Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Thank You Note

I am writing this quickly because Blogger is acting up and I'm having trouble accessing the blog. I am on now but not sure when it will go down again. So, I'm keeping this brief to ensure I have something for you tomorrow.

As to yesterday.

I got home and the elevators were back up and we got in with no problems.

My greatest fear, as it turned out, wasn't getting in or out of my apartment. It was having to deal with the attitudes of my neighbours regarding sharing space when space is limited.

I wrote yesterday's post in an attempt to honestly express what I was feeling about the vulnerability that comes with needing something from others. It's a constant for many of us with disabilities - but, mostly, for me, I need from those who love me and those who care for me. It's when I need from others that I feel fear.

There is a difference, I am discovering, between 'living in the community' and 'having community'. In my business we've so focused on one, thinking it meant the other, that we've missed the point. People with intellectual disabilities tell me all the time that their experience of 'community living' is one of isolation and often fear.

Perhaps that's why I continue on with this blog.

I crave community.

Thank you for giving it to me so freely.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

I had difficulties dealing with yesterdays post. I had difficulties, because the needing part is something I fear to. I fear being dependent on the help of people I dont know. People I can not judge in how they will react to my needs.

With my own fear I can deal. But not with the things that I can not foresee if I ask people to be polite or for help that I dont know.

It is good when things work out.

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Dave -- that fear you speak of is exactly the same thing I was dealing with yesterday as I attended the 3rd round of lengthy meetings dealing with placement for my son in the next school year. I have to rely on the tolerence/acceptance of people who are at best indifferent, at worst, outright hostile.

But there can be true community in the community. It does happen. Not without work on our part, and not often enough. But there are some people out there who are receptive and caring.

Anonymous said...

I love being part of this community. Thank YOU! L

Thoreau-ing said...

Your post rang a lot of bells with me. Feeling vulnerable is something I find very hard.

Vulnerable is such an interesting word it is from the Latin vulnerare - which means 'to wound'. So I think of it as being easier to wound - and that is true of me, definitely. My disability makes me easier to hurt - both physically and also it gives people more options if they want to wound me emotionally.

I suppose the only thing I can say is that I have found strength in acknowledging my vulnerability and working around it to boost my ability to stay safe. And from being a long-time reader of this blog I know that you have too.

Andrea S. said...

It occurs to me that one of the reasons I read this blog, aside from the gifts of the writing and insights you share, is sense of community.

When I was younger, my strong need was to connect with other Deaf people like me ... I *needed* that for so many reasons, including seeing myself and my experiences reflected in others around me, the many small epiphanies that some of the frustrations I experienced were not just things that happened to me but to all Deaf people, etc. Plus, of course, the linguistic and cultural connections that Deaf people share through our language (in the US and English speaking parts of Canada, American Sign Language).

But as I've gotten older and started learning more across the whole disability spectrum, I have come to realize more and more that there are so many important commonalities of experience that cuts across pretty much all disabilities. For example, the *need* people with disabilities have for certain things from others, whether simply a few seconds of patience while Dave maneuvers into an elevator or patience with needing to repeat something or write down something so I can understand what is said. What we need often really isn't much. But because every person with a disability has had encounters with people unprepared or unwilling to give us even this much, and because the lack of other people's willingness to demonstrate an occasional moment of patience or other minor cooperation often has a very disproportionate impact on us (if someone is impatient with a non-disabled person, this may merely be irksome or annoying for the non-disabled person ... but if someone demonstrates impatience or lack of cooperation in a minor matter for a disabled person, then we aren't just annoyed, this may mean we lose potentially important information or may be completely blocked from doing things like entering an elevator to simply go home. Other people's minor impatience or lack of a mere moment's cooperation has a concrete, tangible impact on our ability to simply go about living our lives that just doesn't happen when they demonstrate the same lack of patience or cooperation with non-disabled people.)

Glee said...

I love this community Dave and I am glad you love it too. I often share your posts on Facebook and as you have come to understand disability better I share them more.

Your posts have certainly changed since I have been reading them. More emotional, direct, heartfelt and truly insightful posts. You are learning the real truths and sharing them with others, mostly with no holds barred. And it is SO important to share and learn. Excellent Dave. Onya matey!

theknapper said...

I think others have said this as also create community here for all of us the readers.I look forward to your blogs and everyone's responeses. I need a place where I am asked to look at my thoughts and behaviours as well as delight in the stories about your girls.