OK, all you bloggers, don’t get your hopes up. These are nominations of a different type, not blog awards….
The most idiotic thing told to me by a doctor was without a doubt the doctor who examined Ricki after she had fallen, and told me to rush her to the emergency room. “Her head is swelling, and that is making her eyes look funny and slanted.”
The most stupid thing told me by an educator was the school principal who told me “Look, I’m an educator who have worked years with children with Down syndrome. They CAN NOT learn to read, they get stuck after learning the first 2 vowel signs.” She was not convinced that my daughter already knew to read except (at that time) for one vowel sign…..
The most worrisome thing told us by a doctor: “Yeah, I had a kid with Down syndrome, but I was lucky. He died at a few months of age.” (In such a doctor you can have confidence?)
The most insulting thing told me by a “friend” (She was commenting on my husband’s assertion that he didn’t mind if our older daughter married someone of Sephardic extraction): “I guess he’s not the very picky type, he married you….” (The hilarious thing is that she didn’t even realize that she had just stuck her foot in her mouth. We were talking by phone, my mouth was open in shock and she just kept bulldozing ahead….) I no longer consider her a friend, but I try not to be angry, viewing her as someone simply incapacitated in the area of social nuances. (I am not her only victim.)
The saddest thing told me by a new parent: “What!???!! You have a daughter with Down syndrome, and she can speak??!!???!!!!!” The saddest thing was that she repeated this line a few months later. She was not listening, nor capable of hearing. This I found even worse than the parent who told me she hoped her kid would die. She was OK a few months later…..
The Worst thing told me in Public: “I see your daughter is hard to handle. Why didn’t you abort her? You know they have nice clean institutions….”
OK., the lady was an uneducated 70 year –old, but it still threw me. The lady next to her gasped and turned purple in shock and said “They don’t DO that anymore” (Bless her.)
The Most Destructive Midah (Character Trait): remembering forever all the wicked things people say….
You don't need a Down's kids for insulting/stupid comments. I was told:
"Your kids are so smart; they must take after your husband." And then that person kept looking at me waiting for a "thank you."
I was so shocked, I couldn't think of what to say. Now I know what I should have said: "Are you saying that only an idiot would have married him?" Or can you think of a better answer?
Yes, actually the insulting comment had nothing to do with Ricki........
My boss gave me a line years ago when I was floored by someone's comment and mentioned that at work. I guess it was from Dear Abby and I use it (or some variation) with pretty good success: "I can't imagine what would make you say something like that..."
Pretty wild... thanks for sharing. We all make mistakes, I guess. What get me is the thought that how many times I've insulted someone without knowing it, and that person is possibly still angry at me for saying it. It must be true, if the opposite is also true...
I hope writing about these experiences has helped you get over them a little.
I am mollified at what some of these so called "professionals" say in their capacity of work (doctor, principal). I, too, have stuck my foot in my mouth.
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