We were recently at a gathering to celebrate a major anniversary for an older relative. It was a very joyous occasion, and our family was surrounded by many long-time friends and family. Then, my joy was unexpectedly dampened by one of the guests who approached me congratulating me on our wonderful family. They then went on to add that we were so accepting of our disabled daughter and that it was so lovely to see her siblings so supportive and understanding of their sister. She was trying to give a compliment to my adult children while inadvertently demeaning our daughter.
She was trying to give a compliment while inadvertently demeaning our daughter. I was so shocked...
I was so shocked and hurt inside by this long-time family friend. What were they thinking?
For one, our daughter who has an invisible disability is really creating a great life for herself. She is in college and is looking forward to a career where she can help others. It is true that she has had many struggles, but she has also had many accomplishments, exhibiting great perseverance and great compassion and caring for others. Her siblings are not exceptional, and they don’t want to be seen that way, I can assure you. They see their sister as an integral part of the family whom they love and value just as they do the other members of the family.
To make an assumption about our daughter with an invisible disability was way off the mark.
Have there been family struggles with one child that needed extra care and support when she was growing up? You bethcha! But we all have grown and bent with all of our diverse needs. To make the assumption that our daughter with an invisible disability was a burden to us or her siblings is not only insensitive and insulting, but way off the mark.