I actually don’t get it

My friend told me today that for sixth form, he wants to go to RNC, which is a college for blind (VI) people.

And I felt so angry and sad – not AT him, but at the whole shitty situation. And you know what? I want to talk about it. I never, ever want to talk about this because I feel like I don’t have the right, but now’s the time I do.

I go to a mainstream school, which basically means I have classes with “regular” students and I’m not separated, and my school has a VI unit which adapts my work for me into braille – I won’t go into too much detail because this post isn’t about me.

The point is, I’ve had a good time at school. There have hardly been any issues – I have more sighted friends than blind; I’m not bullied (what happened in primary school didn’t count because I felt lonely but I was never directly picked on); people include me for the most part.

BUT YOU KNOW DAMN WHAT?!

Other people aren’t that lucky. The majority of my VI friends are having or have had a SHIT TIME at their schools, so they’ve moved to “specialist. ones because their mainstream school either didn’t care, the students were arseholes who couldn’t be bothered to include them, or they felt more comfortable in a VI environment. They’d work better at VI schools, even if I wouldn’t. I’d hate every single second of it because for the most part, I don’t get on very well with other VI people because I’m prejudiced or something. But other people do.

And I’m so bloody angry right now because this shouldn’t be how it is.

I never speak for the “disabled” community, because god knows I’ve had it easy. I literally have no right. True, I honestly feel crappy right now, but that’s NOTHING to do with my disability. Other people, who aren’t me, have it a hell of a lot worse so they have to move because it’s better for them. Different things work for different people. But IT SHOULDN’T BE LIKE THAT, because we’re people.

I’m not an alien. I’ve never got called a spastic, or a retard, but I know people who have. And that’s disgusting, you know that? Those words are awful and it’s NOT funny when you shout that someone’s a retard, or a spazzer or a mong. Why would you look at someone who’s eyes look funny or who holds a cane or who’s in a wheelchair or who’s face or bodily features might look different to your own and PURPOSEFULLY avoid them? Do you know how horrible it is to not talk to anyone and to literally not know where people are, so you can’t start a conversation with anyone and you’re too terrified to try? In THIS, I speak from experience, because it only got that bad – but nothing worse.

It baffles my mind how schools sometimes can’t include us. How students laugh or point or push people around. How the year 7s don’t have a clue what to do when I walk down the corridors. How I feel awkward in any social situation because I think I’m not doing something right, or when I think it’s better that I never get into a relationship with someone because I can’t just go out to meet people like “normal” people do because my eyes are messed up. How some people find it difficult to “cope with our needs.” What’s difficult to cope with? So you’re telling me that someone with Downs Syndrome is a liability? HAH, SURE, but you know they’re a person with feelings and emotions.

This actually makes me furious because you’ve got people like me who have hardly ever had to deal with the pain of knowing or thinking you’re an outsider or a freak because your eyes are fucked up or your legs don’t work and you don’t understand or CAN’T understand how people think, and then you’ve got people who have to move schools because the sighted world won’t accept them. I can’t speak for those people because I’ve never had that experience, but what I can say is what the hell is wrong with you? By you, I mean the people who, for whatever reason, make life shit for us. WHY? What’s your benefit?

You know, I thought we were supposed to all be equal. And you’ve got the other countries where kids are abandoned in orphanidges because people think they’re useless – I’ve been to Thailand and when I went to that blind school, I nearly cried. WE have it lucky over here, and I just don’t get it. I don’t get why the hell people would do this. I’m a person. My friend’s a person. I don’t WANT to understand that it’s difficult to deal with because you know what, it’s difficult enough HAVING a disability and when you’ve got it thrown back in your face with a remark or “We can’t do this for you, sorry,” or “Are you SURE you can do this?” it hurts. And that’s only the minor things you get.

I’m sorry. I’m just so upset and angry right now because my friends shouldn’t EVER have to deal with this. They shouldn’t have had to move schools because the schools should have helped them ANYWAY. Some people genuinely do want to go to places like RNC or Worcester because they fit in better and want to get independence, but sometimes, for people it’s something they need to do to get good results or to feel happier because mainstream isn’t working for them.

I’m lucky, for God’s sake.

Thanks for reading, and sorry for the miserable post. Hope you don’t mind! Again, I can’t speak for the disabled community, but I’m doing my best to articulate how angry and just plain disgusted I am. I won’t say I can change things, because I’m not the person to do that, but I want to change just the little things with my words.

From Elm πŸ™‚

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26 thoughts on “I actually don’t get it

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with this post! Every person is beautiful and wonderfully made, just because they may be a bit different, doesn’t mean that they’re not absolutely lovely people!

  2. Elm, you are incredible. This post was so meaningful and powerful, and I agree completely with you. We should accept everybody. We are all different, and we should see people for who they are, not for their differences. πŸ™‚

  3. Definitely agree with you! What the fuck is wrong with people, really! Like you said, we’re all equal. Everyone is so busy fighting against racism and sexism (which of course is important!) but they often forget that people with a disability are often treated inequally as well

  4. this is so true! my cousin is disabled (she has problems with her legs and is in a wheelchair or bloated half the year because of her steroids) and people give her SO MUCH shit for it… but for no reason. shes lovely, shes funny, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with her except some of the time she cant climb stairs, or sometimes she has to take injections … the amount of times shes called me crying about school (she lives like three hours away from me) is crazy and she shouldnt have to go to a seperate school because “normal” people should just treat her fucking normally! but people are dicks, and they dont have compassion for what they dont understand. i genuinely hope your friend has a better time in sixth form than in high school

  5. You are so right πŸ™‚ I feel like school is one of the hardest environments for everyone to feel and be equal. It takes some people a long time to realise that everyone is the same, no matter what they look like or how they are. Sexism, racism, prejudice against disabled people, there are so many nowadays. I do think that the world is getting better, but it’ll still be a long time before it’s the way it should be. People have compassion, that’s what separates us from all the other animals in the world. It’s just taking a while for us to use it.

  6. Hey Elm, I’m going to be working in a blind/deaf school later this month! I understand where you’re coming from. People always judge others for silly things that can’t be changed. It’s a horrible world out there

  7. Hi elm!! I agree with you completely!! This isn’t a miserable post, its the truth. I thinkk everyone should know what its like, and how to treat everyone as equals. People shouldn’t treat people differently just because they are different. In my school, me and my friends, are actually doing an assembly to the whole school about things like this, and how we should try to make a change, atleast within the school, and your post has just given me sooo much inspiration.Thanks.
    bye
    mahjabeen
    p.s mahjabeen or stranger?!!…been away for a while cos’ parents went pilgrimage in saudi, and I stayed with aunty with my lil’ bro and sis. Aunty was like, you should be grateful school gave you 2 1/2 weeks leave, the least you could do is study without distractions, and when i start blogging, i dont stop so yeah!
    bye bye:D

    • I missed you so much! πŸ™‚
      Heyy, tell me how you’re assembly goes. If you need help, let me know, and I’m SO happy I inspired you! πŸ™‚
      Ohh, you got time off? LUCKY! And I know EXACTLY what you mean about blogging!

  8. Hi Elm,

    That was a nice read. Very true and relevant. But I must tell me you that you write very well. At your age your articulation skills are really good. Do you like learning languages? Keep Writing!

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