Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's a shame...

Okay, I know I just posted about comments people make recently, but yesterday I was walking into Kroger with Brogan in the cart and Avery following behind me in her walker, and there was a woman who was waiting for us to go by so that she could get to her car, and she looked at Avery and - with a sympathetic sag of her shoulders and a tragic look on her face - said, "It's a shame she's handicapped." This has bothered me more than any other comment anyone has made. I lay awake thinking about it last night, and it still gives me a hollow burning feeling in my heart when I think about it. I've been trying so hard to not let it bother me, because I'm sure she thought she was being kind or something, but what right has she, or anyone else for that matter, to think that anything about my beautiful little girl is a shame? Why is it any more acceptable for her to say that to me than it would be for me to go up to someone and say "It's a shame your child is so ugly" or even, for that matter, "It's a shame your child is so short." Who's to say that being short is something to be ashamed of? It's not, and I certainly never want my child to feel ashamed of her physical abilities and limitations. Really, I don't understand what reaction she was expecting from me. I'm sure she didn't expect it to be hurtful, but did she really expect gratitude for her thoughtfulness or something? I don't understand what she was thinking. She was lucky I didn't slap her. As it was, I was so flabbergasted that I just stared at her open-mouthed for a moment, then looked at Avery who luckily didn't hear (did she think she wouldn't be able to understand???), then stared at the woman again, and after a second or two all I could think of to say was, "She's amazing."

8 comments:

Hamza Zakir said...

dont pay attention to garbage like that....you know how you raised your daughter and what you went through and how far she has come....the outside world doesnt know that so alot of people will say stuff like that......just ignore!......

Kristen said...

"She's amazing"...I like that response. It was honest, sincere, a little correcting. I hope that woman was able to get a better understanding that handicap is not a reason to pity someone.

Sarah said...

Sorry to hear about that woman's comment.

If only they could think before they spoke and also realise how special our kids are.

I know I have learnt so much since having Violet as you would have with your gorgeous Avery.

It's hard to know what to respond with and also whether at the time you can be bothered after having hurtful things said, but I think your comment back sumed it up best...she's amazing!

Sherri said...

That just breaks my heart! People really have no idea what to say sometimes. When our son was a couple of months old, I was explaining his medical conditions (hydrocephalus, encephalocele) to her and she just kept saying how "sorry" she was for me. I told her "don't feel sorry for me, I have a brand new baby boy! I'm ecstatic!"

Lisa said...

Good for you! I am glad that you said that and I am SURE that it probably made an impression on the lady.

It is so true that there is nothing wrong with being handicapped. Our children are perfect for who they are. And that is a lovely thing! :)

xoxo said...

hi. :)

I hope you don't mind me following this blog.. I have hydrocephalus as well, and like reading about other people who also have it. :)

And yeah. I would just ignore those comments from people. I actually don't have any other conditions that are often associated with hydro... so looking at me, you can't tell anything, but with most people, as soon as they hear that I have "something" it's like, for a while they treat/look at me different. It's ridiculous.

SuzanSayz said...

Hi Josephine, I'm Susan Sorenson Lisa's MIL and Donald's mom. Thanks for your comments btw. My son Shawn is now 22. He is Autisitc and Mentally retarded, but still functions very well, to a point. He is one of our family's biggest blessings and I wouldn't trade our Shawn for anything in the world. People can be such idiots. I've had things like that happen to me in the last 22 years. I just try to not dwell on it because I know it usually comes from ignorance. I would love to be blogging buddys if you are so inclined. My posts look really long but they actually read pretty quick I think.
One more thing, you have two beautiful children. How could anyone look at your daughter and have their first thought be "disabled?" How sad to not see the beauty in life because you are so intent on focusing only on the negative. Well I hope you'll come back. I would like to get to know you better. I'm trying to catalog all of my Shawn posts because they are the favorites of several of my blogging friends.

The Carrillo's said...

I under stand!! you have a beautiful family and I love to read your blog. the Carrillo's