Saturday, May 1, 2010
Keep Your Damn Pity to Yourself.
I am participating in "Blog Against Disablism Day" which you can find more info about Here
Time and time again, when we explain to people the nature of Gabe's disability, we hear "I'm sorry" or some variation of "I'm sorry" You know, after six years and some odd months of hearing it, I'm used to it. I'm used to the "oh poor you" looks when we leave a doctor's office or the school or library play group, etc etc. I get it, you're sorry. You don't know what else to say or do, so you apologize and you pity us.
Newsflash: We are NOT sorry that Gabriel is the way he is; we don't wail and gnash our teeth because he's sooooooo disabled We don't sit around mourning what could have been and what might be. We are TOO busy being parents of two active children who both work and try to maintain some semblance of a social life to worry about how Gabe's life could have been. We've gotten over it, why don't YOU get over it too?
Instead of saying "I'm so sorry" when I tell you he has spina bifida, how about "Damn that must be rough" Or "you must be tired of constant doctor's visits". Or anything, really, other than "I'm sorry" (and also fyi: Saying "well he doesn't look disabled" is a great way to get a punch in the nose. DO.NOT.SAY.THAT. Strike those words from your vocabulary; I don't give a rats patoot if you don't "think" he looks disabled. He IS, trust me on this, you telling me he looks "normal" isn't reassuring, it's annoying.)
Keep your pity for things and people who NEED to be pitied; who deserve to be pitied. Gabe is too busy being a crazy six year old obsessed with the Blackhawks (and Red Wings Grandma Deb lol), mustangs, the cat, school, and irritating his little sister to be bothered to dwell on what he can't do. Trust me, it doesn't bother him to have spina bifida 99% of the time, so quit letting it bother YOU.