“Why Do We Whisper Our Stories?”: Disability Frameworks and Multiply Marginalized Subjects
I start this essay with the question posed by Jennifer Eisenhauer (2010) in their article “Writing Dora: Creating Community Through Autobiographical Zines about Mental Illness”: Why do we whisper our stories? They propose this question in response to a student with a mental health disability who approached Eisenhauer after class, speaking of her hospitalization in hushed tones. Those hushed tones address the shame, invisibility, and silence suffered by neurodivergent people in the quiet, in the dark, in the back, unseen, and rarely heard in their own voices. I begin my writing with this quote because my own silences about my personal experiences as a neurodivergent person have come to their limit and I am now in the place where I choose to speak louder, to articulate more of my truth. Why do we whisper our stories? Because we are shamed by the normative, ablebodied world to the madnesses we inhabit.
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