Retarded Part VI

Hello all,

 

I feel like I need to write a story to explain my 'retarded' series to people.  When you feel like you have to write because you are afraid of being misunderstood in the same way you are in real life then you know you are in trouble and you have reached a bad point on the internet!  And yet it seems the more honest you are about yourself, the more people can and will misconstrue or misunderstand what you say.

When I say I am 'retarded'- I never once thought this about myself.  What I am trying to say is that this label did not originate with me.  This is what some people said about me and this is how many people treated me through out my life.  When I was in a safe environment around friends I was not treated this way, and it always puzzled me as to why since most people can't even remotely relate to the way they see 'mentally retarded' people getting treated.  When I saw it, I COULD relate to it, because this IS how I was treated by many.  It was inconsistent though. Some teachers didn't treat me that way.  I guess the word best to describe this behavior is 'pitied'. 

Someone wrote a comment and also emailed me and said people think this way about me because I think this way about myself.  That is not true.  I was always puzzled to bits why I was treated with pity all the time and why I was treated inferior to everyone.

 

In some ways I understand that this has to do with class prejudice- an issue that America does not really address.  But this is not the root of the problem.  And I can not describe to anyone what the root of the problem looks like.  It is impossible to put into words.  But I know it when I see it.  I am not lying.  Sometimes my feelings overwhelm me and I have panic attacks like I did last night (hence the reason for the story)- but all the things I said were true of me.  In a lot of bad ways I let these feelings control my life.  But in some ways I do not let these feelings control my life and I ignore them and push on as if I am a strong normal person.   This would have actually paid off if I hadn't once again been hurt in a way that completely threw me off track about 8 years a go.  And now this job I am in often but not always reinforces the negative feelings about myself.

Here is the strange part:  I never saw myself as retarded.  I just saw myself as not having the education or emotional nurturing necessary growing up to bring out what I felt inside me:  smart, strong, healthy ect.  As a kid I felt like I could do anything at all!  I misified the teachers- and usually when I did do things well in those moments that I felt self confidence and safe, they ******** my own strengths and work away from me and said, 'there is no possible way she could have done that- she is not capable of it."  So I basically hid all my strengths inside me and wrapped myself up so no one could hurt me.  I don't know....

 

One last thing, I don't use the 'word' retarded to hurt anyone else.  This is what I was called and this is what I had to come to terms with.  Even people who did not think of me this way, well it took me a long time to believe they didn't really see me this way and were not just being nice to me.  Getting a degree really helped me to heal.  But as I said I am in a job where this feeling inside me gets reinforced.  The strange thing is I had to pass a test in order to get this job- a test that even people with degrees in the feild often could not pass, and I passed!  So why people treat me like I am retarded I do not know.  Except that I do know, I just can't define it. I can see it though when I see another person get treated this way and I can say, 'yeah that's me'.  Don't know if any of you are Mary Tyler-Moore fans- but Ted Baxter is the closest I can think of in the public eye that I can say, 'that is me'- (except I am not arrogant or as crude as he is).  Anther perfect example is 'Radio'- if any of you have seen that movie.

 

I think I am going to end this.  I am glad I wrote about this on here because I feel like in some way it is helping me to get through it by writing about it. 

QuestionMarks QuestionMarks
41-45, F
Mar 24, 2009