Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dealing with staring and noisy people.

For me, living with cerebral palsy has its challenges and difficulties. I have physical limitations that make it difficult for me to do certain things like feed or dress myself. Even with the limitations of my disability, I live a really full and interactive life. I think of my life as being normal and mostly uneventful. I am really just a regular dude actually.
That is why sometimes I don't understand why random people come up to me and ask a whole bunch of questions about my life and how I go through my day. I called it the adult version of when a child openly stares at you like you are the bogeyman incarnate. But with the kid you can use the excuse that he or she does not know any better. With adults this attitude that people are freakish comes out in a few amusing ways.
Some people react by ignoring me, like when I go to talk to people and they walk away. I mean PEOPLE?!!... I know I was talking to you and you know I was talking to you. The least you can do to show you have sense is to address me with acknowledgment. Especially if you are in the service industry and it is your JOB to address my needs. It is not a good look to just talk to my attendant. It is not like it is a joy to talk to you neither.
Other people have the bright idea of treating me like a child or buffoon. This reaction is also hilarious for me and yes I am actually laughing at you. I should wear a shirt that says "Yes I understand everything you say and no you don't have to use a loud voice or talk slowly when speaking to me" and on the back I would have the word "IDIOT!" in bold letters. Few people will see the back of the shirt since most of the time I am in my wheelchair but, I like the concept anyway. I mean come on PEOPLE! I went to college and graduate school and can get what you are saying. I will now give you free license to talk to me normally. Especially the TSA and flight attendants, just saying though.
My favorite adult reaction has to be the over interested bystander. I mean come on y'all my life cannot be that foreign and exotic. I grew up in Lafayette in the heart of California suburbia. I went to school, got a job, and have a social life. Yes interested bystander I have a social life. One woman asked who I called on and I said my mom and she dropped the subject believing I didn't know what I was talking about. Yes, I did know exactly what she was talking about, but the other people I call on my phone is really none of her business. I like the random women that are that interested in me to be physically attractive and be willing to give me their number to arrange a future date. It is a double standard but it is what it is.

This blog was originally posted at the Dynavox Mayer-Johnson Blog (www.dynavoxtech.com)

3 Comments:

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

you tell 'em Lateef!!!

 
At 4:06 AM, Blogger Destiny Blue said...

My brother goes through the same things. People that are uneducated about CP and don't understand its effects shouldn't judge anyone. I commend your great efforts to erase thoughts from these stereotypical people. Please write back :)

 
At 4:06 AM, Blogger Destiny Blue said...

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