Controlling emotional reactions resulting from disabilites involves gradual relearning interspersed with occasional setbacks.
The pathway to emotional maturity that got me to where I want to be is bio feedback. Until receiving bio feedback, controlling my emotional reactions seemed impossible.
Vocational Rehab and Free Labor
My brain damaged opinion, at the time, was that vocational rehab was designed to get free labor out of people with disabilities. Having me count and label medical supplies, everything from catheters to syringes wasn’t giving me any marketable skills but it was eliminating the need for the hospital to pay someone else to do it.
Disgusted at my then current situation, but grateful that I’m no longer in a wheelchair, I leaned back against the metal pole at one end of the glass and metal bus stop. The bus home should be along any minute.
It’s cloudy and the streets are wet, but it’s not raining, a typical November afternoon. Two men in business suits a young woman in nice clothes, a heavy set, middle aged woman in some kind of dark green what could be a janitorial uniform also waited silently.
A guy in his 20’s with no visible signs of impairment approaches the bus stop and stops right in front of me.
“Can you spare some change?” he asks.
“Huh?” I’m thinking. I just spent four hours counting catheters in a program that was supposedly designed to help me be ready to one day go back to work, and this guy wants something for nothing?
An overpowering indignant rage possesses me like a devil from the fiery pit. Leaning on my cane, I step toward him.
“Forget it!” I bark in my speech impaired voice. Not too upset, he goes next to the nicely dressed young women Trying to ignore my protests, he repeats his request to her, but he underestimated the depth of my feelings.
My indignation told me I was right, but looking back, I think my self pity regarding my disabled condition was speaking for me.
Winners Don’t Quit!
My feelings regarding my circumstances ran deep and so when the panhandler again moved away to the next person in line, I followed.
“Quit asking for free money,” I shout. I’m pretty sure my speech impairment kept any of them from understanding what I was saying, but my intentions were beyond clear.
Again he moved, but I was like one of those little ankle biter dogs. I wouldn’t let him be. Finally he gave up and went in search of an easier location.
“Thanks,” the well dressed young lady said. Her thanking me made me feel good, but if the same incident were to happen today, I wouldn’t feel the same need to interfere with the panhandler’s program.
I would do what I can to keep someone from kidnapping or hurting a kid or someone else, but trying to control what someone else does, for no reason other than to inflict my sense of right or wrong on them, requires more energy than I’m currently willing to exert.
Life is best when I control my Attitude and let you control yours.