Cable’s disabled childhood

As an X-Men character and member of the Summers family Cable has an extensive and convoluted story so I’m only going to cover a small glimpse of his childhood to look at his disability and disability narrative.

Mutants are considered a marginalized race in the Marvel universe and mutation is used as a metaphor for disability; Cable is one of the many mutant characters who are also shown to have real-world disabilities. As a baby he was infected with a “techno-organic virus” by Apocalypse resulting in his iconic appearance. The techno-organic virus is functionally a terminal disease in which cells cannot duplicate or regenerate and even within the superhero world Cable was born into there is no cure. His father, Cyclops, allows him to be taken to the future where there is available treatment in exchange for never seeing his son again.

Cyclops questions whether or not this is the right decision, specifically wondering if Cable would be better off dead. He questions Cable’s quality of life.

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As Cable grows into a teenager he struggles with non-passing privilege and the need to hide his disfigurement and assistive equipment to assimilate and remain safe.

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Aside from suffering culturally and socially Cable deals with tangible disability and chronic pain. He has to manage these things in order to live and his motivation to do so tends to be based on his obligation to others.

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The character Cable deals with disability so directly that his mutation never quite becomes a metaphor. Like all disabled children, his family struggles with what to sacrifice for his medical care, ceding control of his care to those who can offer assistance, making long-term decisions in his stead, and whether or not having a life unlike those they are familiar with means he should have one at all.

As an adolescent, Cable has to live with the decisions his family made for him and struggles with being raised by various people whose only concern is what he is able to do. He is visibly different which puts him in danger in a way that is unfamiliar to most people and hiding his differences takes a physical and emotional toll. Cable has no role models that look like him and has experienced what he has, he has to develop based on a template of humanity that is fundamentally different from his natural state.

I love my disability

My public persona IRL is incredibly friendly and funny and “eccentric” and I know I obviously developed these characteristics to a cartoonish level because of my disability. You have to survive off of the benevolence of others. But one of the things I do that people refer to as “eccentric” or me just being me, like boys are boys, when I want to leave a conversation I do it blunts to the point of offensive but so jovial that people always think it’s endearing.

I curb my language depending on who is around me or where I am but if I’m with someone I consider my friend I will just suddenly say, “okay, you’ve been here enough, get the fuck out.” It’s a passive-aggressive spoon theory. Or friendly–aggressive? My disabled game is off the charts so I easily hide the fact that I always feel ill, in pain, and I will push myself to limit. Most of us do this among some people but I’m still self-centered enough that I’m not going to “borrow” any spoons for anyone.

Of course that hurts all of my relationships but besides that I wonder, if I didn’t closet the fact that I have a chronic illness would I be even remotely like myself? This is then obvious observation but it’s one of those things I’m realizing our a basic skill we are seemingly born with like their ability to swim. They can throw their babies in water right after they’re born and they can swim.  Their babies will almost immediately lose the ability to swim, they don’t need to survive in the water so they don’t bother remembering how to swim, it’s logical. That’s why they don’t utilize the all of the resources they can find in nature.

We can and do use just un–fresh water to use more ideal environments for ourselves. To be their equivalent of or demolishing everything and building from scratch, I don’t mean this in a long term evolutionary scope, right now they still keep building society in ways they themselves are constantly complain about. Their thing is building big shit, I get it, but it seems so counterintuitive.

But maybe I’m being naïve myself. Maybe there is a big detriment to our fixation with continuously churning out content like art and writing and music and innovation… And astronomy, astrology, you know, anything that’s ever had any cultural value.

Maybe Freda Carlo was their Hitler.

But back to myself,

Obviously my being closeted most of the time would help the eccentric thing but I wonder how less “funny” I would be if I were one of them?

I’ve been disabled my whole life so it’s not like this isn’t actually a part of my personality, it’s just a nicer version I use in public like everyone else does but it really seems like it would change the fundamentals of how people perceive me just as a person.

As much as I roll my eyes over the word eccentric and my reputation of “oh my God, she’s so funny, she’ll say anything” makes me swallow my eyeballs I like who I am.

I hate that AB (able-bodied, and I totally don’t mean that as a slur) have such a hard time getting out of a simple conversation. There have been thousands of times that I’ve been with and ABs so awkward with someone they are talking to that it wastes time and both people are dying to get out of the conversation.

My disability is why I don’t have that handicap.

Applicably, I take any complement badly because to me it feels like I’ve made commitments to be certain ways with certain people at certain places. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for this either but, fuck it.

It sounds cold or embarrassing even though everyone who is the “funny guy” feels like this but I have so many social tools to manage these things that people have “crippling” anxiety over. ABs will agonize about this happening just one time in their life… For the rest of their lives.

I have no idea what that’s like.

I can intellectualize it but I really can’t empathize. Caring so deeply about someone’s opinion of how you ended one interaction, especially when you never see that person ever again, are things that ABs deal with so often that it’s a cliché on sitcoms. It’s something they use as their representation.

It’s something they even put in their intentionally bad representation of those in their society that they’ve marginalized.

You never see a cripple on TV being embarrassed about calling someone by the wrong name, no matter what race or gender or sexuality.

In the real world there isn’t this petty bullshit. Not on that insignificant level.

We stress over conversations about whether we get to live or die.

ABs have no concept of how common violence is for disabled people because harming someone weaker than you is something that is not done. But that’s the thing, it doesn’t happen, not in that society. It happens in the real world.

There are people who leave the house worried about whether they have their wallet or not, they don’t make conscious decisions of whether the reason they’re going out is worth risking their lives over. It explains why ABs don’t believe that authority figures in their society treat us well. Their job is to treat the weak members of society well and a nice courtesy would be to extend it to others.

There are mutations and illnesses common to ABs so that’s why they find it so shocking that when we go to their doctors they use Wikipedia, our version of the DSM I guess.

It’s also why they don’t consider things being segregation when it comes to anything other than specifically race or gender.

To them we all look alike so they can’t tell the difference between someone with a physical disability or neurological divergence or even be aware that they usually intersect even though that’s common sense – wait, I guess it’s not common sense to them, I take that back. Either way they can’t tell any of us apart. They don’t even recognize their own that they threw out.

And just like every great Society they get rid of the elderly only they do it by but they do it by just perceiving that the old ones don’t exist anymore to kick them out. That’s some real world quantum physics.

That must be hard, knowing that either because of time or something random at any point in their life you will become worthless eater.

They are either in denial or very naïve to be able to go about their lives worrying about things like what their voice sounds like.

This offends some people but honestly, that’s why they are going to die out first. Their infants can swim but it’s the first thing conditioned out. Does it seem as bizarre to anyone else that they brag about evolving past the need for water environments? That’s somehow better than the animals that evolved to be able to live in both? As juvenile as it sounds it actually is homosapiens vs homosuperior and Magneto was right.

Deadpool is disabled

Although not a mutant Deadpool is part of the X-Men franchise and what is X-Men? Disabled metaphors!

But Deadpool is one of the (more than you would think) comic book icons who have real-world disabilities to take subtext to text.

What I’m presenting to you now is an introduction to Deadpool in the specific context of his disabilities and I will try to point out the most reoccurring themes that disabled people know to be ableism but NTABs always miss.

Deadpool has a variety undiagnosed and undefined mental illnesses. Most assume they are either the result of his brain cancer or the ongoing medical torture he’s received throughout the years

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Very little is known about Deadpool before his diagnosis of terminal cancer but regardless of whether he was ND before this time or not his childhood was very hard in ways that disabled children are very familiar with

Parental/caretaker abuse/abandonment

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(Which recoccurred in his adulthood)

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and socially “other–ring” in childhood

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As stated before, Deadpool has undergone medical testing and abuse time and time again to the point where one diagnosis we can easily make is PTSD

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Anxiety also seems clearly straightforward

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as is depression and suicidal tendencies

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In fact, his most popular romance with the personification of Death itself is debated to be real (as the personification of Death is an actual character within the Marvel 616 universe) or “all in his head”

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The only clear physical disabilities are his deformities

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(which formed as a result of medical experimentation after his diagnosis:)

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and chronic pain

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What isn’t as clear are what fans debate might be schizophrenia

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and DID

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Along with both forced and voluntary medical treatments he has also undergone forced and voluntary psychiatric treatments

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Although Deadpool primarily seems ND he struggles with not having passing privilege

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or self acceptance

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But his self acceptance tends to be of the “fake it till you make it” variety which is handily torn down each time by an NTABs

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And whenever he genuinely deals with ableism openly people judge him as bitter

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and lazy

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Although he tends to make friendships with the less advantaged and likewise disabled people

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people tend not to want to be associated with him when in “better” company

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and they are willing to use him as a scapegoat for any shortcomings they don’t want to take responsibility for

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Despite actual ability or qualifications Deadpool is denied legitimate work

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He experiences discrimination

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has been raped (something that happens to disabled people more than any other marginalized group)

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often lives in poverty

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and he has to do destructive things as coping mechanisms

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More often than not Deadpool gets simply disregarded as “crazy” or people try to find a “method to his madness”

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but Deadpool is simply Deadpool and although no one else can understand it he makes it work for him as best as he can

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