the cloak of invisibility that comes with disability


When I look at myself I don’t see my disability, in fact its vastly the opposite I see my abilities first. Sure, there is no ignoring the fact that I have one being that a lot of the things I do, are done in a physically different way then my peers to get the same out come. As much as I wouldn’t trade having cerebral palsy for being able bodied, having a disability comes with its own unique set of challenges like social isolation and a sense of invisibility.

The invisibility cloak and disability

A sense of invisibility is something I deal with regularly I think it stems from the fact that people simply don’t know how to relate to me. I feel this is because the reality is the first thing they notice is my wheelchair I am not sure if this is totally true or if it is merely my personal perception but I feel that people have a tendency to see my wheelchair before taking the time to get to know me. I mean isn’t that like judging a book by its cover?
At some point on this journey, I realized that I was an active bystander in my own life. Essentially, I was sitting back waiting for the world to come to me. That’s when a sense of positivity came into my life. Or, rather a positive situation was born out of a negative one.

Let me explain, when I started this blog I had just lost the best job I had ever had, it was during a recession so not many places were hiring, and I needed a creative outlet. After looking around the net for a site like this, and not finding one, I built this one. Today I feel like that sense of invisibility has lifted in some aspects of my life. Sure, I recognize that people will always be uncomfortable with things they don’t understand. The more comfortable I become within myself however the less I feel that nagging sense of invisibility.

I don’t know if there is any research to correlate the sense social isolation and invisibility to self confidence but I personally think it would be an interesting study.

My question for you is does your disability make you feel invisible? I would be interested in your thoughts. If you like this post sign up for our monthly newsletter in the blue box below

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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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