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How To Deal With Those That Don't Understand Disabilities?


TiredGuy82

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I am in my early thirties, physically disabled, and find myself in a really awkward place that just keeps leading to further depression. Mainly people always putting me down, or doing what they can to make me feel bad/guilty.

Long time friends always gripe I don't drive to see them, but they would never go out of their way to see me. When our paths do cross it turns into a long guilt trip about how awful I am for not coming to see them. I mainly drive when absolutely necessary because too much of it causes a physical strain. They always invite me to do things I cannot physically do anymore, so I say no I can't do that then they cycle starts over again.

I returned to college with the hopes that it would lead to a new career since I became disabled 5 1/2 years ago. Academic advisers put me down for not taking any job, but I have a long list of restrictions that deal with lifting, sitting, climbing, and reaching. I can only do desk jobs, but yet they feel I should take constructrion jobs and other labor intensive jobs that would jeopardize my health.

I also applied for some desk jobs, passed all the required computer literacy/typing tests, but was told things like, "just because your doctors says you can only do desk work doesn't mean we have to give you a desk job." I had one temp agency tell me to man up and be a man and take a factory job because that's all they would hire me for.

With the exception of my father, I have pretty much cut ties with the rest of my family. I am just at this junction where I don't know how to deal with or counter all the hatred from these people.

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Hi TiredGuy82 :welcomeani: ,

I think that it's so sad that a lot of peoples in this world don't understand what they are not experiencing themselves. I'm also sort of physically disabled, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis because I have days that I feel good peoples doesn't understand when suddenly pain strike me and that they is think that I was doing yesterday that I cannot do today.

I'm kind of mad for you, that your long time friends don't understand that what happen to you 5 1/2 years ago, left you with physical limitations and that it would put you, physically at risk if you would still do things that you use to do before, they should be more supportive. Also I would be so furious at the Academic Advisers, how stupid they are for not realize that you need their guidance in finding something else to do not their judgemental bad advice.

I'm sorry that your disability happen to you but you are doing all the right think for yourself and you are right in not putting any physical strain on yourself and risk more physical damage. They are peoples who do understand the disabilities of others, I hope that you will soon find some of them in your path and build new relationship with them.

Take care and don't mind all those judgemental idiots that put you down, you deserve way better.

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Ignore them. If they don't understand, you don't need them. If I sound bitter, it's because I've been there...I'm STILL there. So called friends, even family members, don't believe what they don't see or understand and they don't know what it's like. I had an illness 6 years ago that left me with short term memory loss, increased pain, migraines, depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia...I could go on. One thing's for sure, I've found out who my real friends are (and it's usually the ones with problems of their own and know what I'm going through).

Right after I moved into my home, my neighbor came out while I was mowing and said, "I'm surprised to see you mowing, I heard you were disabled." I bit my tongue so hard it actually bled (I have no intention of moving so I didn't want enemies behind me). So I took a deep breath and explained my illness to her and told her things that were none of her business. But I don't go out of my way to talk to her, when I'm shoveling my walk, I stop at their property line (as do they). My neighbors next door, the husband is on disability for diabetes. They mow my lawn when I'm gone in the summer, I mow theirs when I'm home. I shovel their walk, they shovel mine, share my internet...you get the idea. Find some like-minded people to bond with, or explain your situation to the friends you think will understand. This board is my stepping stone! Good luck!

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Hi!

I've never really encountered this...

On the job front, it sounds like better communication is needed - do you have a note or certificate from your doctor that outlines your specific condition and limitations? Seems like that would put an end to any questions regarding your abilities?

Old friends? Either have a sit-down with them, explaining your condition, or become "Facebook friends" with them. If they're willingly being jerks about this, then put some distance between you and them and get some new friends!

Sorry to hear of your difficulty. Best of luck.

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Hi!

On the job front, it sounds like better communication is needed - do you have a note or certificate from your doctor that outlines your specific condition and limitations? Seems like that would put an end to any questions regarding your abilities?

I have doctor's description of issues, and work restrictions in detail. I had a work injury, so I also have a state arbitrator's signature. One of my doctors has encouraged the idea to moving to a larger area where more jobs I can do exists once I graduate in this coming spring.

Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. I start final exams next week for the semester, so I want you to know it meant a lot and uplifted my spirits. For those going through similar circumstances, I am sorry, and I hope your situations improve as well :)

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