There is a reason I opt out of most group activities. I bailed on EDS support group meetings, I removed myself from most chronic illness groups on Facebook and bunny groups are a law unto themselves. Holy hell. I don’t know who gets my back up more, militant illness/disability campaigners or bunnier-than-thou rabbit know it all types. Actually, it’s hands down the bunny people. Illness tends to at least humble a person. Adopting a needy rabbit seems to project a lot of people straight up onto a moral high horse of which they do NOT belong and then they spend their days condemning anyone who dares set foot inside Pets at Home to death by stoning.
I think the reason I avoid these groups is because all I have in common with people is a tiny fraction of my existence. Maybe a bunny group is fab if you have dedicated your entire life to rabbit rescue or consider advocating for bunnies to be your calling in life. When it comes to disability, while it’s nice to know we’re all in the same boat and aren’t alone in our struggles, I’ve purposely not let what I CAN’T do become a bigger deal than everything else. Even on the days where I am in terrible pain and can’t do anything, just being me still defines me more than the fact that I sometimes can’t wash myself. Also, it’s so easy to get caught up in how absolutely shit the world is for sick and disabled people. Really, it’s inaccessible and people are assholes. Imagine having to take in several stories a day about innocent people being in pain, being denied medical treatment, access to places or even being abused because of their disability – it would drag you down and bring similar worries to the forefront of your mind.
There is also the unsolicited medical advice. No. I don’t want smart crutches. It’s great that they work for you… but my upper extremities can only just about support themselves. They certainly cannot be trusted to haul my fat ass around. I didn’t just get a wheelchair on a whim for shits and giggles. There is also this weird disability top trumps nonsense that goes on where people with “Illness A” casually belittle the struggles of people with “Illness B”. It drives me crackers and helps no one.
Then, there is the fact that everyone has the internet. That’s why internet groups are especially troublesome. Every racist/homophobe/bully/opinionated person has a platform in which to be an utter cunt. They are either delighted that they have managed to upset the zen of a person or they have completely forgotten, in their need to be RIGHT, that they are ranting at a real human being who has feelings and may well be going to bed quite upset because they just fucking wanted to argue. Sometimes genuine, kind, well-meaning advice is given in a constructive manner – but not very bloody often.
Some woman on a rabbit page repeatedly asked me if I was happy with myself having sealed Lilly’s fate as snake-food. She called me naive and foolish and just kept posting links that any good PETA fanatic would be proud of. All I did was e-mail Dobbies about her being kept alone, un-spayed, un-vaccinated and with no stimulation. In the end, Dobbies deputy manager phoned me, was lovely and GAVE HER TO ME because he had her wellbeing at heart. She’s now spayed, will be vaccinated tomorrow and has all the best food and a diggy box and is loving life. She’s away to bunny boot camp in just over a week so that we can pay someone else to bond her with our existing pair and she can be a cage-free bunny too. We’re sending them away like cowards because… bonding your own fluffy bunnies is kind of like watching your kids seriously try and kill each other with plastic cutlery. Lilly hopes that the silly woman gets eaten by a snake.
So this is why I’ve un-followed a lot of groups I am a part of, or have removed myself completely. I can check in when I like, but it’s not screaming in my face 24/7. I can speak to the people I connect with on Facebook messenger without dealing with the fantastic combination of ignorance and arrogance that is rife in groups of people.
Basically. I’m not very tolerant of assholes. Sorry not sorry.