A friend of mine from schooldays wrote to me recently. We played county standard ( Gwent schools ) together for 2 years. He told me about his friend’s son ( 19 ) who had fallen asleep ( alcohol I’m sure ) on a sea wall, and fallen off, 15 feet onto his head. The boy had it all – popular, good looking, sporty, bright.
I wrote to the lad’s Dad. I’ll hopefully go to see them both in a london hospital soon.
When I last wrote to the Dad, I said that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the hospital in a morning, ‘ such being disabled life ‘.
It occurred to me actually just now that perhaps I presented him with that word for the first time. Until now, and thus far it’ll have been all optimism and hope ( unrealistically probably ) that the lad will be fine again, having recovered from his currently severe injuries. Lots of people will have been saying and thinking ‘ we hope he’s going to be alright ‘
What ‘ alright ‘ means is ‘ is he going to be normal, as in just like the rest of us?’ As in not, you know, damaged in some way… like disabled or something ‘
There’s an understandable optimism and desperation for a full and miraculous recovery. But all too often that doesn’t happen and it’s another life ruined, another person disabled… and no longer, well, normal. The world is made for normal, obviously, not abnormal. It wouldn’t make sense to make it for abnormal if you think about it… but thankfully now and for we abnormals it’s changing so that we can still do stuff with the normal people.
It’s the horrible reality but it’s not quite as horrible as it relatively recently was. We’ll always be stared at/ ignored/ pitied, and that’s understandable, but believe me it isn’t great.