I got thinking about words the other day. I had been sent an article which suggested 38 words from other languages that we really could use in English. I like these kinds of things, here are three of my favourites:
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to
show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re
there yet? This is the word for it.
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you
have to introduce someone whose name you can't quite remember.
Grief bacon! What a concept!
From there I thought that there needed to be some words to describe some situations or feelings that people with disabilities experience. Words that apply pretty much only to the disability experience and which, when used, would communicate to others with disabilities, 'yep, we have a communal experience of that thing/emotion/barrier.' It would also allow us to have a vocabulary with which to introduce the non-disabled to the world of those who live with and experience disability.
Here are some situations that I think need words:
1) The experience of really having to pee and you have to wait to get the wheelchair out of the car or bus or subway and you rush to a public washroom. You race by several open stalls headed for the disabled one. It's occupied. You wait and wait and wait and eventually a non-disabled person comes out of the stall.
2) The same as above but as you wait, you are thinking 'some damn non-disabled person is using the stall again,' but then someone with a disability comes out.
Let's get out of the bathroom.
3) The emotion you feel when you see someone park in a disabled parking space, get out of their car, and run over to a store. You check, they don't have a parking badge.
4) The NEED to check if someone has a parking permit.
Let's get away from parking.
5) The feeling you get when you take help, that you don't need, from someone because they really need to help you.
6) The sense of violation you get from being touched in patronizing ways by strangers.
7) 'You're so inspiring,' is something heard often - well this word would express the weird sense you get from being congratulated and help up as a person of awe when you are buying bread or doing something equally ordinary.
8) The assumption that others have that your life must be sad.
9) There should be a word that expresses the recognition, after hours of doing something, that 'oh, right, I have a disability.' It isn't a constant experience - there should be a word for that.
10) There also should be a word for the feeling of exclusion that comes from being with people and yet, even though they are friends or acquaintances, suddenly you have simply been removed from the conversation.
There are obviously many, many more situations, but we can start with these. Could you come up with some suggestions for words that fit these situations ... new words ... make up a word that expresses that unique situation. Or, add situations and put words to them. I'll gather them all together and post it sometime soon.
Please respond in the comment section here so all the words are collected together.
Please pass this to other people with disabilities or family members of those with disabilities. (I didn't do any family words here, figuring you'd have your own unique contributions to make.)