Someone sent me a really interesting article.  It’s about whether to disclose a hidden disability.  All of my disabilities are invisible.  You see me walking down the street and you wouldn’t know that I had a single issue.  I am painfully aware of what I look like to random people who don’t know me.  I’m painfully aware of that.  They see a pretty young lady.  You’d have to talk to me for a while to even know that I have a problem with my speech.  Even that is getting to the point that it’s not an immediate giveaway.  Whenever I use my handicapped parking pass, which I don’t use unless there is no place to park, which by the way I was just at Whole Foods in the middle of the day on a Tuesday and it was PACKED.  Jesus, I’m never going to that store on a Saturday.  Sorry about the tangent, anyway whenever I use my parking pass, I get out of the car and people look at me and I know that they’re thinking “what is she doing parking there?”  I know it happens, I know people think that.  I’ve learned to let people think what they think and say whatever they want to say and not let it affect me.  I can only control what I say and do.  Given the option, I would choose that my disabilities be invisible as opposed to visible.  Given the choice I would choose not to have to deal with these crapass disabilities ever but I do, I have to deal with it.  I DON’T have a choice.  I’m trying to make the best out of the piece of shit situation that I was dealt because the alternative of making the best out of this situation is well_______you fill in the blank.  I had a stroke at 30, it is what it is.  That’s why I do a ton of meditation, it’s the absolute only thing that makes me feel better.  Given the option, I would choose to have it this way, I would choose invisibility but it causes me a lot of problems and annoyances.  But again, it is what it is.

Please go here for a better, affordable alternative to learning Transcendental Meditation.

Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Recovery, Stroke stuff

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10 replies

  1. Amy, I felt that way for years because after all, I had no outward signs of a disability due to the helicopter crash…it was all internal – the artificial hip, knee, and rods in my back. But yes, people do look at you strange when you look normal and use the handicapped space.

    Now I’ve watched people who jump out of their vehicles and run into the store. Or UPS trucks block handicapped spaces while they run in for a delivery. That raises my eyebrows a bit. I’ve been known to make my way to a regular spot after dropping my husband off at the door and manhandle my body out of my car to leave a spot open for others when I feel able. But that’s only on my good days.

    Personally, if you need it use it.

  2. This article is wonderful. I love the bit about the one company “wanting to hire people with disabilities”, but what they really mean is, “visible disabilities”.

    I was working for Goodwill Industries when I had my stroke. I was two days away from being offered a promotion to head cashier. I have not been able to return to Goodwill because they won’t hire me as a cashier because: They won’t let me use my walker or cane at the register due to it being a “tripping hazard”. They also said that unless I could maneuver a full, heavy clothing rack around the store, I couldn’t work.

    Goodwill makes a BIG DEAL about hiring people with disabilities, but they don’t.

    • Have you spoken with an attorney? Goodwill is in serious violation of the ADA I believe, but I would ask an attorney for sure.

    • Yes, I expect that you would be doubted as needing a parking placard. I actually feel self-conscious when I use mine because I’m not THAT disabled. And I really COULD walk from anywhere in the parking lot.

    • I have a Hurrycane, which folds up and can be stashed anywhere, not on the floor. There MUST be a way they can accommodate you. That sucks!

      • Oh man you have a Hurrycane? Do you like it? In the commercial for the Hurrycane they use the cane on the wrong side. It bugs the hell out of me.

        • I never saw the Hurrycane commercial – my daughter did and got it for me last Christmas.

          She was tired of my previous cane crashing to the floor – she and I have very sensitively tuned startle reflexes, so it was really annoying. The Hurrycane doesn’t stand perfectly balanced, but does okay. And I trust it more on slippery surfaces – ice and the wet floor in the pool locker room. I used to keep my phone and Bioness controller in a small bag attached to my cane, but that throws the balance of the Hurrycane off, so I miss that. Otherwise, I prefer it over my beautiful grapevine-decorated cane AND my slick black one with a silver bird-head handle. I do wish it had a padded handle, but that can be fixed, I’m sure.

          I vote yes, unless you have a reason to love your present cane.

  3. When I was interviewing I never disclosed anything, if they saw me walking in with my gait problems or my arm banging into my crotch, they would have known there was something not quite right. But sitting down and discussing stuff no one would be able to tell unless they figured out that I never use my left arm. Even now I haven’t approached the other obvious stroke survivor because I don’t want that knowledge widely known.

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