What they believed

November 2, 2006 at 2:13 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

and what they didn’t

The able around me.

The Parents well, they were at first overly dramatic about What I Wasn’t going to Be what *they* were going to be denied or lose because of my impairments. One of my father’s most infamous drunken rages, listed in my mother’s journal berated my mother for not only producing a girl instead of a boy, but that she couldn’t even do *that* right, because I was impaired. Limiting or dismissing the child as is in some ways. Then they breathed a sigh of relief when I turned out intelligent…and then a shift to What I Had to Become to meet what I call now, the tyranny of expectation, and to avoid them being sentenced to a lifetime of being a physical caregiver for me. “I want you out of the house when you’re eighteen, and I admit that my reasons are selfish.” They remained adamant against Driving or Procreation (also, as with any teenage daughter, against both in the same vehicle, [snort]) but were pleased with having me grow up nearly “normal.”

It’s just that we, the three of us, didn’t think to prepare for What If Additional Impairments Come Along? I didn’t, they didn’t my husband didn’t….no one did.

Before anyone yells alot, I absolutely know that the expectation of family and friends made a large amount of good, positive, occasionally even great things happen in my life. I view mainstreaming as a good, in my case because it got me education, made me (temporarily) unafraid of people and let me meet people who are great friends.

Most of them are still able to live in the moment with me. They’ll get tough with me if they feel it’s necessary, and ease up when hard truths can wait a bit..That is why I cherish my friends…most of them see value in the fact that I’m on the other end of the phone or the email regardless of impairment, weight, etc etc, blah blah blah.

The ones who permanently dissappeared, dropped off, or just lobbed too much disrespect my way…I believe it’s more their stuff than mine, and in two cases, I worry about them and wish they’d come back After The Husband Drama They Couldn’t Handle was over.

But, I gotta admit…The ones who accepted the quickest, were…nearly all of them fellow gimps or impaired folk.

I have no doubt that the positive parts of my marriage were made more so by the fact that we both understood about hospitals, impairment, limitations….and he was one of two people on the planet to which I had to “explain” nothing about my cerebral palsy and how it worked. It made it simpler, in the beginning…

But, of course, the Universe likes to smash easy assumptions so the next guy with impairments was…well…I’ll be nice today and say…The Worst Fit Humanly Possible….

But my female friends with impairments…they are my most recent, and while we were in touch, extremely easy to be with…

If you’re an able person:

I think if you have friends with impairments

1. Live in the moment.

2. If necessary, be-ing is more important than do-ing.

If it’s important to them, and you, encourage as much “do” as they’re comfortable with…and maybe a bit more, some of the time.(If they’re crip jocks, *you’ll* have trouble keeping up with them! ) We all have comfort zones to be pushed out of…but if the “do-ing” is really more for you than them (I can’t stress this enough) consider, and for the love of your belief system, back off.

3. And, be adaptable and flexible yourself, should additional impairment show up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: