I need my able bodied friends/family to read this…

March 24, 2012 at 6:35 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

and try to understand why persons with disabilities get to a point where they do not trust any of you.

Peripheral details have been changed here…but this really happened. [ my friend from high school. Michelle S From Florida passed this on]

Anna and her daughter Molly live in a building for people with disabilities in the sunny state of Florida…

They are really generous folks and pass on good advice and help to anyone who comes to them…

They met a young fella with disabilities, who was visiting someone else in the building..he was 35 or so…He lived with his mother.

Over time, he trusted them and would rather visit them, than his own cousin.  And told them what his home life was like…

The house was cluttered enough for the parents to be called ‘hoarders.’

He never saw his disability check, because his parents used it all….

They had a spare apartment for him…and had told his doctors years ago that he was living in that, when in fact, the hoarding blocked it…and he lived on the couch downstairs…

Anna and Molly knew that things could be better for the young man, so explained how to get on a waiting list for their building…and the young man did so.

Furniture and household goods were purchased for him…kept in waiting at Anna and Molly’s, a grand Christmas party was thrown by Anna and Molly, and he and his mom had a great time.

Two days before his move in date…the complex got a call.  Someone claiming to be the young man himself, and sounding enough like him to fool the office staff…called and said he would decline the apartment.

The young man came two days later….and was told by his cousin the apartment was no longer available.

Of course…the parents weren’t going to let go of that money.  Not for anything. Even the difficulties of caregiving (such as it must have been) in the middle of a hoard wouldn’t pry their hands off that young man’s disability check.

Sometimes  we have loving family and friends that help us too much…they’re overprotective out of concern.

Sometimes, we have loving family and friends who consciously try to strike a balance between help and support and helping us handle a lot of things on our own.

And much more often than anyone knows…we cannot trust those with our DNA. We cannot trust those we believe to be our friends.

When I heard this one, it made me sick.  My hands shook for two hours. My stomach was a mess.

I’ve never been comfortable with ‘separatist’ movements among minority groups…it just always seemed like you’d miss too much, knowing only your own identity and no others…

But now, I begin to get it.  Not like I’m signing up…but there is a powerful attractive pull after hearing stuff like this.

I now understand better than ever persons with disabilities’ wish that  we could get the care we need, socialize and relate and count on those like us…and bond amongst ourselves….and handle every societal need without ever having to count on the abled. Not friends, not family, not aides or other professional caregivers.

…and lock those who would be predators out of our society…even as we’d have to lock out genuine able bodied allies at the same time.

We live among cavemen…the law of the jungle…can be acted out just down the street.

They didn’t just take his money.  They take his freedom every day, his thought, his spirit, and the hope of independence…

Someday, I truly hope they get called out for the way he has to live.


Permalink 2 Comments