Found in correspondence with John McKnight
Excerpts from A Quiet Voice
a book in progress by Judith Snow
Why This Book and Why Now
Helpless! Needing help. Constantly needing help. Is this what defines my life? Such is the case for people labeled disabled. TWs perception, in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, becomes the framework of our lives.
I am a divorced, childless, 51 year old, white, Canadian female. I have been self-employed for fifteen years. I report on my yearly federal income tax a net personal income of about $36,000 CDN. I am paying down my half of a mortgage on a venerable storefront in Toronto that we converted to a triplex. I have written a book that has gone into second edition.
These things would define my identity in my community – excepting that I also haveSpinal Muscular Atrophy, Type U. Since seven months of age or so I have been quadriplegic. I am classified as severely disabled. I have as much physical strength as a new bom infant. Without the assistance of several people and two specialized machines every day, I would die in hours.
Clearly I am helpless. Clearly I am not helpless. Both statements are valid, each in its own context.