Friday, September 23, 2011

Social Life

I can honestly say, I've never had a real friend outside of school until I was about 10 years old. I was always too shy to get close to anyone at school to where we could hang out after school. When I was 10, we moved from the rural country to a small neighborhood. I met a few friends there and that's really where I started learning to socialize with peers. Before then, I talked to adults more than anything and as a kid, you know you gotta watch what you say around adults.

I'm sure being disabled was a main cause of my shyness... I wasn't like everyone else. I did things differently than they did. Most kids make new friends by joining them in some kind of activity and usually that activity was with a ball or something to be thrown or handled... I can tell you, you don't make many friends "watching".

I think the reason I made friends in that small neighborhood was because there wasn't any adults around. I could say what I wanted and that's even when I started to cuss.... lol everyone else was. I remember the first day I started cussing... I said every word I knew at any opportunity I had... it made me feel real cool lol. Of course, when I got home, I had to be careful. I don't think I said 30 words at home for a week.

Today, I'm better at socializing... only a little better though. I'm still quite shy. Get me in a group of people I barely know and I wont speak unless spoken to. Although, if you get me into a group of people I do know, and you can't shut me up.

You are probably wondering what my social life is with the opposite sex. Sure, I can make friends with girls, but as far as dating or relationships, it's not there. It's not really because I'm too shy... It's mainly because I have nothing to offer right now. Have no job, no money, I have a ride but cant afford gas. As far as dating goes, I think I would do just fine... right up until intimacy rears it's beautiful yet ugly head. I'll save that for another post though.

So, yeah, being disabled has definitely affected my social life, but I try my best not to let it. It's a challenge everyday, but I make it work. Sure, there's been embarrassing moments but the good times have definitely out-weighed the bad.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Work and School

I take drafting at a local tech school and i'm graduating this semester. You would expect me to be happy about it, and your first thought was to applaud my courage, commitment, etc... and it's true, I am happy and accept your compliments but unfortunately, school is shaping up to be about as far as it goes. You see, I have completed my fundamental courses 7 months ago and have been job ready since. That means for 7 months now, I've applied to numerous jobs and am without employment still.

Sit back and imagine this: You run a business that manufactures some good and your present draftsman is retiring and you need a replacement. So you release an ad for the opening and the resumes start flooding in. 90% of these resume's you'll throw away because they don't even know what drafting is. The other 10% you've narrowed down to 2 people. So, you call them in for an interview. The first person is presentable, interviews decently, does ok on the CAD test but he's not too enthusiastic about it... seems like he doesn't care. The second person calls before the interview and thank you for the opportunity and looks forward to meeting you... you're impressed. He also goes on to tell you he has a physical disability but not to worry as this in no way whatsoever hinders him from doing the job. You tell yourself you're not worried about that and you're better than that to feel any kind of doubt. So, this disabled person comes in 15 min early, he's presentable, he interviews well, does the CAD test fine. He sounds passionate about drafting and seems to want to do nothing more than please.

Well you sit down later that night and go over the 2 candidates... the obvious answer is the guy in the wheelchair, so you start to email him that he got the job... but wait. A thought creeps in. What if he needs help doing every other little thing like handling papers, going through doors constantly, etc... someone will have to stop and help him. That's no biggie... really. Hmmm, what if he needs to take a leave due to his medical condition? I didn't ask... couldn't ask, it's against the law. These thoughts creep in and you start doubting his abilities... the very thing you told yourself you're not going to do. You eventually come to the conclusion that you'd rather not deal with it, so you hire the other guy.

That's about what it's been like for me getting a job... Most of the time, I don't even make it into the door because I make the mistake of being too nice and tell them I have a disability before they call me in for the interview. I understand that it's hard getting a job in the first lace, but try getting one while being disabled... It takes nothing short of a miracle.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello all, this is the first of hopefully many posts about the way of life I have being disabled. I have a condition called arthrogryposis and what it basically does is freeze the joints in my limbs to make them less mobile therefore I cannot walk and have very limited use of my hands.

In this blog I will be discussing the many challenges, joys, lessons learned, and hardships of being disabled. Everything including work, school, sociology, love, hate, family, friends, enemies, bright side, dark side, and everything in between.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all and hope writing things down will help me better cope with what i go through... maybe even help others as well... who knows?