here. This long, angst-driven post is not for you...)
CL has been thinking a lot about life changes, poor medical care, people-in-need of social services, (mis)perceptions, beauty, sex and, well, LIFE in general. Many good things have happened, including new adventures and new strengths. After speaking with her fabulous shrink about the Safeway and Whole Foods incidents, however, CL has been "stewing" and "confused."
Here was the conversation with her shrink:
Shrink: So, how do people see you?
CL: See me?
Shrink: Yeah. If you could describe yourself, and other's perceptions, what would you say?
CL: I don't know. I mean, I know the correct answer from my head, I can analyze their perceptions and my reactions all I want-- but I honestly can not define how I feel. My heart is confused.
Shrink: What do you mean?
CL: Well, sometimes I feel invisible. No one sees me. They cut in line and ignore me, when I say "hey, I was here, first." They try to run me over with their cars...they steal lights from the front of my house, so I can't use my wheelchair at night...they push me underwater, away from the rope, when I try to swim...you know...invisible...
Shrink: What kind of people?
CL: Arrogant, self-entitled, I-would-call-them-pricks but I actually like the word "prick," so...you know...PEOPLE.
Shrink: Not all people.
CL: Yeah, not all people. Just 90% of the world who live in their bubbles, ignore people in need, treat me like I DID SOMETHING WRONG.
CL: You think?
Shrink: And sarcasm.
Shrink: So, the "F" word?
Shrink: Yeah. Frustration. So, tell me, how would you describe yourself, in these situations?
CL: Besides angry and sarcastic? Fuckin frustrated?
CL: Confused. I mean, what do you say to people, when they make assumptions about your life? When they chose to see you, and not ignore your existence? When they scream out of their car windows, "hey fat girl, get off your ass and WALK outta that chair!"
Shrink: Huh. Maybe you should move to Berkeley?
CL: Right. A whole other kind of self-entitlement ass comes with Berkeley.
Shrink: True enough...so, do you feel like you have a target on your back?
CL: A what?
Shrink: A target.
CL: I don't like that word. TARGET. I don't like feeling as though someone has chosen me as a target for their rage. That's frightening.
CL: I'm a Jew in Walnut Creek, with a rare genetic disease. Being a minority is nothing new.
Shrink: The wheelchair is new.
Shrink: People are making assumptions and treating you differently, because of how you move your hands and arms, use the chair, ask for help, try to swim, take the bus. You're a visible minority, now.
Shrink: So...do you feel like you are a target?
CL: I don't know.