You Can’t See My Pain

15 09 2010

You can’t see me taking the elevator to go up one flight because my ankles hurt., or my depth perception is bad, or because I forgot my cane today. Instead, you see a fat person who is just being lazy.

You don’t see me skipping school because it hurts too much to move. You see someone who just doesn’t wanna do her schoolwork.

You don’t see me using my laptop to take notes in class because I can’t hold a pen for very long. You see someone who wants to screw around on Facebook.

You don’t see me not fulfilling gym or science requirements because schools don’t know how to make classes adaptive to my visual or physical needs. You just see someone who doesn’t want to exercise or put any work in.

You don’t see my fat being a result of a decade of steroid use. You see someone who eats junk food all the time and doesn’t exercise.

You don’t see me not acknowledging your wave or smile from across the room because I can’t see it. You see someone who is rude.

You don’t see me getting turned down at every job interview because employers can’t stop staring at my thick glasses. You see someone who just wants to sit at home collecting government money.

You don’t see me not talking about disability in class because I’m fraid of being silenced again. You see someone who doesn’t care about the assignment.

You don’t see me taking the bus to go six blocks because it’s damp and my joints hurt. You see someone who simply doesn’t want to move.

I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and I am legally blind as a result of Uvietis. And unless you see me using an assistive device, you cannot see these things. You can’t see my pain or my struggle, so you choose to make assumptions based on how I look instead. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

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4 responses

15 09 2010
inoculatedcity

Amazing post, and oh so apt!

16 09 2010
The Disability’s Invisible, But the Pain is Real « Inoculated City

[…] light of You Can’t See My Pain, a fantastic post by Leah of Cromulent Words discussing judgments people are quick to make about […]

18 09 2010
AWV

<333

18 09 2010
Jesse the K

Beautifully put.

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