Differently Abled (Disabled)

I want to talk about Disabilities. I just watched the two episodes of This Close that are on sundancenow.com. I have had some realizations about myself through watching them. I don’t connect or identify as having a disability in any way. I have interacted with the Deaf community and as far as I understand it they feel the same way. It is a piece of who you are but it isn’t WHO you are. You are so much MORE then what people label your specific disability as. Part of me feels like maybe I shouldn’t even write this. Because who am I? I am not disabled, not really, not compared to others out there. Plus my “disability” is unseen. No one would EVER have a clue unless I told them and what would be the point in that anyways.

I went to a brain doctor with my mom. What they do is legit. And basically I have a mild form of everything; ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Panic attacks, depression, and other’s that I can’t remember. They also asked if I had ever had any brain damage. Which is possible but we said no. When we were meeting with the doctor and he was saying all this I felt like I was closing in on myself. It felt like he was telling me all of the things that are wrong with me and I was desperately trying not to cry. He left the room and my mom turns to me excitedly, “Isn’t this great?!” I told her how I was feeling and she explained things in a way that made me feel a little better and she ended with, “And this means we can fix it.” It was a while ago so I can’t remember if that is what she actually said but that is what I remember. I am supposed to take supplements to help but I rarely do. And then I went on living and hardly give any of it a second thought. Except maybe the depression and anxiety part when they decide to punch me in the gut and throw me to the ground.

However recently my mom has mentioned my learning disability twice in one week after years of not mentioning it. And then I watched the panel scene in the second episode of This Close. And something clicked. There is no such thing as disability. Society created that term to single out people who didn’t match up to what they consider normal and right. To make us wrong and less then. We are different which is technically a good thing. But we are TOO different. We don’t fit into the boxes and molds that people are trying to shove us into on a daily basis. We are NOT broken. We do NOT need to be fixed. We are perfect just as we are.

I say again I do NOT identify or connect in any way with having a learning disability. That is not who I am and it does not define me. I wouldn’t even know that I had it if people on the outside of my life compared me to the rest of the world and constantly told me that I struggled. Yes, I struggled in school. I excelled in English class but that was it. It was because I never gave a shit about Math, or History, or Science or any of those other subjects. And I just realized recently through a short lived job that I am incredibly smart if I am dedicated and motivated to something I am passionate about. I might have to work my ass off but I am capable of doing it. I would have never known that I have to work twice as hard as everyone else in the world just to be at the normal and standard starting space as others. The only reason I know that is because it was told to me over and over again by people I trust and who mean well and love me. If no one EVER said anything to me then I wouldn’t think anything of it. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find that out and even if I did, I wouldn’t think it applied to me. It is all I have ever known so it is my constant, my normal, and I deal with it. It only becomes harder to deal with it when people tell you how hard you in fact do have it.

I don’t know if I have said everything I wanted to on this subject or if I was clear enough. I also apologize if this is offensive in any way to anyone. This is just what I am feeling and experiencing for myself and I am not claiming that my experience is any better or worse then another persons.

Thank you for reading.

Write again later.

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Author: quean29

I am a Sign Language Interpreter in the education system and an aspiring actor.

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