We all want to fit in. We want our abilities to shine, our laughter to spill forth and our words to be eloquent. For some, it may come naturally, others find it more of a struggle. But for a child with a disability, it can seem almost impossible.
For many, their laughter may be hindered, their words distorted and their abilities trapped in a mind that refuses to cooperate. And I've spent a lot of time trying to get Beth to fit in to a world that just doesn't understand. A world that has never walked in her shoes. I have days when I'm ashamed of myself.
It's hard for me to admit this to you, but sometimes I get really embarrassed when Beth acts silly in public. She'll flap her arms with excitement or dance as she sings a song. She's been known to talk to her imaginary friend as we walk through the mall. I don't want her to draw attention to herself. I don't want people to stare more than they already do.
It was okay for her sisters to act silly. They were just being kids. But with Beth, I tend to blame her inappropriate behavior on her disability. People would be staring so I'd stop her and tell her that her behavior wasn't right. As she's gotten older, she picks out her own clothes and often wears the same thing two days in a row. I (used to) make her change. It caused so many fights and so many tears! Let alone causing the entire family to wait as she moved at a snails pace, prolonging the painful act of obedience.
I let society decide if my daughters behavior was right or wrong. I let my fear of what people might think, determine how I interacted with my child. I would be embarrassed by her actions, then feel ashamed that I felt embarrassed!
Am I the only one who has experienced this?