PREFACE: This is the second in a series of posts I made online recently as I’ve been contemplating my current situation in life while addressing larger systemic / societal issues that are likely major barriers to many other people with disabilities in similar positions. I get more accomplished when I can talk things out and “think out loud” with someone, but when another person isn’t readily available, sometimes I will go online and give my thoughts and frustrations a voice. I don’t really need anyone to feel sorry for me, but I hope others who read this can relate to what I’m saying.

My confidence takes a beating sometimes. I internalized a lot of hatred growing up, and it came from a place of feeling less than human. I’ve been alone a lot in life. A lot of times, I feel like most people only tolerated me to be polite. Then after they got to know me, they started getting sick of me, like they couldn’t get rid of me quick enough.

I want to believe in the good in humanity. I want to believe the good things that people say about me. But sometimes I have to ask myself what they see in me these days. I’m pushing 40, haven’t been in a relationship in years, never been married, never had kids. I’ve given too much of myself too soon in relationships before. I’ve been too quick to allow other people’s problems to become my problems. I’ve had people take advantage of my kindness. I’ve tried taking another person’s kind of crazy head-on, and it’s not to my benefit to take that approach anymore.

I know I’m not always so easy for other people to deal with sometimes. My mind doesn’t work the same way everyone else’s does. I see a lot of things differently than they do. I don’t shut up about things that are important to me. I believe in a level playing field where everyone has the same access to the same opportunities and putting in the work to actually make it happen. I have a lot of love to give. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I don’t always have a good poker face. I don’t profess to be perfect, but I try my hardest to do good in this world, to be the kind of person / friend / partner / lover I would want for myself.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have someone in my life who would actually take the time to get to know me, the real me, the whole me, and would still actively and intentionally stay with me and stand by me, all of me, not just bits and pieces, not out of pity, not because they think they can’t do any better than that, not as a placeholder or a backup plan until someone or something better comes along, but because I matter to them, because I’m worth it to them, because I’m a priority to them, the same way they would be a priority to me.

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