My personal thoughts about life with a disability and all other things I consider important in my life.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Maslow

I want to respond to a comment I just read about finding peace after acceptance.

I've been pretty accepting of my disability. But I also know that any long-term disaster has far reaching emotional consequences. What many people who become disabled are dealing with is a long term disaster. Professionals in the "disaster industry" state the realization that this situation isn't going away anytime soon is at about 3 years. Well, for me, it was 5.

This spring became that epiphany. This isn't going away. I have no income. I have no home. I have virtually no friends. I'm pissed about it. To speak to me of peace at this moment is condascending and ignorant.

My only income in SS. We all know how much that pays. I live with my parents in their home. When they die and I am still in this position, even if they left the house to me, I couldn't afford taxes, upkeep and utilites, much less food. Because I can't get out and socialize, my social network is slim pickin's. Which normally is fine. But when I need something done - like now I need a hand rail installed on our stairs for my father - I have no one to fall back on.

So - yes, I will find peace again. I will accept the nature of my life as it is now. But so many of the people who have been thusly afflicted have spouses that haven't divorced them. I'm not that lucky. Peace is a hell of a lot easier to find when you've got some assurances of where you're sleeping tomorrow.

It's all about Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

5. Actualization
4. Status (esteem)
3. Love/belonging
2. Safety
1. Physiological (biological needs)

The base - Physiological, must be met before anything else can happen - eat, drink, sleep, etc.
The second level is Safety - Security of employment, revenues and resources
Physical security - safety from violence, delinquency, aggressions
Moral and physiological security
Familial security
Security of health

The third step up is Love/Belonging - friendship, intimacy, family.
The fourth step is Status - The lower of the levels relates to elements like fame, respect, and glory. The higher level is contingent to concepts like confidence, competence, and achievement.
Fifth - Actualization:
Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:
They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.
They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.
They are
creative.
They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.
They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.
They have a system of
morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.
They judge others without
prejudice, in a way that can be termed objective.
In short, self-actualization is reaching your fullest potential.


(all found on Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs)

I was at the 5th level. And now I don't even have the second one locked in, the third is laughable right now. I'm not even looking at the fourth. I know I'm a LONG ways away from that. And the 5th - I'm so angry for having lost that, you can't imagine.

I have glimpses of it through my work for Hancock County, MS, and hurricane relief. But I'm beginning to think that glimpses are a bad thing. I don't know yet.

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