Saturday, June 20, 2009

Not the end of the world

I try to steer away from writing about certain family members and their backwards way of thinking, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one who runs into these kind of people. I just don't get why some people think its better to be dead than have a disability.

We went to a graduation party today for a young man I used to babysit about 10 years ago. Hank and his family were neighbors. I would watch their three kids while the parents went bowling until I had my first baby. Then, the mom watched my dd part time when I went back to work for a few months. Its hard to believe two of those three have finished high school.

Anyway, the topic of John & Kate +8 came up which led to the topic of a certain mom who had 8 babies when she already had 6 children at home. Then of course someone has to mention that they think "two of her kids have autism and one is half blind."

To which I say "Goldie is half blind, I'm sure he'll be fine."

At this point Hank has some wierd expression on his face I don't remember seeing before. The family member goes on to tell me "well you can't tell" No, I guess if you've been living with your head in the sand you wouldn't notice. Hello! She was at the zoo where my kid couldn't see the animals last month. She is the same person who sat across from Goldie last year calling her name repeatedly while Goldie looked around trying to find who was talking to her. How clueless am I supposed to believe she is?

So she changes the subject to a cousin that uses his peripheral vision and how strange she thinks that is. Hank finally told her to be quiet because she was being rude. BTW, he left early and finished the party at home.

This whole thing just pisses me off. Goldie is 2 and I feel like she has learned NOTHING by having her in our lives. Everytime she talks about someone with a disablity it is with such pity in her voice. She shakes her head, sighs, and looks at the floor. Of course, for her to learn something from Goldie she would have to admit that she has a disability. I just want her to see that you can have both a disablity and a happy, fulfilled life.


Beverly said...

sorry you have this happen! I had a few of these things happen with my husbands family and it was not pretty. Goldie is one lucky girl to have you!

Ria said...

That's unfortunate. As much as we'd like for everyone to understand and change their attitudes towards disabilities, it may not seem entirely possible for some. Maybe it might take more time and for you (and Goldie) to educate her more when appropriate. Hang in there.

Bill and Ria

Loren Stow said...

I think there are certain people out there who focus solely on themselves. Even when they look out in the world, it is from a perspective of 'how would I feel if that happened to me?' sort of thing. I think these people struggle to just look at another person and accept them and love them because they literally don't have the 'space' in their lives for any one else. Most of what happens just 'misses' them because they are so focussed on themselves.
Somehow, the way you describe this woman, she sounds like that to me.
Don't fret, I don't think a person like that will ever truly understand and empathise with another person (whatever the level of ability). Totally self-focussed = zero connection = zero empathy = zero understanding.
Sorry for the long comment!

Karen said...

I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. There are just some people who can't adjust their way of thinking, and apparently she's one of them. I've learned to just laugh to myself over this kind because it's so sad how ignorant they are. My neighbor is the same. Every time she sees Micah, the comment is along the line of "Karen, he doesn't look bad!" Well, duh. He's a good looking little guy!

JaybirdNWA said...

It is unfortunate but there are some people who are content with their head in the sand. In order to learn, we have to be admit our ignorance and be willing to be taught. Personally, I try to avoid people like this because they are dangerous to themselves and to others.