One the biggest struggles neurodiverse kids, and adults for that matter, is the seemingly
|Handmade gifts from a friend.
(Picture from How To Use the Law of Attraction for Love)
never ending onslaught of bullying, hurtful comments, and sometimes outright hatred. Often, our issues are swept away with more popular, though just as worthy, problems by the world at large.
We’re often left feeling alone and unimportant.
Over the years, I’ve learned to draw parallels between my experience as someone who’s grown up with LD, and campaigns to help others who face different challenges. More often than not, the solutions are surprisingly similar.
Honeymade created a commercial featuring diverse family makeups. I personally thought it was wonderful, but they apparently got a lot of hate about it from people who can’t wrap their heads around the idea that not all families have both parents around, that the parents aren’t heterosexual, or that those parents don’t have the same skin color.
Instead of giving into the ignorant hatred that spawned the negativity, the company instead used them with the overwhelming number of positive messages they received, to create the below commercial.
Pretty neat, huh? I still tear up a little when I watch it.
There are people I love dearly who are a part of the LGBTQA+ community, and number of good friends of mine aren’t white. I was raised by a single mom for most of the year during childhood, due to my own, unique family dynamics. It breaks my heart to see my friends and others struggle with the hateful perceptions of people who refuse to see them as as humans worthy of respect, and I do my best to be supportive.
I don’t think disability was represented in the original commercial, but families with a disabled member often face the same sort of ire. Stigma is an ugly, ugly thing.
I may not have the intimate personal knowledge of what it’s like to struggle with each individual issue, but I do know what it’s like to be hated for what I am and the conditions I came from. I also know what it’s like to have a wall of abuse collapsing on me. I’ll never forget how each successive punishment or insult crushed me just a little more, and how hard it was to fight my way out of the rubble.
It was those positive messages that gave me the strength I needed. Once I finally started to let them in, they were the air I needed for breath, the food I needed for power, the water I needed for refreshment and the sunshine I needed for inspiration. Eventually, I could stand and walk again.
Hatred directed my way still sticks with me a for a while, and it still hurts, but when I concentrate on the positivity in my life, it hurts just a bit less. It doesn’t linger as long, and I’m better able to get back to living life on my terms again.
Unless you’re dealing with someone who has a problem with obsession, those individual haters usually fade away with time. For those who won’t leave you alone, it’s time to take advantages of the protections available through whatever mode they’re harassing you through, or, in worst case scenarios, the law.
Unfortunately, systemic hatred, such as the struggle all disabled people face to some degree, is harder to deal with on an individual basis. That’s where the positive people in your life come in. They represent help in your personal life, as well as the potential for support from the world at large.
If one person can change their outlook enough to treat those who are different with respect and love, there are probably countless others out there who can do the same thing.
Obviously, this is an important topic to me, and I have written more about it before. If you’d like to read some of the other entries I’ve written, here are some links: