I was reading a few posts on Tommy’s site recently where he was talking about his cane and the posts resonated with me.

Every time I talk to a group of people about disclosure (of disability) their reactions are very different. And I got to thinking about my reactions. I get tired telling people. I have a spiel that I think makes me even sound tired talking about it. My disabilities are mostly invisible (if you’re not looking hard, or don’t know what to look for at least). I don’t hide them, but they are definitely more invisible. I do have a choice – I don’t have to tell. I could pass for able bodied. My disability is not revealed not by my body, there’s no ‘giveaways’ But because of the way this world is, for me to operate in it, I have to tell. And telling can be difficult or tiring, you are revealing personal information that people sometimes don’t know what to do with. Which can be awkward. But then so is a halfway existence. Sometimes, I wish it was it was told for me – that I had a cane. Or the hearing aids I had as a small kid which I wore in a little harness on my chest – 2 little pouches,  with 2 boxes, and long wires dangling out of them. But that’s only sometimes. More often, I wish it wasn’t necessary to make it obvious. That the way this world is, includes people like me a little more. I also wish that having been this person all my life, that I could talk about that one part of me more easily, so that we can get back to a conversation which all of me is in, not just my disability.*

So when disclosure comes up, I’m very concious of all the emotions and the difficulties that people may have. I also think that those who look for that information should think about what telling is, and how it would be to have to do it. All the time.


*I don’t mean this as a ‘poor me’ piece, more as a reflective piece, based on my thoughts and feelings after reading Tommy’s posts.