Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Living single

My  parents worry about me and it's not that difficult to understand why. No matter how old I get and how independent I still have a disability that makes me potentially vulnerable. They are used to the lifelong mindset that I require special care and attention. I also live half way across the world which is I imagine, difficult for every loving parent. They have limited and fragmented information about how I live and what makes me happy. As nothing major is happening really and all I do is meet people, go about my weekly routines and dedicate most of my time to the Klausner Foundation in hopes for the next breakthrough there's never anything groundbreaking to say. How do you communicate things as trivial as I just had an amazing latte, I had a blast at the bar last night or I saw the' most intriguing person today. All they are left with is that I am single and I live by myself. But that's the way I want it. Small things make me happy and I like my life. Yes, it does get occasionally lonely come holiday seasons when all my friends that usually surround me leave town. But I'm content nevertheless. I used to have roommates when I first moved to America. Originally it felt like I should do whatever I can to be as much accommodating to them as I can so they don't get up and move somewhere else. That is the self image I left Poland with I guess, that I'm some kind of a burden, that I should be happy to have someone wanting to live with me and maybe in turn they will help me with something if I need it. The first problem with this logic is that even though you share a space with someone doesn't mean that they care about you. If anything it gives you an illusionary sense of security that someone is there when you slip, trip or fall. I liked quite a few of my roommates, but they were never home enough for us to be friends. And then you have to deal with somebody leaving their items in the living room, laundry or sink  and the other person not liking it.  Fighting over bathroom, cleaning, counter and fridge space. I also discovered I really don't like having people in my face all the time and I really like being  by myself at certain times. I like people and I tend to be very social, but at at my own turns- when I'm done I'm done. Come to think of it that's how my family was back in Poland as well- we would all retire to our separate rooms for large chunks of the day. Now I live by myself and I call all the shots. I can focus on whatever I want and have my little seclusion. I also have thin walls. I can hear my neighbors pretty well and if needed they will hear me too. I'm also friends with people to my left, right and above me. It is not scary for me to live here. I feel liked and accepted and knock on wood, no major catastrophe has happened. Still, I understand why this may seem scary if your disabled child takes off to a foreign country. It's as my friend who also had a neurological condition explained: it's an additional layer of protecting behavior stemming from the disability, this is how they they show they care. They worry and they want to know more about me. For now, my friends entertain and distract me, while the work for the foundation has to take center stage in my life. I'm on a mission. On some level it's a manifestation of my independence. I don't have to apologize that I have a disability, I can be who I want to be and live my life the way I want to.

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