Thursday, December 23, 2010

Those Who Get It

As a teenager, I had a very hard time coming to terms with my disability. It didn't help that I was getting infections every other week, or that keeping up with my peers became more difficult with every pain. Our intensive high school program drained me, I did theater which put me at school for twelve-hour days sometimes, and then homework... Plus disability stuff. Talking about it all with my friends was even harder, because, hello, I didn't want to admit to it.

In college it was easier to deal with, to do things at my own pace. I got more vocal about asking for help, or for people to wait for me. I didn't like it, but I was slowly learning to cope. There were times, though, when people made assumptions-- or didn't-- about my abilities and that always threw me for a loop.

Somehow along the way I gathered the people who got it. The ones who anticipate what I need help with, so I don't have to ask, but don't assume I can't do anything. Who don't bat an eyelash when I have to bandage this, or keep the weight off that. Who come hang out in my living room after I had surgery, or pick my cane up from the ground every time it clicks on the hardwood floor.

They're all over the place now, high school friends who moved, undergrad sorority sisters in Atlanta, former pen-pals in London. I'm so grateful for them, because as I said to my mom when I was last in New York with two of them, "It's easy."

One of Those Who Get It is staying with us for Christmas. Tonight we're having a Glee marathon with another.

Hey. Sixteen-year-old me. They do get it, and they're not going anywhere.


Post a Comment