How do I get people past the disabilities to let me join in?
So I've got disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus, Dyspraxia and Asperger's. I'm not in a wheelchair, although I've officially got a low I.Q. I've got sixteen decent qualifications and I'm willing to help out anywhere and try anything even if it's something I've never done before.
The HEWGE problem I have in Life is getting people to LET me try anything out - or even to be with them.
I've lived in London, Hastings and now in Brighton. (I don't mind people knowing that, Mods!) I moved to Hastings with my family because - basically - I was getting beaten up/mugged/doing so badly with kids in schools in London. Hit Hastings - got left a house down there - and for the next 20 years I was getting beaten up, mugged constantly, accused of all sorts of things - if you LOOK weird, and my disabilities come out in my face so I know I DO, you must BE weird, right? Was getting entire flats stolen - went out for a day, came back to a flat with a busted door and nothing left in it. Then I got boiling water intentionally chucked over me and my last flat was cleaned out while I was in hospital. Came back to ANOTHER empty flat and just lived in it empty for six months. No point in getting stuff, it's going to get robbed anyway!
Wasn't just the flats, though. I really, really tried to have friends, be with people, interact, DO stuff but everyone's always got a reason NOT to let me do anything. No references. Too stupid (I.Q. tests, hopeless at them.) "Look at you, you effin' perv, what can you do?" And I got all my teeth kicked out, permanent head scars, knife scars in my arms and all the time rejection, rejection, rejection. Tried getting to go out with girls - I'm straight - and asked 7 different ladies to marry me and they all ran for the hills! (Over a period of years, not simultaneously!) Tried being part of things with my family but they never REALLY got used to having a disabled guy as part of them - sister Caroline and Dad always had a HUGE problem with disability in general and Dad always called me his 'cross to bear' and his 'nightmare' and if he had friends round, I was always put in the back room out of the way. Which was a blessing in a WAY, because if the friends had kids, the kids used to beat up on me anyway. Dad always told me to stand up for myself more but it's not easy when you're outnumbered.
Basically, nothing's changed these days either. I've volunteered for everything I can think of before, and during, Covid and been turned down for the lot. Usually 'not enough experience' - true, that, how can you GET experience if nobody's GIVING you any!?! - or 'no references'. Fair enough, I've got no references. Why not give me a decent shot, bit of training, see how I do!?!
Noooo... Won't do that. Last vol. job I had was repairing computers which I CAN do, it's what most of my quals. are in, I was just a bit out of date. Was being trained up well by my line boss - but he left after an altercation with the main boss and the moment he left I wasn't allowed anywhere NEAR a computer to fix it! Making tea, sweeping floors, cleaning furniture - wasn't even allowed to learn how to fix the furniture, which was the firm's main job, because 'look at him, what could he do!?!' That was about 8 years ago. OK, I left because none of the others were talking to me anyway. And that's the whole crux of this.
How do you get others past the disabilities? I'm banned all over the place because others complain about 'that weirdo being here'. I'm banned from the Pier because apparently my face scares the tourists. I'm banned from a bunch of bars because customers don't like looking at me. I'm banned from several cafes because I had lovely conversations with people and the cafe owner thought I was 'after something' - WHAT, I don't know! Only got my sister left now and she won't let me anywhere near her because her b/f doesn't approve of 'that spastic hanging around us'. THOUGHT I had friends in Brighton till they stole all my Christmas money. THOUGHT I'd made friends with the old lady in the basement, used to help her with her shopping and everything, bought her shopping when she drank all her money (she drank a bit!)and she sent up two of her male friends to smash my flat door in and steal my stuff. I happened to be in, couldn't call the cops because they'd cut the phone line (and cops are useless anyway, let's face it. Been beaten up by male AND female cops in my time, for no reason, the reasons they 'had' got disproven) and just blocked the door with everything I could find till they got tired of kicking it. Then they tried smashing their way in through the plasterboard surrounding the door but I had a knife by that time and I used it on the first one and they retreated!
Always thought by now I'd at least have someone to be with, because I'm always willing to listen to others, help out and be there for them, I don't do the 'man is always right otherwise I argue with you' thing, that's pointless. If you're with someone, it's EQUAL, no? Always thought I'd be able to fit in with my family but they're all gone now. Always thought I'd be able to make friends but I've really, really tried and end up getting robbed/beaten up and not able to tell who's for-real and who's not (Asperger's!) Social Distancing doesn't bother me because I've ALWAYS been socially distanced! Sometimes I think this is God letting everyone else feel what I've felt all my life.
Please - anyone know how I can get people past the disabilities so I'm NOT 'Shrek', 'Monster Munch', 'Must be a paedo, LOOK at him!' 'Ruddy hell, mate, where's your spaceship?' 'Haven't come here to look at Frankenstein, either you boot him or I will'. And actually get to fit in? NOT Daycentres, being a poor 'ickle spaccy-waccy being looked after by Kind Benevolent Able-bodieds isn't me. I can do most of what they can do (apart from driving, co-ordination's too bad!) given the shot and a bit of training. (Prob. with Job Centre training is you immediately get all your disability benefits taken away!) Pre-Covid, I used to watch people on phones, going to be with people, talking to people, knowing how to have conversations, knowing how to interact.... I wanna play TOO.
Any ideas anyone?
Thank you for sharing your struggle. I hear you! I believe you live in MI, am I correct? If so, I live Brighton. I also have my disability. Never let people stop others just because others have disabilities. People will be amazed once they find out disabled people have special skills or talent. It is all matter to show them. Key is patience and show love to one another regardless of race, age, gender, disability etc.
Perhap seek volunteer organization that specialize in disability. Reach out to the Dept of Vocational Rehabitation…that’s where I went before for help with my job search or need help with different things. I have many good friends from my church who have similar disability that I have. It’s a great place to interact and fellowship with others.
You are in my prayers.
I'm so, sorry - I'm in Brighton, Sussex, England UK!! I didn't even know there WAS a Brighton in America. Luckily I've got an online friend in Chicago who put me straight - I'd been searching websites for ages for the Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation - there doesn't seem to be anything equivalent over here.
I'm sorry again, I didn't mean to mislead you, I just didn't realise there was a Brighton in America too.
Sorry for the delay message. Oh cool that there is another Brighton in England! I'm glad to hear that you got an online friend in Chicago who was able to help you.
Be safe and healthy!