Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What's that word?

I need to know the name for a word that may or may not exist.  It's not schadenfreud, but means something close...

What's the word for people who show their jealously when you explain something you've lost and they say "Well, I never had that so you shouldn't miss it?"  or "Now you know how I feel"  or "Now you're just like the rest of us"  ?

I've seen this in more than one circumstance, but the most memorable was when I was sick last year.  When I went bald I had healthy bald men say "Now you know how I feel".
Really?  You're comparing a bald woman on chemotherapy with a healthy bald man?
Wow - well, I guess we both need hats in the winter.

When my hair did come back, but thinner, curly, fragile I heard comments like "At least you had good hair once"  "Didn't you always want curly hair?  Guess you should be careful what you wish for". 
Because you think I had something good before, I don't deserve to have it back, or mourn its' loss?

During chemo and now, after, I have memory and cognitive issues (called "chemo-brain" in cancer circles).  I've heard comments like "Guess you're not so smart now, eh?"  "You were too smart for your own good before anyway" and  "Lucky you had some brains to spare". 
I don't even have a response to that.

Now that I have kids in school, I'm finding something similar at an institutional level. 
I've got a kid with a 2+ sigma difference between his IQ and certain types academic achievement.  Before 2008 this would be diagnosed as an official "learning disability" and we could have (relatively) easily gotten an IEP and some accommodations for this student.  Because of a change in the laws that define learning disabilities, that isn't the case.  Even though this kid isn't able to work at the level indicated by his ability, because he is able to perform  at or above "average for grade or age" level, it isn't considered a disability.  Despite the fact that they prevent him from showing some of his abilities, his disabilities don't count because they only bring him down to the "average".  His difficulties, although very real and frustrating in a school setting, don't merit consideration by the powers that be.

As I write this I know that many will interpret it as whining.
"You're alive right?  You should be grateful."
I am grateful to be alive.  That doesn't mean I don't miss the parts of my life that are gone or changed by cancer treatment.

"What's wrong with average?"
There's nothing wrong with being average.
There's nothing wrong with being NOT average either, and it needs to be acknowledged that people who are not average in ways that are usually perceived as positive still have problems and need support just like "average" people.

I'll leave you by talking about my geese.
We got domestic geese at the end of last summer.  They seem pretty happy waddling along in our back field eating grass, and tucking into their pen at night with their grain.  We love our geese, their antics and beauty are a joy to watch.

Here in Colorado we also have lots of wild Canada geese.  They are beautiful.  This time of year they migrate, they fly high and free.  At the city park we have some resident Canada geese, some of which are permanently injured and can not migrate anymore.  They have a relatively good life, people feed them and there's a little island they can retreat to if they want to avoid the dogs and kids.

City Park Canada goose

George and Gracie

What is the difference between a domestic goose who can't fly and a wild goose who can't fly?  Is it a comfort to the wild goose to know that now it's "just like" a domestic goose?

1 comment:

Sue VanHattum said...

Sorry to hear about the school situation. That must be hard on all of you.

Hugs to you.