I’m not going to compare visible and invisible disabilities and say which is harder, although I arguably have both. (Mental illness is invisible and albinism is sort-of visible, depending on who’s looking.)
This is just a post to encourage all of you to try to read between the lines and really try to see what makes a person tick. Even if the person you’re sitting next to has always seemed “normal” to you, you have no idea if he or she is dealing with invisible disabilities or not. Here’s a few points to get you thinking.
5 reasons it’s hard to have an invisible disability:
5. People treat you “normal.”
Isn’t that what we want? Well, yes… and no. Of course I want respect and for people to feel like we have mutual relationships with give and take, and some of that is at risk if I’m not seen as normal. However, being treated normally means that I don’t have anyone trying to accommodate me, which I can tell you, even though I don’t always thank you, shows me such deep love that I tuck away your actions to remember on a rainy day. For example, with Borderline Personality Disorder, I think pretty black and white, and because of that I take things literally– like I’m the WORST at understanding jokes or something explained vaguely instead of directly. So, I have a friend who understands BPD really well, and she makes sure I know when she’s being sarcastic and will explain jokes to me that I’m not laughing at. (Some people think explaining the joke wrecks the punchline, but don’t worry, I’ll still laugh after you explain it to me!) On the other hand, I just got a new job, which I absolutely love, and everyone is so nice. They don’t know I have BPD yet, so sometimes the instructions they give me don’t make sense to me because some people aren’t naturally very direct. I feel stupid having to ask the obvious, but if they knew why I’m asking the obvious, I feel more understood.
Next 4 reasons coming soon!!