Don"t Look At Me That Way
Don’t look at me that way.
You who shared such a special part of my life
A secret part
A magic time
When we were younger
And dreams were all brand new
Life was still a mystery.
We shared a part of life and love
Filled with playfulness
On snowy days
Or hot summer nights
Laughing and dreaming
Loving and scheming.
We drifted apart
Toward different horizons
and life went on.
I didn’t have all the luck that you did,
And it wasn’t all roses,
But I’m so proud of myself to have come so far.
When I saw you, I just wanted some of the old energy
I thought you would at least remember
How much I loved to laugh with you
I thought that with you
We could share and play like we could have all the world, if we wanted, like we used to
I thought the magic would be there
But you looked at me THAT WAY
You pitied me,
You treated me like a child
And all at once
My heart was broken
I expected you to see ME, not my handicap.
So I don’t walk as well as I used to
And I’m in pain most of the time,
You kept asking me about what happened to me
Not what I’ve done or learned since then.
I wanted to talk about dreams; you talked about yours.
You didn’t ask if I had any anymore.
I am not my disability.
The longer we talked, you built that chasm between me and you.
And I let you, because I don’t have the confidence to stand up
For myself yet.
You loved me once and thought I was brilliant
You were so taken with me, you said
Now, you won’t even look me in the eyes.
You used to send me flowers for no reason at all
We couldn’t wait to spend time together
Now you are rushing through everything so this evening will end.
Before we got together tonight
We talked on the phone about how nice it was to be close again
But tonight, you couldn’t get out fast enough
And you left saying, “well, keep in touch!”
I know what it all means.
I knew what the look was all about.
I knew the one time you called me “kiddo”
You were no longer seeing “me”.
And it really hurts. Because you really meant a lot to me
And because you really did know me before this happened to me.
But you haven’t got a clue about me now.
I allowed myself a good cry over it last night. Then I got back up and headed back out into the real world where I am fighting a lot of real battles right now. I’m stronger than this, and will forget it in my daily life – only think of now and then. Because it’s a recurring theme. I guess it’s human nature, to notice someone’s disability and want to help, but not to patronize or treat someone as if they are not as smart because of it. Having a disability doesn’t necessarily turn one into a dependent.
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