People say – think positively, and it will all work out. If only it were that simple! But yes, I try and take opportunities and run with them, and at times I try and ignore the ignorant comments (but again, that’s easier said than done). I only have to jump into a forum and see that parents and their special needs children are being ridiculed or made to feel ashamed because of their personal situation. It’s just not right. But when do you say something and when do you just hold your head up high and keep walking on?
I was recently at an event (does that make me sound fancy?!), I was just out with Bryce enjoying a friend’s birthday and not drinking nearly as much wine as what I usually do (!) and I had a really interesting conversation about Mike D. The stranger said to me, after I explained that despite the growing awareness of disability, there is still a lot of rudeness and ignorance shown towards people living with disability, and their families that support them. I don’t usually get that heavy at parties, it’s because I wasn’t drinking wine!
He then said to me “You will find a lot of people can’t look themselves in the mirror, let alone identify with a person that is so different to them’.
It was sad but true. A lot of people live a lie. They can’t face the truth within themselves, so how on earth could they possibly identify, feel compassionate towards or show empathy toward a situation so vastly different to themselves?
On the other side, you come across wonderful people, who are 110% interested in your situation and truly listen to try and grasp an understanding of what life may be like for us, but more importantly, for Mikey. It will be Mikey and his sisters that will be handling the complexities of life and all that comes with it, when they are adults. As a young family, we are helping them, but that won’t be forever.
It is very interesting to see things in this way. It puts a new perspective on what to concentrate my energies on as a special needs parent. I’m not going to waste my time having a conversation with every Tom, Dick and Harry to try and let them understand where we are at. That’s not my job. What it is, is to support Mikey so that we can go out into the community and access just as many experiences for him, as his sisters.
And that my friends, is how you say “F*CK YOU” to the stares, the whisperings and the sideway glances, as you stroll/roll/limp on by with a smile towards the sun!