- Disabilities & the Disabled
A Letter to the World
I have something to say and I need you to listen. For once, I want you to listen and not judge. You've seen me trip and you've seen me fall. Many times, you were the one who had pushed me down.
You laughed. And you taunted. Boy did you ever taunt! You disregarded and belittled my disabilities, my difficulties, especially my effort, and most especially and destructivel...y, my humanity.
You'd say things like "try harder" and "tough it out", "cowboy up" and, the tired, cliche'd and meaningless "bootstraps" speech. You'd say other things. You'd badger "you don't get it *yet*?!", "how can you be so smart and yet so dumb" and "Even *you* should be able to do THIS."
You'd utter such sarcasm and ridicule as "for real?" and "come on, Stanley" and "don't be so lazy"...ah...and my favorite "Seriously?"
You'd do things like ground me, keep me after school, chastise me IN class, ask "do you want me to smash you?" (to a second grader!!!). You'd ignore my requests, my pleading for help, and you'd laugh at me for getting "emotional".
You'd say, upon my quizzical look "I just wanna smoosh your face"! You'd say "men need to be trained". WOOF! You'd go back on promises and fail to follow through on the simplest of mandated compliances.
You'd fire me after giving me notice of reappointment. You'd try to take the credit for my efforts and cover your pathetic Judas ass for reasons you have yet to disclose...YET to disclose!
You'd file a criminal complaint against me for daring to speak the truth in public. You'd pretend to misinterpret a common metaphor just to paint the worst picture of me. Cause that's what you wanted to show. That's what you wanted to see.
You'd arrest me, without reading me anything from the Miranda warning, and why? Because I feel asleep in my parked car! You'd say "yer not gettin' it" and, to my insistence that I wasn't doing anything illegal "that doesn't matter"!
That doesn't matter?!
You would betray me, and decency itself, and yes, you would OH so judge me. You mocked me. You didn't give a shit.
Here's what you didn't do. You didn't listen. You did not offer to help. You didn't accept me. You did not and DO not know me. You mocked me. You didn't give a shit.
I would say things like "I AM trying" and "could you repeat that please?". I said "but that isn't fair" and "but I WAS listening". You would shake your head, or smirk, or just turn and walk away.
I would say "I need help" and "There's no hope" and "I'm in trouble!".
I would hit bottom. A few times. I would wear long sleeves for weeks. I would end up in the C3 psych unit: no sharps, no laces. You didn't visit. You didn't care. You don't know how scared I was - how scared I am.
Here's something else you don't know. I'm a fighter. And I'm not stupid! My I.Q. is 150, what's yours? I can play the piano by ear. I can find the words to say *anything* given space and time, and if you want I can even make them rhyme.
And you know what else? I can get back up. I do get back up. Every day. I work JUST as hard as you *EVER* did! Probably harder.
So don't judge me, world. 'Cause I'm a part of it and I'm a part of you! You tried to erase me. You tried to knock me down. And keep me there. But guess what? I'm still standing.