Drawing a Line in the Sand for Self Advocacy

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For years, I’ve gone at full speed, living off of adrenaline and passion, successfully dividing my time among the “must do’s” and some “want to dos,” shedding and sacrificing the rest for the greater good. I have created my normal out of a new normal existence after the homicide of my father many years ago. I have always made a patchwork quilt of organization and juggling with incredible endurance that has served me well for the most part.

Earning a living in health care and then in a stilted government environment that expects me to play the bureaucratic game within the box is contrasted by a wild card of creativity consisting of writing, blogging, radio hosting, promoting, and consulting. Included in that life, admittedly I sometimes go kicking and screaming at the artificiality of social media which is clearly not my style.  

Entering the electronic world challenges my coordination and patience more than the average bear. But I keep going…

I have lived a lifetime with a permanent disability, classified severe, on paper, but just a nuisance in reality and through years of honing compensatory strategies to do what needs to be done when no one else is around. This has become second nature.

Over a decade ago I focused on future goals to live in a warm climate to make life easier when older age catches up. I delved into the experience of becoming a second homeowner in my chosen transplanted state as an investment and to live a more peaceful solo life someday.  Four years into the real estate game, I have learned so much on this tumultuous ride. At the same time, other opportunities for which I have waited so long, may be finally coalescing.

Prosthetic and orthotic technology just entered my world at this busy time in life as well, potentially opening the door to safer, more efficient, and an easier manner of walking and positively affecting longevity once the bugs are worked out through creative problem solving. Who would have thought this was possible?

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And then….

Life catches up and you realize how much energy you are expending. For example, when you travel solo with a disability, although I pack well, and try to be as organized as possible,  I have learned my limitations. I may be able to board the plane first, but I can only carry so much with crutches and balance issues. I have no one to watch my possessions. There is no one to wait on you to run up for a cup of coffee or a meal during a layover. Sometimes, I do not have the luxury of time to use the facilities when they put you through the paces at security.  I am dependent upon others for assistance and must also carry plenty of tip money.

For each trip I am known as the wheelchair person in order to make my connections on time. This is only temporary and then I can return to the genuine unique person I always was once I arrive at my destination. All this is necessary in order to experience life, to travel versus being stuck in your house if you can figure out a plan.

All of the above is pretty routine for me.  However, it all changed for me in a split second  after a recent business- vacation trip- an epiphany of sorts! Due to extreme, premature winter weather, I, along with thousands of others, endured numerous changes, five for me, involving itinerary time, terminal, airline and connection changes. Following this ordeal, the freak Northeastern Pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm made me face further limits of my resilience, endurance, and sanity on top of the six hour flight delays.

I never felt so alone and helpless in my life with nowhere to turn.

Upon returning to snowy Connecticut, I summarized it as such-

“Late Night Update- 11:30 p.m. I just got home since the initially intended 12:40 p.m noonish flight and after a very hazardous and careful 2 hour drive from the airport driving 20 mph all the way from the airport! (normally a 45 minute drive)  Got stuck twice. Thanks Mr. State Policeman who was shutting down Rt -5-15 and told me to go through Wethersfield-(a bit better) and the truck driver who helped; My phone died, then they hadn’t yet plowed my condo complex! The snow was too high for me to walk! Thanks Ralph the orange payloader guy who just carried my suitcases and parked my car for me! I have to commend the pilots from Charlotte to Hartford- Windsor Locks for their skills! But, I personally, have to get out of this God forsaken State ASAP! Too much abuse, trauma and drama! I’m going to bed in my clothes…”

It has taken a good 48 hours to recover physically and psychologically from this ordeal, as I am not as young or agile as I used to be. I have decided and tearfully confirmed with a family member, that I can no longer stand firmly with one foot in two states, especially one that has 10 inches of snow in November!  I have fought this fight for years and do not, cannot struggle alone in the snow in the manner described above ever again.

I have to be better to myself, and seize all opportunities that come my way or create new ones to leave as soon as possible. I have reached my limit for these burdens and cannot carry them anymore. It is high time to simplify, downsize from my birth state with a dark and dismal future of survival, and make my life easier even if I have to continue to go it alone.

I have officially drawn my line in the sand! I feel a sense of relief, knowing that this has to come sooner versus later.


If  you need assistance with writing a professional Victim Impact Statement, please refer to the Victim Impact Statement FAQ’s on this site.

To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

        

 

 

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