One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is giving and receiving gifts. As a child, I wished for many things including dolls, and anything pink and sparkling. I now wish for many non-material things, such as the gifts of understanding and acceptance. Many times, people do not understand or accept my disability.
One of the ways people do not understand my disability, is when someone gives me an analog clock. I have had people give me many with beautiful Victorian clocks. I love the design of these clocks but having Dyscalculia and I'm unable to read an analog clock. The lovely clocks serve as a decoration, but don't ask me what time it is. I have also had others give me complex puzzles, that can be hard to assemble with my limited hand dexterity and visual perception issues. The intent of giving these gifts is good, but they serve little purpose for me, other than frustration.
Acceptance is another gift that I people with disabilities long for. Often times people have difficulty with accepting a person with one. I can remember feeling left out and rejected by people when I was younger because of my disability. I was the victim of bullying and isolated in school. People would say unkind words to me, and I was not included in many activities. I found I found a group of friends in my late teen, that I am still friends with years later. I also worried that I would never find love with one. I have had guys tell me that they could not handle being in a relationship with a person with a disability. I married a wonderful guy who is accepting and understanding of it.
As an adult I have learned to deal with my disability better. I also have learned how to handle when others are not always understanding or accepting of it. Learning how to deal with it has been key. At times it can be speaking up, and other times letting it go. Deciding which one to do requires wisdom and discretion. I can also decide to spend my spare time with people and activities that I enjoy. As a child I did not have that freedom. I will always love giving and receiving presents. Another constant in my life will always be my disability.
Many times, people will not always understand or be accepting of it. The gifts of understanding and accepting is not something purchased or wrapped. The lasting effects of these gifts are powerful and can change someone's life. I strive to give those gifts to others. How rewarding it is to give back! I am appreciative to those who have given me the gifts of understanding and acceptance. I am blessed, with that and many other gifts.