You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to write a post about this. Before this blog even started. Back when I had a personal blog which was pretty gross and just full of 15-year-old me’s thoughts. But to find the words, to not just use the post to slam the people, one person in particular, who tried to explain my own conditions to me. To try and make a judgement of what I’m going through, despite being an abled person, or at least more able than me. They were ablesplaining.
For those who may be a bit confused what ‘ablesplaining’ means, ‘splaining’ is a contraction of ‘explaining’ and is a term which often sprouts up in the social justice sphere. ‘Splaining’ is an “explanation” used in a very patronizing way. The ‘splainer may feel passionate about an opinion and belief that outways the actual lived experience and chooses to inform everyone of this “fact”.
So, when I say “ablesplaining” it basically means that someone who is abled (or more abled than the person who has the lived experience they are discussing) is trying to put forward alleged facts about a condition, despite not actually experiencing it for themselves.
The amount of times people have tried to ablesplain my condition to me over the past 11 years is actually shocking, but there’s one particular incident which I can vividly remember and still, even after five years, gets to me.
I’ll set the scene. I was friends with a few people older than me. We ended up falling out for reasons I don’t need to get into, but this girl – Carrie – (fictitious name to save her identity) decided to attack me through text at around 3am one night. Bare in mind, Carrie was a university student and I was just 16 years old and in a very hard time of my life with my conditions of bipolar, anxiety and depression. I was also going through a very hard family issue, which I didn’t hide. Carrie was texting me about how much of an awful person I was.