse myself in the work of brave vloggers and bloggers speaking out, sharing their experiences, and educating others about socialized systemic oppression, the more I found myself thinking about doing this.
Obviously there are a lot of potential emotional and psychological costs I can’t overlook. And this blog was kind of a baby-step toward that, getting me ready to go public on the internet with the realities I’ve for a long time hidden and been stealth about. But no matter how much I hide, I’m not able to protect myself from the invalidation and hurtful comments of others, and I realize now that the whole goal of this stance in other people is to silence people whose words make them uncomfortable. I have been giving these people exactly what they want. And because I’ve gotten so much from people who’ve had the courage to stand up and speak out anyway, and get over that opposition and show how they do that, I feel like it’s in my gut to pay it forward and keep that important habit flowing and being modeled for others.
I’m still going to continue this vlog because writing comes far more naturally to me, and quite often I have tons of links and facts that may be easier to take in through careful reading than listening. I’ll also post embedded videos here when and as I post them to YouTube.
I also expect I’m going to make a lot of mistakes, since this is something I’m just starting out.
Additionally, many of the vloggers I look up to have been doing this for many many many years and have professional setups and hundreds and thousands of hours of experience, as well as education in how to utilize what they have. I have to budget my personal resources and remember that while for many of them this is how they make a living, for me I can’t do that. My disabilities and my self-care take a huge bite out of every resource I have. I have to be mindful of my limitations and not let people shame me for not making slick videos, and not shame myself for anything in regards to the quality or how much I put in. I will put in exactly what I can spare to this.
So again, this blog is often going to be easier for me, but I think vlogging may have gifts and growth opportunities in store for me, and since I have the privilege of these tools to hand, I want to make the most of them.