‘He understands most things’

I was just n our local co-op picking up a few supplies. I have been going there quite regularly since I moved to London five years ago, but today something happened which puzzled me. I am quite well known there, and the staff often help me go round and get what I need. They recently took on new staff, and today one of the more senior ladies was instructing a new lad on how to help me. That was fine by me, but one of the phrases she used struck a raw nerve: ”He understands most things.” She said to the boy, as if I couldn’t hear. The implication being, of course, that she thinks there are things I don’t understand. Of course, there are indeed gaps in my understanding: I struggle with certain aspects of Lacanian theory, for instance, and the maths behind special relativity baffles me. Yet I got the impression that that was not what she meant: could it be that, even after five years of going there, they still think I have some kind of learning difficulties? I was a bit troubled to hear that. The assumption that people with cp also have learning difficulties obviously runs deeply. I will have to try to out that right.

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