Wish I Could Be Part of Your World

For the last few days a song has been playing over and over in my head.

I realized how much my life was in one way or another was emulated with this song. The Little Mermaid “Part of your World” to me embodies the social isolation which seems to be lessening lately. I understand that I see the world differently, but what I don’t understand is why people see me differently? If I am in public with someone able bodied they tend to talk to the person I’m with almost as if I am a transparent being. Or, if I’m with somebody who has a physical disability themselves, people we are interacting with seem to be sickeningly sweet towards us. Take last Saturday I went out to dinner with a friend and although it was a surprisingly pleasant sadly being both with cerebral palsy we have come to expect that we are going to be talked to like we are children. I believe that this isn’t people’s intent but strangely enough they seem to forget that one’s can be strictly physical in its nature. They seem to think the icon of wheelchair in a young healthy looking person provokes confusion for many. I haven’t had serious health issues and yet they seem to think that the chair must mean I was an accident victim which again is completely inaccurate.

I recognize that with a little education this “elephant in the room” for me and others that I speculate can be reduced. I seriously have some questions:

  • How does one take the focus off the equipment they may use to get through there day?
  • How do we with disability take measures for invisibility? And prevent them from talking to able bodied persons that we are with?

Any suggestions or comments with regards to this?

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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2 Responses to Wish I Could Be Part of Your World

  1. Adelaide Dupont says:

    Sometimes, understanding that others may see me differently (from the way they see themselves, or the way they might see other people who are like me or different from me) is easier than understanding that I see the world differently.

    Katy Fetters had a really good perspective on this in her college statements. (She is applying for a University of California school: best wishes to her in June 2011!)

    Probably there is a clue in how we think about our bodies and how we mirror them. Insecurities are sure to come up in this fashion. Most people can hide their bodies and their flaws if they want to. It is a privilege.

    Most of the people I see in wheelchairs are young and healthy. The older ones tend to go in walkers or scooters.

    Accident victims who might end up paraplegic or quadriplegic (there is at least one serious car accident a day in many states of, say, Australia) are at least as common as those born with say, cerebral palsy. They have to fight pity and assumptions of incapacity too.

    I’m happy for you that the social isolation seems to be lessening lately.

  2. Yes Adelaide I agree accident victims do face this but in my opinion people understand when one says they were in an accident whereas surprisingly enough to me when I say I have cerebral palsy I am often met with blank stares

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