Friday, December 4, 2015

The R Word...

     Retard, we've all heard it used, but what does it actually mean, do a quick Bing search and this comes up : "delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment..." The definition continues to give an example of the word used in a sentence. If used properly, not an offensive word, in my opinion. In others, any use of the word is offensive. It depends on how offended you get about things, frankly. In the way it's been used; however, it can be very offensive.

     Have I ever been called a retard in an offensive manner? Yes, by people I had to trust, and quickly. Was it hurtful? Yes, of course. Was it used as a last resort in an angry spell, when they could come up with nothing else? Why yes, yes it was. Was it true, if you look at the definition, have I been delayed or held back by CP. Not really. If asked, my Mother would proudly tell you, that I was accomplishing things right about the same times  that my older brother was, that I let nothing hold me back. I simply had to learn to adapt, quickly. So do I consider myself retarded, no, not really.

     That brings me to, since I have what is a disability, more than one, (CP, depression,& anxiety) do I consider myself disabled? No, not really. Since childhood, while I've had to do things differently, I've been treated like any other able-bodied person. I rather consider myself a person, who just happens to have disabilities. Everyone has always treated me with respect, intelligently, kindly, for the most part. So no, while I certainly do not consider myself able-bodied, I have trouble identifying as "disabled", as I am perfectly capable of many things, if I want to do them. I just identify as a person with CP,depression, and anxiety. Yes, if on a form, or to get accommodations, I have to identify as having a disability,I do, but I will not be "disabled" by anything.

     I mean, friends &family. Ask yourselves if you would consider me disabled or retarded? Chances are you did not know about my disabilities, until I or someone closer to me, told you. I only ever need a hand with things now and again, maybe some help balancing. But to be labeled as something, that gets looked down on so frequently. Luckily, my disabilities are such, that they allow me to struggle with being identified as disabled. That's probably what I struggle with the most, I also know, if I feel one way, I certainly cannot be the only one. Anyone else with my disabilities feel this way?

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