If only you knew how wrong, but how right you were. You allowed me to break down after taking away my support, throwing me into a testing room with a fishbowl atmosphere with an intern. I felt humiliated, decoding words I knew but could not pronounce. You asked me to make sure I was okay. So I talked and shared because we were just talking; wrong. Instead in my moment of weakness, you used this as information to label me in your report as low self-esteem and potentially depressed.
You failed to see me but chose to see the stress caused by living with a label. You scooped me up and clumped me into a group and labeled me. Then scooped me up again and lumped with other label then scratched your head and threw me into another pile because the “result” only partly showed I belonged there.
Then you reluctantly said I was right when we first met and said what your “results” were going to show as my “labels”. You were puzzled that I knew myself that well. You see you made feel like I was just a speck of sand that can be tossed into a pile. Well I’m not just a speck of sand. I am me; I am more than my disability. I am more than what your results show.
This is what you failed to see: I LOVE reading but I don't actually “read” I listen (ear reading is reading). I love to craft and make things beautiful when others dismiss and discard them. I am a mom, wife, enputener, blogger. I am a person who despite it all is chasing their dream as a PhD candidate.
When you heard that I was getting retested so I could ensure I would get accommodations as a PhD candidate. You instantly went deer in headlights when I told you that was the main reason. Yes, it was formality in my eyes that I paid to be “tormented” to have you tell me what was wrong with me. You failed to learn that I have a lot of passion and fight to earn a PhD. You went in with a scrape knief looking for the weakness to expose not realizing I saw yours written all over your face without saying a single word. I chose to get to know you instead of labeling you; something you failed to do for me.
At the end of the day, people like me (1 out of 5 with a disability) are all specks of sand washed up on a beach working to create a pathway for the new generation, dismissing stereotypes and labels; being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
If only you knew my passions my greatest fears and my darkest demons; just maybe the low self- esteem conclusion would have seemed not so low. I like to see it as a baggage of aroum I wear from the battles I have fought to get to where I am in life. Instead you judged, you labed and you dismissed. I’m not blaming you, were thought, schooled, and quizzed on how to judge label, and dismiss. You solved the problem, you found the proper diagnoses.
Now what, is not your speciality. You leave the adult client to muddle through life. You have left the parents to sift through medications, school plans, sticker charts, and any other form of help. What’s next?
I’ll tell you what’s next. Let’s stop labeling simply to dismiss. Let’s accept the label and adopt a so what not what approach. Where we are an actually a team; not a team printed on a piece on saying we have agreed to this conclusion. It isn’t a conclusion. It's the beginning of someone’s battle to be more than a disability. Isn’t that what we all want; to be more than something?
What if this of your child or adult child. Would you want him/her dismissed in the same regrades you made me feel dismissed? So when I asked you what’s next and where do I go from here to improve and gain support? Instead of an answer, I watched a you nervously googled on your computer and printed out a paper with some bull crap “solution” that led to a dead end. I will tell you what’s next; change. Change that I and others of this new mindset are taking to create support, hope, guidance, and acceptance in a world that needs more outside the box thinkers. So the next time we meet it won’t be for a diagnosis. It will be to work together to create change to create a new pathway of how we “label” to create toolkits for clients, kids, parents, and like minded individuals.
At the end of the day we are all grains of sand on the same beach threaded together by a common goal to be more than something.
The Real Me