It’s impossible to navigate a disability where it’s not obvious and you don’t come across as particularly disabled, but you still have mental and emotional struggles you deal with that aren’t always obvious to the outside world. It would be easy for others to be confused.
But my blogs and book tell a different story as I highlight my mental and emotional struggles for the first time. As a small child, I felt like a freak, because my disability wasn’t obvious and because I didn’t fit into being disabled. As a result of that, life was continually made harder because I was expected to fit in and conform.
But what you have and what you deal with doesn’t change the facts. It’s not that we look for sympathy, but empathy goes a long way to help us know that others care about us too. Underneath the disability, the facts still speak for themselves.
Whether someone is mildly, moderately, or severely disabled; no matter the severity of the disability, my experiences over the years have shown that it is wrong to assume or judge, and instead others must act as a support whatever that person needs.
The starting point needs to be tolerance, understanding, compassion and empathy. Once you have those, there will be no need to assume or judge.