In “The Damaged Self”, Robert Murphy provides an autobiographical account of living with a disability in. He allows his audience to empathize with him as he writes about his inner struggles and the effects of “cultural notions of stigma and the social creation of the “other”’ (322). Having a disability is both physically and mentally damaging. In societies throughout the world, individuals with a disability are easily viewed as different and therefore most likely treated with indifference. As Murphy describes, disabled individuals encounter an emotional toll on their health, as they may continually have a sense of guilt and shame. Repetitive negative thoughts on one’s condition due to self-hate can often become traumatic and deteriorate the health of the individual. It is not fair for these individuals to go through a “loss of self-esteem” and a “lowered self-worth” due to the social isolation that emerges from having a disability, and therefore, those with able bodies must refrain from showing their ignorance and begin to provide assistance and support through any means necessary.
Murphy (with his age, wisdom, and well-tended environment) was able provide his voice and in return was commended for writing about his disability, whenas the voice of children living with a disability has been left unheard of to many. To elaborate more on Frania’s post regarding her experience spending time with disabled children, I would like to provide a more global perspective on this marginalized group. Unfortunately, “violence and abuse are serious problems for persons with disabilities” and they “are at greater risk than non-disabled persons”. On the United Nations website, it has been noted that “research indicates that violence against children with disabilities occurs at annual rates at least 1.7 times greater than for their non-disabled peers”. Many children are either born with a disability or are permanently disabled due to violence in warfare, which means that these innocent children are placed in situations that unjustly damage and disadvantage them for life. There has been a lack of response to help these children in need, and those educated must continue to share there knowledge and make a difference.
This clip provides viewers with facts and images of children with disabilities, as well as several case studies with outcomes that may leave the audience with disbelief. As I was watching this, I was mentally disturbed to read about the infanticide that persists in some cultures, and the quote that stood out to me was when a mother claimed “a disabled child can mean a disabled family”.