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.

Advertisements

Famdom Life and Conventions

I had a short conversation with my mom last night about me and going to conventions. She has been very supportive and even helped me when I needed extra money in order to help me go to the specific convention or con of my choice. However they have raised their prices and that made her ask me a question last night that just proves she has no idea how important these cons are to me.

“But are you done going now because the prices went up and you already have so many photos? What else is there for you there?” I told her more photos, meeting actors that I haven’t met yet. I told her that I keep coming up with more photo op ideas. However I didn’t even think to tell her about the Family that I have there. how it is the one thing in my life at this moment in time that I look forward to and feeds me and my soul. I can’t stop and it is just getting worse. It is the one place I can fully be myself without apologies and where other people “get it.” Even when it isn’t a safe place it is still safer then the world outside of a con.

I would think it would be pretty obvious how much it means to me and how important it is. I mean I meet two people at my first convention that ended up being the worst friend experiences so far in my life. Which is saying something because up until this point I have had pretty shitty friends. And yet I STILL want and NEED to go. With anything else in my life I would think that it wouldn’t be worth it. But it is. And isn’t that the same with blood family? Every one has some stinkers but that doesn’t stop you from coming back every time for all the good. No matter how exhausting, draining, and sometimes sick they make me I NEED to go. I know that the pictures are just pictures and after they are done that’s it. I mean “normal” people don’t understand that, that just fuels everything. It’s interaction but it’s somehow more then that. The men are filling a void I have in my life with men. No men look at me the way they do in photos when I stupidly forget to look at them and instead look at the camera because I think that is what they are doing. No one interacts with me the way I request them to let me in photos. I NEED that. And the more photos I get like that….maybe somehow keeps it alive, possible, and maybe gives me more hope. I actually feel like it gives me less but…whatever. These photos are my only hope.

This last convention I went to was the day after my birthday. So the whole time I called it my birthday weekend. I am not the only person who does that at conventions either. And to top it off I was born on the same day as one of the actors that would be there and that I was meeting for the first time. She and this other woman are my hero’s, my female role models, I look up to them. I feel like they are who I want to become as an adult. Or at least something similar to them without the influence of my family. My family has influenced my view of myself for long enough thank you very much! I spent more money then ever before. I did something called the “PJ Party” that they put on through the convention for only 30 people, I did a meet and greet with them (my first one ever), and I got a crapton of photos with them. By the end that woman knew me, even if it wasn’t by name. And that isn’t what is important anyways.

This woman gave me the biggest gift with the smallest gesture that I could ever ask anyone for. And it still surprises me how much it means to me. Every time I talk or write about it I cry because it is so simple and so sad that I rarely get it. So the PJ party was 3 hours of time with these woman. So anyways we came in and were interacting with the attendees first. Getting to know each other until the main woman showed up. As the evening progressed I noticed that I felt more like myself then I ever do in a room full of people I don’t really know. I wasn’t shy, I felt outgoing and like myself, I didn’t have to apologize for anything. But that wasn’t even the gift. Tiny backstory: I rarely feel like anyone “sees, hears,” or “listens” to me. Which makes me feel like nothing I have to say is important or matters. My mom, she can’t help it, goes into her own little world in her head and can’t hear me too often. She will look for me to sit next to in a group or at church and she can’t “see” me so she gives up and sits behind me instead. This woman…..oh my god this woman. Any small thing I said, she responded to. For the meet and greet I tried not to talk much so I could give the opportunity to people who didn’t get the interaction with them that I had, had the night before. And even so I would say a couple word comment, one time just basically repeating what she had said and she would respond with like a, “yes,” or something. To acknowledge that I had spoken. I am pretty sure she even did it in the dark when we were watching an episode they were in together. Although that is harder to say. That is seriously the smallest thing ever. And I try to do the same thing to everyone in my life since I didn’t feel like I got it myself growing up. I know children are annoying and ask for a lot. But even just looking at them and letting them know that you heard them and will respond when you are done with what you are doing, I feel like that still makes them feel heard. And probably why people tell me i’ll make a good mom and/or Aunt. Because I pay more attention then most people.

I wish I could find a way to let her know how important that was to me. You never know the impact you have in peoples lives. That is something you can never know. And she was just “being” the wonderful and magnificent human being that she is. I didn’t even realize how big a deal this was to me until like the week after the con. She wrote a chapter in a book and if I remember correctly she talked about never feeling like she had a voice or she didn’t know if her voice was okay so she tried to take on other peoples voices instead. She “gets it” in all the most important ways I need her to. She understands pain. And if it means so much to me, is there a chance that I have impacted someones life as much as she did mine just by responding when people talk?

I guess that’s it for now. Write you next time.