For some reason, I grew up without having the kind of angry attitude about my disability that I have observed in others. Many people with disabilities express their disheartenment or disappointment over the fact that they have a disability by getting angry with people when they offer assistance. This can have a jaded impact on whether or not those same people decide to help others with disabilities in the future.
It would be a lie if I told you I do not get angry at the fact that I have a disability. I think that is normal for someone living with a condition that he/she cannot change or improve. My angry feeling takes a tone similar to someone with cancer who might say to themselves, “Why me? It is not fair.” I said that a couple of times when I was a child.
More often than not, I conclude that lashing out at someone who offers to help hurts the person with the disability more than it hurts the person trying to help. If you need help in the future, that help might not be there because you chose to lash out at the person offering help.
Why have I chosen to handle anger about my disability the way I have? It is because I do not want to come across as being bitter or pissy. Sometimes this is hard to do in situations where a person chooses to be ignorant or rude. That is their problem, not mine.
Assumptions are the worst type of ignorance. Because I am not shy, I choose to put myself in situations that many people with disabilities do not do, such as doing karaoke at a bowling alley, going midnight bowling, attending weekend concerts at local bars, watching Little League baseball games, or trying to get backstage at some of the rock concerts such as Bon Jovi or Styx. I may be making an assumption, but I do not see other people with disabilities at the kind of activities/events that I participate in or attend.
On weekends when I have been out at a local entertainment establishment listening to bands and dancing along with everybody else, I have chosen not to take it personally and to get angry when some of the women on the dance floor turned away from me. They may have turned away because of my disability, but the way I look at it is that they are dancing with their friends and do not want to dance with me.
Or maybe their boyfriends or husbands are there, but not on the dance floor, and they do not want to cause problems for themselves by dancing with somebody else. Other times there are women who do not have a problem dancing with me even though their husband or boyfriend might be there.
Being involved and active in the community is important to achieve a balance in life. Focusing on only one aspect of life that causes you anger will not create opportunities. You cannot change people’s initial impressions, however, your attitude may have a positive impact in bringing more people and opportunities into your life that could lead to friendships, companionship, marriage and creating a family. This can happen when people see you as a person, not just someone with a disability AND a bad attitude.