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I Am The Walrus


Yesterday I met someone new. I had given them a heads up that i spoke via type to text. As soon as he greeted me he spoke a little louder, a little slower. I had to explain some simple things to him. It was fine, i could do it...but i was cognizant of how slow i was doing it. How i had to pause to gesture because i cant gesture and 'talk' simultaneously. He nodded patiently and was completely polite. At one point i fumbled trying to juggle my phone (to talk) and keys and my speaker popping out of my waistband where i had tucked it. Anyone can fumble at anytime...but i felt silly and frustrated with myself in the moment. Then we entered a room with Miguel and immediately the person picked up speaking at a normal pace, a simple banter ensued. In that moment i was faced with the reality that i had been treated as a 'disabled' person. In fact, i can't banter at that pace. This guy was a totally nice guy and no harm was meant in anyway and it was all so subtle. Yet, it was exactly the kind of thing i feared, the kind of thing so many people (with disabilities, lgbtq, racially diverse, etc) face daily. It was just enough to shake my fragile rebuilding self confidence. Just enough to make me cognizant of how i, as a white female, drifted through life previously trying to be sensitive and 'woke' but probably (definitely) have blundered as well.


A couple weeks ago i was walking with the girls and the dogs in the neighborhood and a man came silently up behind me (at the time i was dealing with my on again off again hearing loss due to fluid in my ears). He suddenly jumped out and made surprising noises! I couldn't scream, i couldn't alert the girls right in front of me, i couldn't protect them in anyway. YES, it was Miguel. But in that second i didn't know it and was utterly shocked and hit with just how vulnerable i am. As a women we all deal with that feeling of being vulnerable but it was exacerbated by the reality that i couldn't make ONE sound. A second later i descended into a torrent of tears and had a desperate need to be back home in safety. Irrational, but overwhelming sensation. (postscript: i then got on Amazon and bought a personal alarm for my fanny pack - makes me feel better anyway. Most problems can be solved my Amazon, right? Or wait, isn't Bezos part of our greater problems? oh but i digress....)


I face the sensation of simultaneously wanting to retreat AND to run free - charge into the world again.

I Am The Walrus.

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kellyclif
kellyclif
Oct 17, 2022

You are amazing. The new experiences you face daily, your honesty and vulnerability in the face of all this goes to show how tough you are. You are amazing Sonya...I mean you have always been amazing but reading your entries just highlights the beauty that is you. Your voice on this platform is strong and loud and sooooooo amazing. I am playing the Beatles as I reread this entry..."We are all together...goo goo g'joob"

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miguel
Aug 09, 2022

Sonya

your always truthful and forthcoming which really lies in your beautful spirit.I wrote this really great letter to you here and of course it didn’t post last week. Your our soul, compass and strength. I marvel at how u adapt and teach at the same time. you love and speak the truth and these help us understand your path, pain, and transition to our great life together. your home again and making huge strides. You continue to amaze and inspire Us. i love u with all my being. miguel

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Ela Fuentevilla
Ela Fuentevilla
Aug 02, 2022

Thank you for being so strong and having the strength to persevere. Not all your interactions will be this way, but nevertheless I'm sorry that these instances happen. On another note, glad the personal alarm helps and it is very loud, so you will be noticed.

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charlenelaplante
Aug 01, 2022

Sonya……I’m sorry that you are having these experiences. I cannot even imagine how difficult this transition is for you and Miguel and the girls. However, that you have this much insight into what happened, others response to you and your response is a testament to your strength, honesty, perception, resiliency and power. You are and continue to be an inspiration. Thank you for who you are today and who you will become tomorrow.

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