I used to be one of the "normies"

I'm about to type out some very honest thoughts that may offend some people if I don't word them correctly... and I probably won't.  That's never been my strong suit, so I apologize in advance.

I've been thinking a lot lately about "normies", as Dani (I'm just that way and that's just me) calls them.  I used to get so upset by how normies reacted to Kekito, honestly it's still hard sometimes and surely always will be.  I am beginning to realize that I totally was one, despite my own ADD related social struggles.  I used to feel uncomfortable with people with special needs.  I never disliked them, but I see now that I avoided social interaction, or kept it at a minimum.  When I was a picture framer (at age 19) there was a hearing impaired couple that came in a few times.  I was anxious when I'd see them walk up because I felt so bad not being able to communicate normally.  I felt bad for their situation.  I was afraid of doing anything offensive like talking to them, out of habit (they were unable to read lips).  I was mostly thinking of myself, of course.  It had never dawned on me how they felt about the way I acted.

I'm realizing more everyday how "normal" people with special needs are; how much they need normal daily interactions.  Just like everyone else.  There is a young man at my church with some developmental delay, maybe autism?  I've found myself going out of my way to talk to him, and smile genuinely at him.  Sadly, I would not have done that before... :(  Then there's the hearing impaired cashier at our convenience store, that situation makes me crazy these days.  There will be a long line, while hers is empty and she's just watching; waiting.  I try to go to her line if I see her.  She is truly SUCH a sweet person, but I feel like few others have the chance to notice.

I feel so badly for parts of who I've been in the past- letting fear of the unknown take over.  But I am realizing that I had always had good intentions basically.  So it is helping me to realize that the people who react some what unfavorably to K's quirks probably don't mean to, or even realize the way it comes across.

A silver lining- I can really appreciate my friends that love K and treat him like just another "normie".  I am blessed to have many, but I need to send a special shout out to Sarah, Casey, and Paul whom are in his daily life!  Thank you, words will never cover my gratitude for your attitude! ;)

The way I see life is so very different at this place and age, and I am grateful for that.  The view is beautiful from where I'm standing.


Ashley said...

I thought it was very well-worded and I can relate to so much of it.

Lynn said...

I'm ashamed to say that I was squirmingly uncomfortable around special needs kids. Now they are my favorite people on the face of the earth.

Chris P-M said...

Jill I know that feeling, and have been there myself. Now I find myself so grateful (as you are) for folks who "get" it and who we can spend time with...knowing that they won't disown us because of my son's unpredictable behavior.

I can see why folks find blogging networks!