By Adam Bailey
At school, they complain that my son is his own island and does not want to play with the other kids. Also that the other kids are scared of him. He is borderline being pushed back into the classes with more extreme disabled kids where there is more support for him and he wont get in the way of the other children’s learning, as well as his own. My wife wants to push him into figuring this out and staying so he knows he has to work harder to keep up, instead of putting him somewhere that will just accommodate his disability and he'll stop pushing himself.
At work, I feel like I am my own island and do not want to talk to my coworkers, also that the coworkers avoid me as a jerk and tattle tale. I am borderline needing to find work where I can avoid people and corporate gray area, so I don’t affect my coworkers and my supervisors job, as well as my own. My therapist wants to push me into figuring this out and staying so I work harder to keep up, instead of putting me somewhere that will just accommodate my disability and i'll stop pushing myself.
We are both islands. Our islands are awesome, but only to us. An island cannot simply fit into a school or workplace setting. Most others cannot feel comfortable on our islands, because it is so odd there. We cannot feel comfortable leaving our islands for very long, because it is so odd outside them.
It takes a perfect balance all the time in order to get by, and as soon as we stop working as hard, things get really difficult really quick. We see that others do not have to push themselves so hard all the time, and as a matter of fact, some others seem to be breezing through having a good time. Those people will even go as far as to tell us how easy it is.
This is how we are, the real-life us. These islands are part of our bodies. Standing on the hot pavement in the city, being pushed and rushed by oddities in the shape of people saying things we don’t always understand, we have to work harder than most. Thankfully, this is not the end of the adventure. We will both learn to close our eyes, and feel the sand in our toes. We can learn to hear the ocean. We can survive.