I submit for your consideration the proposition that CSA and its many impositions constitutes a readily apparent, but seemingly enigmatic handicap. Rightly so, individuals stricken with various paralyses, blindness, deafness, and other ailments are afforded special status in society such that they are afforded assistance and protected against discrimination. Unfortunately, CSA survivors enjoy no privileges or safeguards as children or adults against the aftereffects of their traumatic experience. On the contrary, many survivors are met with incredulity, suspicion, and even condemnation upon their disclosure. I view this reaction as tantamount to putting ice on the stairs in lieu of a ramp for those in a wheelchair or rearranging the offices daily for a blind person rather than introducing braille room labels.
Granted, the recognition and registration of CSA survivors as handicapped individuals would prove quite impossible due to its psychological nature and a need for proof of handicap. I think then that I put forward this notion more as an exercise in understanding than anything else. Regardless, my CSA has had an adverse effect on my livelihood as I imagine it has on that of many of you and so I seek your input.
For example, when I was taken off my parents insurance at 26 I sought out alternative plans. However, my status as a CSA survivor possibly suffering from PTSD (at the time no diagnosis had been made but it was being considered) and in therapy was enough reason for Anthem BC/BS to force me out of the market. I am not sure if it is illegal to deny anyone insurance but I know you can make it so expensive that they will voluntarily refuse it. My monthly payment would have been $1,200, which was a hefty increase from the $175 a month I paid when I kept quiet and stayed out of the therapist's office.
Perhaps we find ourselves at an impasse? I realize the spreading of awareness may lead to a rise in public and private funding for survivors' groups but I fear it will not provide protection from the stigmatization and prejudice that plagues so many of us in our daily lives. On the other hand, greater understanding might actually usher in an era widespread support for survivors on the cultural and civic levels?
What do you all think? Do you believe CSA creates a temporary but tangible, or I should say real, handicap in survivors? I use the adjective temporary because recovery is possible and I certainly do not want to paint a portrait of all survivors as permanent victims. Maybe that is the difference that excludes us from special status: the possibility of recovery and thus the transient nature of our handicap?
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh