Monday, February 25, 2013

Social Interaction - Disfigurement and Disabilities 3

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*click Here to link to post #1 from this series

*click Here to link to post #2



In the previous two entries from this series (links above), I described my initial interactions with a young man named ‘R,’ who I had met at my local college campus. R is inflicted with a severe case of Cerebral Palsy. As I described in the previous posts, I was at first very startled and unsettled by the sight of his condition, and because of pre-existing opinions that I had about people in his situation, I had initially been quite suspicious of him in our first interactions. But then, I decided that my suspiciousness was probably just a form of paranoia manifesting as a result of a few fears and insecurities in myself, and so, then, I had became quite excited and hopeful that I could really get to know R, and that he would turn out to actually be a very wise and practical person.

And that was where I last left off this series of blog-posts, at the end of my second interaction with him.

Now, in the following week, I arrived at the campus at the usual time, and when I walked in the front doors, I saw that R had positioned himself directly in the front area, some distance back, to the effect that nobody could enter the main entrance without being seen by him, or without his being seen. For a moment I found that creepy, unnerving, and controlling of him, as if he had expected me to bail on him, and so was already, in himself, developing an attitude towards me wherein he felt that I had cheated him, and so where he thus felt justified in being blunt and demanding towards me. -That was just my initial impression of his being positioned so close to, and in front of, the main doors, and I decided to just brush it off my shoulders: “How do I know how severely handicapped people go about meeting up in public,” I figured. “I told him I would be coming today, and this might just be how people with his kind of disabilities go about such practical points of meeting up in a public place. Just because I would try and look more casual doesn’t mean that he has to, or that there is anything wrong with being blunt about his intention to meet up with me this morning. He might be doing no such thing as preemptively blaming me for ‘probably going to blow him off,’ and I very well might just be projecting such fears on him because I am just afraid that he will start asking for lots of my time.”

So, upon seeing him as I walked in the front doors, and experiencing that flash of revulsion and disdain as I perceived and interpreted R as already victimizing himself and blaming me for it, I made that decision to just ‘hope for the best,’ and I took a deep breath, kept my eyes on him, level and unwavering, and walked straight towards him, making sure to not give the impression that I was at all uncomfortable or suspicious of him. I smiled, and said hello, and invited him to come with me back to the quiet Library where we had been speaking twice before. He accepted, and he moved his electric wheelchair with me as I walked. The chair was not fast, and so I had to walk very slowly beside him, so that I would not outpace him and leave him behind me. While we were making smalltalk, I would take a step, wait for the chair to catch up, and then take another step, and wait for the chair to catch up. And as I crawled along with him in this way, across the main lobby of the campus, I suddenly felt very isolated and vulnerable in front of a scattering of my not-handicapped peers; I felt that everyone’s eyes, and especially the girls, must be covertly watching that strange, normal-looking guy chat it up with the scary, unusual-looking cripple. And I found myself wishing that his chair would move faster, so that I would not have to be so out in the open.

So, in myself, I was experiencing myself as if there were a bunch of pretty and confidant young women around me that were judging me secretly as ‘being weird’ or ‘being a freak.’ And I kind of decided within myself, in those moments, that I wasn’t going to let such shallow judgments deter me from being open and considerate with others. And so, it was like I ‘put my chin up,’ and said, in myself: “Let them fucking judge me! I don't care! They're just being petty assholes!” -But then, to my dismay, as R and I came to the Library doors, they were locked, because the staff had been a little late in opening that area of the college to the public. And in myself, despite my previous ‘bold challenge’ to the judgmental, shallow, and petty peers that I felt myself surrounded by, I really did not like being locked out of the nice, quiet, and secluded Library.

And here is where I will stop my story for today, and move into the self-forgiveness and self-corrective statements on the points that have been raised. In the following posts for this series, I will talk about the following two interactions and conversations that I had with R, as we met up before class in the Library of the college.

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Self-Forgiveness and Self-Corrective Statements on my reaction to R’s initial location, and my perception of that:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to react with revulsion and scorn when I perceive someone victimizing their self and blaming me for it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to approach perceived emotional manipulation from the starting point of reaction and judgment.

I realize that reacting to such victimization, blame, and manipulation like this will probably just activate more reactions in the person, and will result in their actually justifying the initial point of self-victimization and blame, and so it is more destructive than anything else that I automatically go into such harsh and aggressive expressions when I perceive myself being blamed within another’s self-victimization.

I realize that the fact that I automatically react with disgust and anger it is destructive by its’ own merit, because it indicates that I am not stable in myself, but am actually possessed by my reactions.

I realize that being possessed by disgust and anger / that automatically taking such a point of blame and self-victimization personally is destructive because sometimes such blame and manipulation is not even happening, but I only perceive it to be!

I realize that if someone else has become emotional within themselves, and has taken something personally, and is blaming me for it: it is my responsibility to not participate with reactions in myself against their reactions.

I realize that reacting in myself to being blamed for something from another- does not exist because of the other person having ‘done something wrong’ -it exists because I accept and allow myself to react when I see myself as having been treated unfairly.

I commit myself to place my responsibility to remain self-responsible and as stable as possible before my reactions against being cheated or blamed by another.


*click Here to link to following post, #4.
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