It is so nice when you are able to capture and appreciate those moments when communication is easy and fluid and clear, when there is no need to explain or justify things- because the understanding is already in place.
As it relates to living with a disability, this is not something that happens often. Whether the communication is between my brain and muscles or between myself and another person, it takes a lot of hard work to get to “easy”.
People want to help. But in their eagerness/ignorance they forget to ask how.
I get grabbed a lot – “Here, let me help you” (yank). I also get told, “Do it this way,” and sometimes I get to be invisible.
What people don’t realize:
If I need help, I WILL ask for it.
I will tell you which of my appendages need yanking, when and how to yank. I get funny looks for this all the time; “You want me to pull your leg that way? Like this? Are you sure?” – Of course I’m sure!
I can’t always do things like everyone else.
I do things a little differently. Just because it looks weird, awkward or painful doesn’t mean it is- I do it that way because it works for me.
I am a very intelligent and capable individual.
Ruby and I recently travelled to Victoria for a few days. Now, my sister is by far the most outgoing of the two of us and I often let her take the lead on things. But occasionally this arrangement can backfire.
Because I am so quiet, and my disability is so visible, to the outsider, it could appear as though my younger sister were actually my chaperone. And there were a few awkward moments where employees at various locations spoke only to Ruby, instead of addressing the two of us equally, which startled and unnerved us both. Ruby commented: “She spoke to me. She never even looked at you, Sam.”