Autoethnographies of Educators Learning and Teaching With/In [Dis]ability
Chapter 6: I Am Not of This World, and Yet I Am in It: A Daughter’s/Disability-Studies-in-Education Alien’s Log of a Journey Through Hell, by Alicia Broderick
I am having issues with figure/ground. There is only profound alienation the likes of which I have never before experienced—and I had previously considered myself intimately familiar with alienation. I am the black sheep, the leftist, atheist daughter who somehow was spawned of this conservative, Catholic family. I am the outlier, the outsider, the prodigal, the alien. It is my role within the family, and it is familiar, if not yet welcome or comfortable, to me. I am not myself here; within this cultural geographic space I exist only as the caricature they believe me to be. Which is to say that I do not exist. I read the paper, see the billboards, watch the television, find it surreal, dislocated, ethereal, imaginary. I am surrounded by Fox News, country music, casual racism and homophobia, and more references to god and guns every day than I would ordinarily encounter in a week or a month. I am not of this world, and yet I am in it, invisible, alienated, nonexistent. The ICU adds an additional layer of alienation to this experience. I am already alien outside the hospital doors; that alienation exponentially increases inside them. Reality is shifting, elusive, unstable. And hostile to my very existence.
You see, I am a disability studies scholar. A what? That doesn’t exist ← 121 | 122 → here. It causes me to see, hear, experience most of what happens to me with an additional layer of horror that most of the people around me...
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