May 1, 2008

To Bell the Cat...

Once upon a time, as the story goes, a group of mice became so frightened of a cat that all they could do was huddle together. They did not seek food, they did not go into the house for warmth. They huddled and began to complain: "The cat creeps up on us and attacks us and we never hear him coming!"  

One day, while they were all huddled together, one of the mice had an idea: "What we need to do is hang a bell around the cat's neck so that we can hear him coming!"  According to Aesop, the mice worked out how they would accomplish this feat and did so, solving their problems with the cat...

I submit that many of us are huddled together, still trying to figure out how to get the bell around the cat's neck! I know crip-eleptic mice are still huddled and still working out how to hear the cat coming before it attacks them.  

Fear of the cat makes each of us vulnerable to him. We have to stand up, and we have to make it clear that we refuse to be eaten just for living in the same world as the cat.

Crip-eleptics are very afraid of the cat. They have been for centuries and they know the cat can ruin lives. They have seen it happen. 

Each year, there are those who are arrested by police because their behavior after a seizure may be antagonistic or belligerent. Because police are poorly trained about persons with E., they assume the behavior is willful, and directed toward them, so they make the arrest. Once in the system, these folks become its victims and their lives are never the same afterward.

My own idea for belling the cat is to become vocal and well-informed about the social aspects of our histories. Then, having gained this power, we must stand before the cat and speak up for each other when things go awry. If we can get no immediate satisfaction, then we must resort to becoming even more public, using our talents as writers to criticize the cat in print... 

We must volunteer ourselves in an effort to bridge the chasm of understanding between the cat's world and our own. And, when injustices occur, we must be available to help any way we can.

So far, I have discovered that belling the cat is a gradual process. But once accomplished, it lifts a terrible burden and makes living better. 

Persons with epilepsy are not the only ones who worry about the cat. 

Many of us find that the cat creeps up on us unexpectedly at times. Together, we can as a complete community succeed, if we are joined in a single effort against the cat. And, we can leave no one out, because each of us may have something essential to contribute to the strategy for getting the bell around the cat's neck.


The Goldfish said...

Thanks for your contribution to Blogging Against Disablism. It is a great little fable and a real rousing call for the community effort that we need to make. :-)

David said...

Oh my, postictal activity. I'm a TLE walker with a postictal need to examine doors and door jams. My wife tells me that as long as I'm left to my "work" I'm just fine. It's when I'm interfered with that things get spicy.

My wife has been my bell for years, I can't imagine what kind of trouble I'd have gotten into without her running interference for me during my postictal wanderings.

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