>Earlier in the week my landline phone went and it was a wrong number of a sort. I was sure it was actually a guy I know (he asked for “Stan” but then gave my exact phone number as the one he was after) and so I said “is that so and so, it’s Emma.” and it was and we chatted a little.

I asked how he was and he said “oh struggling, but not as much as you do.”
I didn’t say anything to him about it for various reasons but dude, I think I’m insulted!
My sister and I did have a bit of a giggle about that conversation when I told her though.
Then last night as K and I were walking back from creative writing I told her. She comment that she’s never seen me struggle but she has seen me deal. We’ve been friends about a year now so it’s a fair comment.
I had to ask her to explain what she meant. She used getting stuck in the pub car park as her example because I just dealt with the situation and got on with things rather than finding it difficult.
It was a short but interesting conversation (we reached the point where we part company both about thirty seconds from our houses and were chatting on the street corner, not the best idea!). And she’s definitely right when she says I just deal with things. Because I do.
The hardest thing however (and I think she recognises this) is that sometimes, dealing and even the very fact of having to deal is really hard. Because it’s something I’ve always had to do and always will have to. And it just gets tiring.
A lot of the time I think now I don’t actually realise that I’m dealing as such I’m just doing what I do and getting on with it. As I said to K last night someone has to deal with all the issues and stresses disability brings to me life and it has to be me because there is no one else.
Compared to a lot of the PWD (people with disabilities) I knew growing up (and some of the ones I’m friends with now) I’m very lucky. Because my parents love me and support me but they also believed in tough love as I was growing up. I didn’t get treated particularly differently from my younger brother and sister and I was taught to do things for myself, get on with it, deal with it and most of all live the life I want. Having had that experience all my life has led to me still having a learning curve as an adult and self advocate but I wasn’t starting from scratch like so many PWD I know had to do when they entered the “big bad world” of adulthood.
So… contrary to what the first person thinks I don’t (usually) struggle… I just deal… and hope the day comes when I don’t have to do it quite so much.

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