Patience

When one has cerebral palsy or any disability, patience kinda comes as a  prerequisite; but the question I’m mulling today is: how long should I be patient with people who talk down to me, behave as though they have an automatic superiority or authority over me,  and seem  to want to perpetuate issues which should have blown over weeks ago? I know I must make allowances  and accept people as they are, but no matter what I do to mend fences with this person, they won’t let things return to normal, and frankly, my patience is wearing thin.. Where with any other person, I’d expect trivial upsets to have been long forgotten, they seem to have blown things out of all sensible proportions and made some quite hurtful accusations about  me. The thing is, they may or may not have mental health  issues (I’m not sure) so the question becomes, do I make allowances for their mental health condition, or do I treat them as I would anyone else?  I expect  people to make allowances for my (physical) disability, of course, but when people go too far in that I see it as patronising. Hence, where do I draw the line in holding this person up to the same standard I expect of anyone else? I know I’m physically not able to do things people without CP can do easily, so I need  help with things. In the local shop,  for instance, staff members now  come and help me get my things automatically. However, in other situations if people assume I need help or do things for me without me  asking them, I’m prone to feel patronised or get annoyed. They are treating me as different. Isn’t assuming this  person’s behaviour is related to their potential mental illness and thus  ignoring it not a similar conundrum? If treating  someone differently due to their disability is being patronising, then surely I should react to this person and what I perceive  to be their patronising, childish behaviour as I would to anyone else.

One thought on “Patience

  1. Hey Matthew, I agree this is very difficult. People that are close to me often talk down to me too. What I find frustrating is that they make assumptions about what is right or wrong for me without even asking me what I think. I find this to be offensive and ableist but often struggle with whether or not to speak up and advocate for myself if I think that the person’s behaviour and thoughts are influenced by mental health issues. Thing is I have set myself double standards in this regard because I also have mental health issues and I actually prefer it when people are straight with me and when they are not I ask them to be. It’s a very tricky issue, I don’t like upsetting others, but I allow them to upset me. I am trying to self-advocate in this regard.

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