franklanguage: "it's not me it's you" button (notmeitsyou)
Ruthie was right; Larry was the culprit here. I said he was like a babbling brook with no filter, and although I can't really blame him for the things he says, I do.

So I went over to Larry's this morning, didn't look Vadalyn in the eye, started washing out the dog's dish in the sink with the sponge because whoever fed Penny [the dog] last night didn't wash the residue out and it dried overnight in the bowl. I hate that. And there's only one sponge, goddamnit.

Vadalyn freaked and started scolding me because she has this thing about how animals are animals and their stuff shouldn't get too close to people's stuff. There's only one sponge; what do you expect me to do, use my bare hands? (I'm already getting my winter "dishpan hands," with cracks in the palms—and it's only October.)

So I told Vadalyn Larry had told me she had said I was retarded, and she said, "Did I tell you that?" and went on to explain all the kinds of shit Larry talks and how sometimes he just runs at the mouth. Ruthie (padiwack) was right; a lot of the time he just wants to see how far he can push people.

But it's easy to get caught up in it, and Larry knows how to play the disability card. Bastard.
franklanguage: (Default)
The other day I was told by a client that someone else who works with him had told him I was "retarded."

Naturally, this isn't the first time—in over 30 years—someone has said something of this nature to me. I regularly get people asking me, "What's wrong with you, anyway?" Even more people say nothing at all. However, every time it happens, I have to check myself; it makes me hyper-aware of how I do things and sets up a lot of cognitive dissonance in me.

The backstory: One or two days a week I walk and feed a dog for a disabled elderly person named Larry, plus feed and inject his cat with insulin. There are different health aides for Larry on different days; I've been covering an additional day that an aide named Vadalyn works; she's from Trinidad or one of the islands, and apparently because she changes adult diapers for a living, she feels a need to distinguish herself by calling other people "retarded."

My lesson here is to consider the source, but still it stings to be called "retarded," even indirectly. Because Larry is developmentally-disabled even before the stroke a few years ago that made him require 24-hour attendant care, he can't be trusted to keep a secret. If you tell Larry anything, it's because you want everyone to know.

My reaction to this has been to do a slow burn, but as regards Vadalyn, all bets are off. I've been aware certain things I was doing—leaving utensils in the sink, for instance—weren't acceptable to her, but I wasn't aware she considered a symptom of my mental retardation. Now, I'm not going to bother apologizing or saying "Good morning" to her; after all, if I'm irreparably mentally defective, why bother?
franklanguage: (Roseanne Rosanadana)
[Reposting this for anyone who's interested:]

Please share this with people with brain injuries or other disabilities who have studied, volunteered, researched, or worked abroad:



(click the picture to find out more)

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is offering $50 for disability stories on international exchange, including options to submit blogs and featured person profiles. People with disabilities can take advantage of this added incentive to share overseas study, volunteer, work and research experiences! International and U.S. people with disabilities are encouraged to email submissions, but they must be currently living in the United States to receive the award. The deadline is September 8, 2010. Learn more on our stories and blogs webpage.
franklanguage: (Roseanne Rosanadana)
[Reposting this for anyone who's interested:]

Please share this with people with brain injuries or other disabilities who have studied, volunteered, researched, or worked abroad:



(click the picture to find out more)

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is offering $50 for disability stories on international exchange, including options to submit blogs and featured person profiles. People with disabilities can take advantage of this added incentive to share overseas study, volunteer, work and research experiences! International and U.S. people with disabilities are encouraged to email submissions, but they must be currently living in the United States to receive the award. The deadline is September 8, 2010. Learn more on our stories and blogs webpage.
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