Well. That was insensitive…

So recently I was browsing one of my favorite websites and came across a post titled “BEST PUNS OF ALL TIME!!!” Or something similar. Now those of you who know me know that I love love LOVE PUNS! They’re like my favorite things ever.

The puns on the post were really good, and I hadn’t seen most of them before. I was enjoying myself until I got to this one:

“Don’t let an extra chromosome get you down!”

My heart sank. I don’t know how to express my feelings about this in words. I wasn’t angry, although I probably should have been. I just felt a deep disappointment that people would so casually joke about human beings.

But then I looked again, and considered something. Hadn’t I just laughed at the pun involving “a rabbi, a priest, and an astronaut?” Hadn’t I just laughed hysterically at a demeaning celebrity joke my friend told me? And I’m sure I laughed harder than I ever have at the “suburban white girl” joke I heard.

The pun about Down syndrome was wrong. It was insensitive and demeaning. But I think it was more demeaning to me because I am familiar with the stigma surrounding disability.

And it made me think: have the jokes I’ve made and laughed at hurt other people?

I’m glad I read that pun, because it served an important purpose. It Wasn’t the intended purpose,but it made me think about how words really can hurt.

I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this!

A strongly worded letter

The past few months, as many of you know, i’ve experienced an upswing in symptoms.

Simultaneously, I’ve been harping on my apartment complex to come look at some scary looking who knows what in my bathroom vent.

Well, four days ago my friend came by and saw the scary looking stuff. He recognized it as black mold and the probable cause of many of my symptoms.

So, I submitted another maintenance request.

Nothing.

I told my dad about my frustrations, and he said he’d try and figure out something.

Fast forward to yesterday. At 9 am I get a knock at my door. It’s maintenance along with the manager of my apartment complex! FINALLY! What prompted you to come?

Oh? A strongly worded email from my father sent 20 minutes ago, including the words “seizure” “liability” and “health department?”

Sometimes that’s all it takes. Although next time, dad, I’d appreciate it if you don’t send the email at 8:30 in the morning!

Ask away

I LOVE when people ask me questions about my TS. Not because I like talking about myself (although I’ll admit that’s true ,) but because the more people ask, the more people know.

Tourette’s is confusing as heck. I readily admit that I don’t understand half of the stuff it makes me do. Sometimes people ask me questions and I have NO idea what the answer is.

“Where did that tic come from?”

“Uhhhh… The internet?”

But seriously. Even though I don’t know the answer to every question and am still figuring it out myself, I appreciate when people ask. This opens up a dialogue in which I can disclose what I DO know.

And knowing is half the battle!

Feeling good

It’s hard to feel good about yourself. A lot of times our society parallels feeling good about yourself or being proud of an accomplishment with bragging.

But guess what, It’s taken me a long time to have something that I can be proud of myself for, and I fully intend on celebrating it.

Yesterday I threw out all the candy in my house. And the cookies. Aaaand the chips. And all the self deprecating humor (haha NOT.)

For the past two weeks, I’ve been working out at least every other day. It’s not much to be proud of, but I am.

Don’t EVER be afraid to be proud of yourself. Sometimes a little pride and bragging is just what you need to keep going 🙂

So how am I celebrating this momentous achievement! WITH CHEESECAKE!

Haha, just kidding. But I did say I didn’t throw away the self deprecating humor!

Acts of kindness

I haven’t really had many friends in the past, but now that I am in college I’ve found that people are much more mature than before, and take the time to actually get to know me before they judge me.

WHAT?!

For the first time in my life, I feel popular. The other day in class, 2 people wanted to be my partner. Heck, I don’t think anyone has EVER asked me to be their partner. It was always me asking , and the answer was always “no.”

I’m still getting used to the fact that people want to be my friend without anything in return, and that when I ask if someone wants to hang out, I’m not burdening them.

The point was really driven home the other day at an APO meeting (the service fraternity I’m in.) The president of the club announced that they were considering partnering with the ASL club to learn sign language, because when I had a seizure I was trying to sign something and nobody understood. When she asked who was interested, every hand shot up.

I was so touched by their gesture that I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I don’t know sign language!

That darn word

First, let me introduce the purpose of this post:

I HATE the “r word.”

Now, to elaborate:

For those who don’t know, the r word refers to the word ” retarded.” I don’t understand why anyone would use it. It’s degrading, and unnecessary. It’s no longer the medical terminology, thanks to Rosa’s law in 2010, and if there’s any possibility of it hurting someone, why would you use it?

It’s really that simple. But I hear it all the time-and I’m a college student!

Let me tell you a little bit about myself- I’m a wimp. I avoid confrontation at ALL costs. I’d literally be the worst salesman in the world . Don’t get me wrong, I’m passionate and always speak my mind, but if someone disagrees with me, I’ll say “oh, yes, I totally agree.” Or “I could totally be wrong. Yep, you know what, I’m wrong.”

I can’t stick to my guns, because I don’t like arguments and I don’t like seeing people unhappy.

Which brings us to the original purpose of this post: the r word.

I hear it. And I cringe. And I open my mouth to say something…..

….and I shut it. I can’t do it. Despite how passionately I hate the r word and want to advocate the ‘@$& out of anyone who says it, I can’t. And it hurts that I can’t, because I know how much the word hurts, and it is my job to make people aware of it.

I tried it once. I heard an acquaintance say it like 4 times and when I called him out on it, he said “I didn’t say it.”

…”oh. Ok. My bad. Sorry.” The most awkward 30 seconds ensued and I CONVINCED myself that I was stupid and wrong when in reality, he had said the word- 4 TIMES!

Does anyone have any advice on how I can- to put it colloquially- “grow a pair?”

Musings of a proud nerd, showtunes junkie and future special educator who just happens to have Tourette syndrome