Are You There, God? It’s Me, Chelsea

Judy Blume wrote from the perspective she was most familiar with – her own. It’s what we all do. It’s what makes our stories unique, especially when we look at the story teller as female vs. male, as tall vs. short, as narrow vs. wide, as black vs. white, as wheeled vs. walking.

Something that Judy Blume would have no perspective on is the experience of a girl going through puberty and dealing with questions about her body and her sexuality while also experiencing a physical disability. For instance, would it be so easy to use a tampon if your hands did not have the dexterity and strength that most girls had simply because you had cerebral palsy? It seems unfair that a girl with CP have to advertise to the world that she had to install a brick (aka pad) in her underwear because a tampon was just too damn complicated.

For me, my baldness has flavored many stories. I didn’t choose to lose all my hair. I had absolutely no control on it falling out, and I have no control on it growing back. However, wigs have gotten so good that I can “pass” to the untrained eye. I still get a once- or twice-over.

This woman is hugely disappointed because she has never been catcalled. I’m sure she’s faced many, many types of discrimination, but she is heartbroken because she has never been desired simply for her appearance. She is always going to be liked for her personality, and only after she has been passed over by many, many men. She has never written in her journal that some stranger said something sexual and inappropriate to her, and she told him to fuck off and then ran-walked away.

Right now I only use a cane to help me walk – my walker stays in my closet. But I know a bit about what she feels. I am treated completely different when I’m walking with my cane compared to no cane. I even feel different, more vulnerable without it, because I know that when my feet are slapping together and my face is paralyzed, I’ve lost all desirability.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s