Ask Me How I Am And I’ll Give You An Honest Answer (And I Welcome An Honest Answer From You)

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 31 years ago today, July 26, 1990. President Joe Biden earlier today signed into the law that the effects of Covid-19 on people can be individually assessed in regards to the ADA.

This is also a day in my life that began the beginning of the end of my last relationship. My ex has several physical disabilities and needed care. Unfortunately in America, caregivers get nothing sometimes except a lot of criticism on top of a lot of stress.

I suffer from chronic back pain and arthritis. And taking care of someone who had even worse disabilities was like the blind leading the blind. And there was no one to help.

We often say things to people like, “How are you?” or “How have you been?” But we never expect an honest answer.

No, what we expect is someone to make a comment about the weather, or to just return the pleasantry with a smile. I mean, that’s what we like to see. It’s better to see people smile than to spend five minutes to listen to them.

My ex suffered a minor stroke or a TIA (transient ischemic attack) and had to be sent to the hospital by an ambulance. She was bad and as I was driving a few minutes behind the ambulance, they called me and for a minute, I was expecting the worst.

Thankfully, they were just telling me they were taking her to a different hospital in Tulsa than where she usually went. But the thought of nearly losing her never really left me.

A few months later, another special person in my life was the victim of an attack and when she posted about it on social media, I just shut down for a minute. I was looking at it thinking that she was sharing something before I realized she was talking about herself. I remember I was eating fudge ripple ice cream and got very nauseated.

Shortly after that, I got angry a lot at the people out there who were supporting Trump and celebrating his victory. I got rid of about 100 people on my FB friend’s list. I couldn’t put up with it. I also wanted to do ten-fold the physical harm that bastard at done to my something special.

And I’m not a violent person.

In between these months, my ex’s daughter had a clot in her lungs that many people do not recover from and a family friend had gone in for a stress test and was admitted and came out with a heart bypass.

For many people out there who have watched their loved ones die from Covid-19 over the past 18 months, I know they are trying to hide their emotions and be the stronger person. But they need someone to talk to and to listen to them.

We should stop referring to people’s anxiety, grief, depression and stress as “problems” because that means we see their mental issues as “problems.” It’s the same way we refer to post-traumatic stress as a disorder when it’s only natural for humans to feel this way.

I understand there is a generation and cultural gap between those who were born in the 1970s and those born before that. It’s sad people who were raised in the post-WWII era were raised by parents and a society that taught them to internalize everything because that’s they way they were taught.

Hearing “You think you have problems?” is what hurts people because it shows apathy. Disabled people hear this bullshit all the time. Even though your disabilities have absolutely no effect on them or their lives, these people think they have a right to dictate to you how you should live.

That’s what pisses me off with the pandemic, especially as the Delta Variant is causing cases to increase. People want to criticize the foods we eat or own personal medical genes as a cause of the disease.

And honestly, I feel it’s none of your damn business what I eat and what I don’t eat. You don’t pay my shopping bills. And there’s no way I would let you, because anyone that repeatedly questions what you eat is really a someone I don’t want to be associated with.

That being said, following events of the fall of 2016, I sunk into a world of anxiety, anger and depression for about three years. I remember watching the show Fargo in which a character began attacking a character played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who reminds me of her, and I got sick to my stomach.

Over the next two years, I internalized a lot to the point one day, I had a nervous breakdown and cried for at least half an hour. It wasn’t the last time. Another situation happened later in May of 2019 in which my ex had to go to the hospital at 4 a.m. after falling out of bed and hitting her head on the night table.

I really do think we need to address mental issues along with the ADA as much as physical disabilities because people with physical disabilities do suffer mental issues. There’s nothing more frustrating than to listen complaining about not being able to go to social clubs and parties all the time because of social distancing knowing sometimes you can’t go places at all because of your physical disabilities.

Like I said in previous posts, there are still many restaurants that aren’t designed for wheelchairs or walkers. Try not being able to go to a party or social gathering because it involves going up and down stairs.

This causes mental issues. But we’re not expected to talk about these things from our elders. Why? Because their elders didn’t talk about it.

We really need to start changing the ways we view other people because they don’t live up to the expectations we want of them. But mostly, what people want sometimes is someone who is “normal” so they can be the one always needing others. Some people have to live with chaos around them and that involves them always being the center of attention.

I’ve learned that if someone doesn’t respond to a text, maybe we need to give them time. Maybe they don’t want to respond. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t want to talk. They just don’t want to talk right now.

Human civilization existed for centuries with people writing letters to people back and forth for weeks if not months, so if a few hours or days its nothing. And some people maybe need space and time.

We should be there for people when they need us but we must also realize being there means not being too clingy and pushy. Being there sometimes means knowing when not to be there, if that makes sense.

Relationships fail because of jealousy. I’ve known too many people who were in relationships where people had to know where they were at all times. That’s not a relationship but control.

We need to be there for people and help them and willing to help. I saw a meme once that the person most interested in you talking to you is a stranger and the most critical person you’ll have in your life is a family member. I agree with it.

I had hardly anyone to talk to because I had few people who want an honest answer.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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