Ok, I hate doing whiny posts like this, but I’m frustrated.
Today, on my way home, I got to a street that I had to cross. I cross it all the time. So I’m standing there. When it seemed like the light had turned and it was time to go, I was about to step out. I even heard someone say something like, “that’s right”, but just then, a car drove out in front of me. So I didn’t go. Then the guy decided to go across with me. He felt he had to tell me where everything was, as if I had no idea I was crossing a street. When I got to the other side, I said to him, “What was up with that car?” What he said pissed me off supremely. He proceeded to explain to me, even after I repeatedly told him I knew these things and just wanted to know if the light was red or green when I tried to cross, the entire mechanism of crossing a goddamn street, that there was a time for the cars and a time for people to go. He even felt like he had to tell me we were at an intersection. No shit, skippy. I do have some concept of the world around me.
If it were this one guy alone, I’d just say the poor guy probably thought I didn’t know what I was doing. I mean, I almost stepped out in front of a car in his eyes, so he probably thought I was completely unaware of what was going on. After all, lots of people think that if somebody’s blind, it’s amazing that they can make it out of the house, and some people think we should all be warehoused together in little houses for blind people and cared for by workers. But this felt like more than that. I have noticed I get a few different kinds of help, sometimes when I ask for it, and sometimes because people just decide I need it. I get the nice people who are cool. I get the ones that like to make themselves feel good by doing their good deed. And then I get the ones who make me feel small because, well, they think I am small.
Sadly, the fact is, I’m too damned short. I’m about 4 foot 7, so I guess I look like a kid. I’ve been told I look 12, like I’m in high school, or like I’m 18. That’s the best estimate I’ve had. I even won a toy at one of those guess my age booths at a fair because somebody guessed I was 12 when I was about 17. Once, I went to get on a greyhound bus, and the driver stopped me and said, “Do you have an unaccompanied child form?” I was 21, so she got pretty embarrassed. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been given kids menus and crayons in restaurants. Need I say more?
So when people see me on the street, I guess some of them freak out. They talk all babyish to me, they ask me where my mother is, they ask me why I’m walking around at night, and it’s maybe 8:00. Some of them feel the need to take me by the hand and lead me places and make me feel like the neglected child someone let out of the group home. They won’t leave me until I get where I say I’m going, even though I tell them I’m fine. I appreciate their concern, it just frustrates the shit out of me, especially when they descend upon me when I’m doing fine. Sometimes it feels like I could single-handedly save a bus-load of people, and I’d still be thought of as a helpless little kid. What do I have to do to show these people I’m a competent adult? It makes me start to wonder if there is something else I’m doing to send this kid message, and if I’ll ever be taken seriously. I mean, not only have I got the blink factor working against me sometimes, I’ve got the shrimp factor that makes people feel like I have to be scooped up and taken back home. . But then I think I should stop whining. Apparently, I would have been a lot shorter, so I should consider myself lucky. If doctors hadn’t given me stuff to convince my body to grow, who knows, maybe I’d be the height of Bilbo Baggins.
Ok now I just sound like a whiny baby. I probably wouldn’t even be writing this post at all if it didn’t seem like lately, I’ve been made to feel inferior and incapable almost everywhere I go. I appreciate everyone’s concern, but gees. Do I really need rescuing that often?