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To People Who Think I’m Using My Disability as an 'Excuse'

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I see you. The people who roll their eyes a little when I mention it. The ones who give each other glances that are supposed to go unnoticed. The ones who slide in a comment like “Well, I have a lot going on, too…” The ones who flat-out say “That isn’t an excuse.*”

You’re right.

It isn’t an excuse.

I don’t expect you to overlook my mistakes because of my disability. I want you to understand that I am up against obstacles, but I’m trying my best. I still feel terrible when I do something wrong. I still mean it when I apologize. I still obsess over what I can do to make it right.

I try my hardest not to make mistakes in the first place, but it happens. I forget things. I misplace everything I touch, it seems like. I lose track of time. I have panic attacks. I stare blankly too long before responding to a question because I’m taking time to process what’s been said. I get confused. These are some of the effects of a brain injury.

Muscle spasms, back pain, and lack of coordination are some more of the effects of my brain injury. I’m sorry if talking about it makes you uncomfortable. I think this is relevant information. If I don’t tell you, I must just be lazy, or flaky, or inconsiderate; but if I do tell you, I’m using it as an excuse. There is no right way to be me.

Please don’t assume the worst of me. Please believe that I wish things weren’t difficult for me and that I didn’t have to think about these things. Please believe I am trying my best.

*I’m referring to online, of course. People don’t say things like this (out loud) in person.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: July 9, 2017
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