Over the course of this roller coaster ride of a life there have been many people who have entered my life with the sole purpose of helping me and getting to where I am to day. While many have left their mark in their own unique ways, there are a few of them that have had a bigger impact than they intended to. Coincidentally these five people are all women not that I’m complaining, it’s just an interesting coincidence. If there was a League of Extraordinary women, these ladies would be it and with out further adieu I present to you these lovely women in no particular order. Continue reading
It’s been quite sometime since I wrote one of these and honestly, the reasons for my absence are irrelevant. I’m back and I’m ready to kick some more ass. Apparently this month within the disabilities community is “Spread the Word to End the Word” month. Now I had no idea this month was devoted that cause which is a little sad because it is a reminder of how out of touch I have been with the world as of late. For those who are completely unaware of what word I’m talking about, it’s a word a lot of us use very nonchalantly and even I have been guilty of using this word a lot in my youth. It’s a word we use so much we sometimes forget who that word hurts the most and is also a reminder of how disregarded the fight for disability rights is. I’m talking about the word “Retarded” or “Retard”, a word which from personal experience even as a black person I find more offensive than the N word. Now before every African American person or person of color goes batshit crazy over this statement, allow me to explain myself and my own personal struggle. Continue reading
If you’re an avid Pulp Fiction watcher or know people who avidly watch the movie and religiously quote it the same way those people who have convinced themselves they’re some self righteous pariahs quote the Bible then you can easily finish this sentence and if you can’t finish this sentence then I implore of you to watch Pulp Fiction. This blog post however isn’t about Pulp Fiction or how great Quentin Tarantino is as a writer. This is about another cross in my life I’ve been given to carry with pride as much as I don’t want to at times. People who know me personally already know where this blog is going .
Imagine a world where in order to get to where you needed to everyone around you simply had to ride an elevator while you on the other hand constantly had to take the stairs because for you the elevator was always broken. Suddenly the climb up those stairs became the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest without a map and to add insult to injury the weather gets turbulent and before you know it you’re left to your own device to weather the storm because not many people feel that they can help you out of the shithole that life has graciously decided it needed to throw you in. Take this wonderfully horrific analogy and you have my life in the jungle known as an education.
Anyone with an intellectual disability knows the struggle of trying to blend in to society. Lets face it, as much as you want to be yourself you know that some of your habits and rituals and even obsessions don’t belong in public for the sake of keeping friends and acquaintances. Now while there are high functioning people that are fully aware of what’s socially acceptable and what’s not, there are those who don’t not do they even try to correct their quirks. Whether no one pointed out their quirks or if they just flat out don’t give a shit is beyond me. The reason I bring this up is because though connecting with neurotypicals (a big ass word meaning those not on the spectrum) can be a challenge, connecting with those on the spectrum can be even trickier. I bet ya everyone is completely flabbergasted and wondering why such a thing can be do difficult. Allow me to go back to the snowflake analogy for the umpteenth time, people on the spectrum are like snow flakes, everyone on the spectrum is different. Now we’re not even just talking about differences in function, we’re talking differences in rituals, interests, and personalities. Those who have worked with people on the spectrum know very well how radically different the personalities can be due to the complex wiring which 90% of the time can look like the back of our entertainment centers. It looks like a jungle to others and only you know how it works and where everything works and that’s all that matters. This difference in personality can make it very tricky for me to be friends with those on the spectrum cause when we have a clash of opinions it happens in the worse way possible, you’d think a blood bath was about to ensue with the way we were arguing. Now there’s another obstacle that makes connections difficult for me but in order for you guys to understand I’ll have to go back to the early years of my life in order to explain an issue that every person with a high functioning form of a learning disability has had to deal with.
The title of this blog post sounds exactly how you might be comprehending it. You’re probably wondering how someone could have such a profound attachment to an object. It isn’t necessarily the object that we attach ourselves to but rather the memories and good times associated with the said objects. For some it’s a teddy bear, for others maybe a blanket. What ever the objects you cling to it for the nostalgia and remember the happy times. Now you’re probably wondering what all this nostalgia crap possibly has to do with the seemingly long and somewhat confusing blog title. The answer to your question lies in my childhood, dark and confusing times that felt at times like they’d never end.
Two nights ago I ended my most recent blog entry with a paragraph asking a simple question that yields a great deal of complexity when you really peel away at the layers. Today I want to dive a bit deeper into the concept of “normal”. What is normal? What do we consider to be normal? Normal as defined by the dictionary is “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural”. It also means serving to establish a standard. If normal is what ever society decides it should be then by society’s norms I’m the furthest thing from normal but then so are a lot of people.