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Friday, March 5, 2010

hiding in the shadows where everyone can see you


Living with a disability is never easy. Trust me I know. My family is surrounded by disability. Our toddler PB (Pickleboy) has Cerebral Palsy and Asperger's and when he was diagnosed my heart just about broke, and yet at the same time I understood why God sent to me.

My husband has a disability. He has a brain injury. Is that a negative thing? Well it depends on how you look at it. He goes to sleep every night and forgets much of what happens during each day. Where we took the kids, memories of their games, friends they had over, movies we watched with them, conversations we had. Gone, each night, but each morning... each morning he wakes up fresh and new to love us all over again. Now that is a blessing.

Our oldest son, almost eleven now struggles with ADHD. Sure it's mild and basically he is a great kid, just don't try having a conversation with him because he can't sit still long enough and people become frustrated with him easily, because he plays with things while you are trying to talk to him.

And then there is me. Bipolar and Anxiety Disorder, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder and a few other things that made growing up for me a living hell, not just because I got called "crazy!" before I was even ten, overly emotional, someone who needs help, angry child and what not. It was hell because nobody around me saw what I knew in my heart, that yes -- something was wrong, but I was sure there was a way to fix to so that I could not appear normal--for them, but feel normal for myself.

I came across a fellow blogger, Angel Shrout who knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say, people with disabilities that cannot be seen physically are hiding in the shadows where everyone can see them, and yet nobody pays attention, other than to criticize, say nasty things...or make you out to be some kind of person who is just WRONG! and should behave better because of what their expectations are.

In her post, she talks about discovering how her 17 year old son finally gets diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I was 25 when I got diagnosed, so he's a bit ahead of the game, but the scrutiny to which her child has suffered at the hands of family, friends and loved ones who just either didn't understand or simply ignored the problems her child was going through.

Well it pisses me off frankly!

Angel writes a letter to her family and her discussion on her feelings as a mother touched my heart, not only as a mother myself of a child who walks around with no real physical disabilities and yet unable to act the way people expect him too, our youngest with Asperger's, has been greatly challenging and even heart breaking.

So many judgments are made against the mentally ill or persons with disabilities, it's truly awful. Like my husband. People meet him, talk to him, then frown when he says he's been on a disability since he was 18 years old because of a traumatic brain injury he sustained.

But why can't he work? He looks normal?

Or our son who one minute is very caring and loving, but freaks out if you kiss him, he gets food on his shirt, dirt on his hands or too many people are around to cause him to have a melt down.

Well that child is just spoiled and needs a good spank!

Angel's son has faced these challenges because some of what he goes through he wears on the sleeve of his shirt, along with his heart, and nobody has the right to judge him, especially those that claim to love him.

Fear and a lack of understanding is what propels society to diminish those with special needs (unless physically seen). Aw www, look that poor man is in a wheel chair!

You never hear anyone say... Aw www look that poor little boy has a hard time connecting with the world, so he acts out, even angrily and may act or do or say something we don't expect. We should love him extra special, because he is a gift from God..."

Yeah, that just doesn't happen, and that is really really sad.

Maybe one day when on the flight of an eagles back these people will take notice they are in the air but not really flying, they are counting on the help of the eagle to get them where to they are going, and instead of getting angry because the eagle doesn't quite fly the way they would, they will appreciate and feel grateful they were allowed along for the ride.

Maybe one day those with disabilities who will still find themselves hiding in the shadows will be seen by everyone and not just as a large block to the sun shining above as they see now, but as a dark corner of comfort that can bring love and joy to them, peace and relaxation when needed most.

All they have to do is look.

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3 comments:

Melissa Mashburn on March 5, 2010 at 9:01 AM said...

Good Post!!

singedwingangel on March 5, 2010 at 9:19 PM said...

Ok you made me cry.. ty so much. I have another friend whose son is barely 8 and they have diagnosed him as bipolar and ADHD with OCD.. her hubby's family is doing the same thing I dealt with for my son. My boy is an amazingly talented child he can sing ( I take credit for that one lol) Play guitar by ear ( that one is not mine nor biodad's but stepdaddy who has been daddy since birth played). He is a joy to be around and now that he is on the right meds the transformation is amazing. But I can tell you that for a long time the only thign we used for him was fish oil and a multi vitamin. HE also took melatonin for sleep. Those are wonder workers and worked uite well until hormones went into overdrive and we had a raging bull on our hands whose own anger scared even him... once again ty so much for the buzz.. perhaps if enough of us stand up, they will not be silent disabilities anymore..

Robin Barr on March 8, 2010 at 4:19 PM said...

Hi JP, I found myself on your site, then your blog, just read "hiding in the shadows". My God, you're such a gifted writer, you write about pain, frustration, probably fear, but you also write beauty. Not about beauty, but your thoughts are beauty, your expression is beauty. You haven't been handed the easiest life, to put it mildly, and I'm curious how you cope, especially with the disabilities you have. All I can share with you to somehow make you life easier, is this - when you have a moment to sit quietly without interruption, elevate your thoughts to something that CAN elevate you, like God if you love God (no judgement here), or your child, or a kitten or puppy, or extreme gratefulness for something. You should feel the sensations around your body, or in your mind when the quality of your thoughts, your thinking, if only for this moment in time, has risen, elevated so to speak, have become more spiritual perhaps. If you recognize that sensation, great. Spend more time doing that throughout the day, because your thoughts have a magnetic quality and will pull positive things that you need into your life, like two opposing magnets clamping together with a thud. Try it, it costs you nothing, and will have a calming effect, at minimum. But it will accomplish more than that. It will bring you help, opportunity, love that doesn't come with a pricetag. Sending you peace and healing.

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