in which i envy fictional characters
April 10, 2016
In mm (and slash fic too) and other genres, disability is often used as a hurt/comfort type of situation. And, yes, there are so many problems with how disability is portrayed in romantic fiction. Like the fact that there is apparently only about five disabilities that are possible in these fictional worlds (you can be blind, have agoraphobia, maybe panic attacks, be a wheelchair user). And each of these scenarios come with their own tropes……
Yesterday I tweeted about how much I envy agoraphobic fictional characters. The tropes around this disability is usually that the agoraphobic character is a shutin and hasn’t left the house for x number of years. Then, for whatever reason, the romantic love interest disrupts the stasis the agoraphobe’s been living in. And, via the magic application of sex or whatever, eventually the agoraphobe is able to leave the house! And while not always Cured they are at least able to Live Full lives again or whatever.
Fine. As much as I hate the magical penis cure, this isn’t about that.
Its about how I can’t stop listening to these stories bc I’m so envious of the agoraphobic characters. Not because they find love and a magical penis cure. Not because the Overcome their disability. Not because I find this inspirational (or maybe aspirational).
No. None of that. I’m deeply jealous over the fact that they have enough privilege to be shutins in the first place.
Being able to never leave the house is like one of the few surviving dreams I have left. Maybe I’ll feel differently if I ever get decent access to therapy. Idk. For now though… This is what I yearn for.
But… I don’t have the resources for that. Based on my current resources, I’d be homeless within a month or two if I stopped going in to work. I have no family support. I have no trust fund or whatever the fuck all of these characters have that allow them to be shutins. Being a shutin has never been an option. Not if I want to survive. And so… I’ve dealt with years of panic attacks when I leave the house or go on public transit. I continue to have to bribe myself to leave with the promise of junk food or whatever.
I’m deeply envious. But I can’t stop listening to these stories regardless of how angry and sad they make me. For a moment I get to pretend and dream like maybe I have access to enough resources that I too could be a shutin.
(The other frustrating thing about this is that pop culture agoraphobia basically gives everyone the impression that unless you are a shutin, you probably don’t really have agoraphobia. Note: These pop culture notions do impact people’s real lives. None of my doctors have taken me seriously when I’ve mentioned this in the past. Even though ‘panic disorder with agoraphobia’ is like a distinct diagnosis. But whatever, right? Someone send me a magical penis cure.)\n