Anytime I hear someone say 'I understand your situation', I simply roll my eyes. Some might see this as disrespect, but the reason I feel people say this is because it's just a nice way of saying 'I don't give a damn.'
I suppose part of me can't entirely blame them, though. Their life experiences are different from mine. Those folks haven't had to work nearly as hard as someone with a disability to obtain or maintain even the most basic of employment opportunities. They also haven't had to deal with the realities that a parent of a disabled child might have to, so naturally they wouldn't want anything to do with something that doesn't directly effect them.
There are other times, though, when I just want to slap those same people and simply say to them, 'You wouldn't last a day in my shoes,' or better yet 'You have no idea how easily something like this could happen to you.'
That's the reality that people in this country in general fail to understand. They, their parents, or their children could easily end up with a life changing disability or illness.
That brings me to another topic that I feel is relevant: Social Security. Those who know me here are aware that my dealings with them led to denial of claims 10 times in five years. I had collected benefits as a child, but lost them after my father died. When that happened, I was switched over to survivor's benefits because it was cheaper. I lost those after turning 18 because I had no idea how to fight for them then. Even after seeking a lawyer, writing letters to congressmen and senators, I was still fighting a losing battle.
By that point I'd started going back to school in the hopes of learning skills I could use to get what they called 'gainful employment'. Well, here I am, six years later and still unemployed because tech companies are outsourcing every aspect of Information Technology that's not nailed down, again, just to save a buck or two.
I hear people tell me all the time I have a lot of potential, but it's awful hard to realize said potential when the opportunities to do so simply are not there. Let me put this another way: I'd love to work, but that's denied to me at every turn because private and public sector employers would rather have other countries do work that WE should be doing just to save a few more bucks.
Look, I work hard, and I want meaningful employment as much as any other person does. How much more must I do to make employers or other people in general more comfortable? I'm not asking for much at all, but an opportunity sure as hell would be nice.
See you around,