Disability & being exposed

My mind doesn’t seem to be far away from my disability. Sadly, anyone who deals with a disability may always be exposed, until disability becomes an accepted part of society, but it is getting better.

When anyone with a disability is cared for, the stress and responsibility is usually taken away from that person and placed on the person responsible for their care. When it comes to disability it seems we’re exposed not only by those who should care for us, but by others who are aware of our struggles and simply choose not to help.

I remember struggling with PE (physical education) and speaking to my Games Teacher about why I couldn’t do her particular class, in that instance it was the ‘high jump.’ But because my teacher didn’t stop to question my difficulties, I was continually exposed; that if couldn’t do Games, I needed a sick note from my doctor.

Having already spoken to my mum on numerous occasions about Games, she always said ‘no’ to opting out. It’s sickening because had the school have known about my disability, I would have been excused citing balance, co-ordination and muscle strength difficulties, as the reason.

I also remember going on a family vacation and taking a portable step machine with me, so that I could continue with my exercises. I had no reason to believe that I wouldn’t get better, so I lived with hope. Sadly, I spent years holding on to that belief, whilst those who knew I had Cerebral Palsy were watching me torment myself and still, they chose not to say anything.

It’s the nature of our disability that continues to expose us, particularly in society. We’re still not accepted like able-bodied people are. It’s sad because disability should be seen as a different ‘normal’ but it’s still not.

19 Aug, 2017

4 thoughts on “Disability & being exposed

  1. Disability has always made headline news, sometimes for the wrong reasons. I think your experiences around disability shows how deep rooted the issues are.

    I agree this current generation has come a long way with equality, particularly around disability, but prejudices are very much deep rooted. You only have to watch the news or read a paper to be reminded of the dark place we are at currently.

    I do worry what sort of society we leave our children to inherit.

    1. Thanks. Yes, it sometimes upsets me when I begin to realise the enormity of what I went through and then I come back to reality with a bang and I have to work on finding an acceptance. That part isn’t so easy.

      Yes, quite. I think your last sentence sums up your response. We need to act now to make this world a better place for our children and our children’s children. It’s important we act now.

  2. Yes, being exposed is a great way to put it, since that was what it felt like whenever I was singled out in PE because I wasn’t able to participate, usually because my parents didn’t have the money to buy my gym clothes.

    This was an event that was repeated time after time, in school and after school, so I do get what that feeling is like, to be singled out and berated for things that were out of our control.

    My parents didn’t seem to understand why I needed them, whereas most other parents wouldn’t have made us feel like crap just for asking questions about it. I may not have had the physical disability that kept me from doing things, but there were still so many factors that pointed out that I wasn’t like most of the other kids, which you know they picked up on.

    And now it makes perfect sense as to why people hate asking for help, since it does expose you to extremely unwanted attention, especially if it has always been something to avoid for so many reasons.

    It was always so humiliating and embarrassing to be interrogated like a criminal in front of all the other kids, especially when it’s something that you can’t do anything about, like you having the Cerebral Palsy, or me having parents too cheap to buy the things we needed.

    Even now I almost have a panic attack walking by large groups of kids, because that old feeling of dread returns because it happened so many times. I’m sure this is what my daughter still goes through when she talks of having panic attacks.

    People think you can just get over it, but I don’t see how, when it creates such a complex in the back of your mind. If only it were that easy.

    1. Thanks Randy. We tend to cruise along, then something crops up, or we see a scene that reminds us of a life experience and that takes us back.

      When I see parents raise their voices in the street, that takes me back to the feelings I had as a child. I tend to try to avoid situations, where those feelings could come back.

      Any explanation from a parent is all that a child needs. However hard it is to parent, it’s a parent’s job; that’s what they signed up for. It’s their job to explain things to their children.

      Children will understand what we tell them. Not to explain things exposes children more and that in itself is scary.

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