Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friendships: what is real?

Sometimes in life learning is hard and painful. Having friends is so important. However, friendships when you have a disability, especially a severe one, are tricky.

Growing up, I had lots of friends in my special education classes. But when the gates of inclusion helped me tremendously academically, I was like a fish out of water socially. To this day, I don't know all the answers or why but I hope to help some others who think they are alone.

Having a disability that interferes with your speech, mobility, driving etc does have an impact on friendships. You might find yourself not being included or invited to things simply because they might not think its worth the effort to take you.

Other people might impact your friendship as well. They might think that hanging out with you isn't cool or ties them down.

Try to not let it get to you. I know from personal experience that it can cut your heart deeper than you want to admit it could. I've had friends who were all about hanging out and doing stuff when they needed something or were bored. But in the end, left me alone when something better came along.

As I watch Laura grow and make her own friends, I pray she is a good friend and she isn't hurt a lot. I teach her how to be kind and cherish everyone who brings some happiness to her life.

Unfortunately, friendships can be like lightning - one minute brilliant warm friendship and next gone.

Please remember friendships are real and matter. Text, email, or call a friend. Don't make them do it all because that is an obvious reflection on your true feelings about them.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Jessica how very enlightening! Those of us without disabilities struggle with many of these same issues. I have been burned in the past by "friends" that weren't and became withdrawn and quiet. I now only hang with true and genuine folks of all shapes, colors, sizes and walks of life. I know you and I aren't that close yet but I am glad to work with you and I hope to get to know you better. I am blessed to know you!