Sunday, April 17, 2011

Daily Story 21 - Retarded Misconception

(This one's... a lot more of a rant than usual, but there have been a few times I've wanted to say this to someone (more than one person, actually) and I figured I should just get it out of my system before I snap and go bat-shit crazy on someone for a harmless comment. That, and after I wrote this I didn't really have the energy or the inspiration to write something else for today's story. And no, there wasn't anything that happened today that triggered this, just thinking about earlier in the semester when I tried to explain that being 'retarded' (nowadays the correct term is 'having a cognitive delay') was a very specific type of mental disability and didn't necessarily apply to someone who was showing signs of having some kind of mental disability. The first paragraph is what I just now realized I could have said, and the second paragraph is how I would have reacted if someone had asked me 'what's the big deal,' but only if I were the kind of person who actually went off on angry tirades (the ones in my head don't count because I'm the only one who can hear them).)

Just because someone can't display their intelligence in a way that everyone else expects them to doesn't mean they're incapable of intelligent thought, and just because they have trouble doing things that the rest of us can do doesn't mean they don't have anything else to give to the world. Even people who do have a cognitive delay, all they need is more help and more time than the rest of us. Stop looking at what they can't do, and start looking at what they can do. People can't just up and change the way they think, so give them a break. God knows they need it.

Yes, it might just seem like a simple mix-up of definitions, it does bother me, because I've spent my entire life being lectured and mocked because I'm afraid, because I can't concentrate, because I can't do things the way everyone else does, and I hated it, I hated people lecturing me, I hated being constantly reminded that I wasn't good enough, and I believed it. I knew there was something wrong with me, I got reminded every day, I thought it was my fault, I wanted to change, I was sick of feeling that way, but I couldn't change it because I didn't even know what the goddamn problem was, so how the hell was I supposed to fix it, but they kept criticizing me, getting pissed off at me for something beyond my control even though it was obvious, it was fucking obvious that I couldn't do what they wanted me to, how did they not see that I needed help? But they were right, I needed to change, and that hurt. It hurt so fucking bad, I hated myself, I couldn't see anything but failure, and it never stopped. And now, now I know, and now I'm sick and tired of hearing people telling me that I should stop being so anxious and that this it's not a big deal, because it is. I just want to scream at them, stop telling me what to do, I can't start thinking that way, I can't change that easily, I can't do these things that everyone else can, I need help, stop judging me for what I can't control, stop telling me to change, I'm trying, it's hard, stop forcing me to be like you, stop it, just stop, just stop, just- just shut up, just leave me alone, just let me live my life, just shut up, shut up, just shut up, just stop, stop, shut up, shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!

Because, honestly, I don't want to deal with this anymore.

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