What I Want Cured

In the book I’m reading, one character just asked another, “What’s worse, bad friends or no friends?” Without considering it for even a second, I said, “No friends.” This bothers me. A lot.
In my life, I have learned desperation born of loneliness causes me to make suboptimal choices. I stayed in a relationship too long, continued “friendships” with people who take but do not give, and others indicate people can take advantage of me because of it.
Over the past five months, I have been working on making better choices about the people in my life trying to focus my efforts on those who have the same friendship philosophy as I do. For those I love, I will do all I can to be supportive, be there without having to be asked, and have enough respect for them to speak my mind but allow them to make their own choices. IF a friend needs me, I’ll abandon what I want for their need. In other words, the people in my life are a priority.
Fortunately I have a healthy sense of self-preservation that keeps me from abandoning my physical needs. I comprehend that I cannot be a good friend if I’m a mess physically. For a short time, I am able to put aside my own emotional issues to help another.
Somewhere I read/heard that you shouldn’t make someone a priority if they consider you an option. I’ve been trying to follow that advice. With my uncensored answer to whether bad friends or no friends are inferior, I now realize self-delusion is mine. Apparently knowing I deserve better does not translate into not settling for less.
Do disabled people have to settle for less? Are we trained to do it in other areas so find it natural to do the same in relationships of all kinds? Is it fair or right that people evaluate our worthiness for friendship by considering the complications that come along with us? Am I more deluded than I realize?
I may lose a friend because he considers my life to be “too heavy.” I keep holding back my instinctive response. “If you think my life is so heavy, shouldn’t the fact that you care about me lead you to want to help alleviate that?” I have already said goodbye to him in my hearth. On a fundamental level, I don’t expect him to see the worth in me instead only perceiving the harder parts of my life.
Being blind isn’t a big deal. Feeling like crap isn’t the end of the world. The way people deal with it causes pain I don’t have the words to describe. That is what I want fixed. That is what I wish we could cure.

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About Jen

After acquiring a degree from Vassar College in psychology, I moved to Western Mass where I ran a peer mentoring network for disabled college students as well as activism and organizing around disability issues. I also conducted research on disabled women’s body image. An Upstate New York native, I eventually followed my heliotropic nature to the sun of Southern California. I divide my time between writing (disability fiction and essays) along with moderating San Diego Bisexual Forum which is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. In my off hours I can often be found in my neighborhood live music venue enjoying our local talent.

One thought on “What I Want Cured

  1. Long-distance e-hug, Jen. We need something better to replace the metaphorical, pejorative use of the word “blind”, because your friend’s inability to quote-unquote “see” you…needs a word. Peace, peace.

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