Stare

Stare / Wellcome Images

Stare / Wellcome Images

Sometimes I can tell someone has noticed my disability and is staring. They look at my hand for a long time, comprehending abnormality. The next thing a starer does is look up at my face. I’m ready. I look straight back at them, holding their gaze. Then the starer gets all uncomfortable and looks away.

Disabled party tricks.

11 Responses to “Stare”

  1. chaircrusher writes:

    I enjoy your blog quite a lot.

    I do think that ‘normal’ people (scare quotes pretty much mandantory) don’t have a good context for dealing with difference. It’s wired into our reptilian hind brain to great difference with suspicion

    The only thing I’ve figured out (and I work in a hospital so I get lots of practice) is that unless I’m called on to help, a person’s difference shouldn’t change how I interact with them. I reckon they’re just minding their own business, feeling like they’re themselves, their own ‘normal.’ Making a thing of their difference just makes them feel singled out and apart.

    Or whatever. What do I know? I’m ‘normal.’

  2. Linda writes:

    I was an extremely overweight woman. People stared and treated me badly. I had a stroke and lost a lot of weight.. mainly because of nausea not willpower. People looked at my half sagging face,and me limping along behind my walker and told me they had never see me looking so good. How miserable I must have looked to them before!

  3. Barbara Polan writes:

    Unbelievably, I was in a women’s locker room at the Y one day and a little girl and her mother noticed the difficulty I was having getting dressed. Her mother agreed with something the girl said about how hard it was for me, just like for Grandma. Somehow that gave them both permission to keep watching me as I dressed.

    I wanted to blurt out, “How would you like it if I stared at your daughter while she was getting dressed?” But I held my tongue because I am a calm, happy stroke survivor, not a bitter, nasty one. Although I am sometimes bitter and nasty inside.

  4. Jasmine Treacy writes:

    Hi
    I have just discovered your blog……..and I’m so pleased you feel able to share your experiences. I have a hidden issue. A brain tumour that during the biopsy operation I bled and it caused several mini strokes. I recovered quickly, with some remaining loss of cognitive function. I’ve only just managed to remember spelling patterns and recall number patterns etc. My physical body responded well, my eyesight is terrible however. The tumour is still in there and will require ongoing treatment, But I am alive.
    My weeks in the rehabilitation unit were the most insightful of my life. I worked so hard along others and quickly made some very close friends. All older than me; I’m 35.
    I admired so many for their strength and patience. I have never considered myself a patient person…….until now.
    So although our circumstances are different. I’m very glad you are sharing. Best wishes and luck for an amazing life. Jasmine 🙂

  5. K writes:

    Have you read the book “Staring: How We Look” by Rosemarie Garland-Thomson? I haven’t picked it up yet, but I have an obvious physical disability as well, and I’m curious to see just how it tackles the issue.

  6. Evelyn writes:

    My husband had a similar stroke as you at 31, We love your blog.

    I tell my husband that people stare because we are so good looking!

  7. Bob Miller writes:

    I think people just stare because they don’t understand. I don’t think it is anything mean intended.

  8. Andrea writes:

    I just found this blog and I understand everything your describing. I am 20 and had a stroke in ’09. I wanted to share my funny stare story. I was using a walker at the time that had a seat. Me and my mother got into an elevator which a mom and her daughter. The mom was so uncomfortable seeing me so she had to talk.
    “How often do you get people asking to sit in your seat?”
    It took all my will power not to laugh.
    “I have never been asked that”

    It’s kinda funny to see how people start to squirm when I don’t feel weird at all.

  9. duke writes:

    Im nlucky I have a crazy 17 year old son,,, people stare at me,,, he moons them…

  10. Blog Feature: Mindpop - StrokeXYZ writes:

    […] Fight Stare Poodle […]

  11. Guest post: Mindpop | Wellcome Library writes:

    […] is one blog entry called Stare. I used a Wellcome work by Frederic Cayley Robinson, painted in […]

Leave a Reply