Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Invisible "disability"

I already posted once today but since I'm spending my energy on coping right now anyway, I may as well give myself some language therapy and get this out on e-paper.

Have I blogged before about my shared office and the overhead fluorescent lighting therein? Probably. Well it's back to that then. Right now, there is a tour bus outside of my window idling (grimdgrindgrind) and my coworker who needs the lights on has just arrived and it feels like someone is screaming in my face or like my office a huge, horrible white noise machine...and tears are just barely contained in my eyeballs.

I can't work like this, I really can't. I have gone through the building trying to find a better workspace for myself but there's aren't really other options...ah yes, I DID write about this before, about how I was going to be a real warrior and advocate for myself and ask for a new workspace. Well knowing there's not other location options really dampened my chutzpah.

I am terrified of making people think that I'm high maintenance. I hate being someone who asks for special exceptions, which is why I generally don't. I tolerate until I can get away, far, far away. But I can't get away from this.

When people cannot see your disability it can be harder for them to really understand what your issue is. I'm really angry at my very nice coworker right now but am fully aware that it makes no sense. I'm the one that hasn't been proactive and hasn't spoken up. She's the one that was proactive and spoke up that she couldn't work with the light off. It's a matter of sensory torture but I also don't like the idea of wearing a neon "disability" sign on my chest. That's a totally layered and loaded issue but I think it's mostly a human nature issue: most of us, at our core, do not truly like to be "different", especially in ways that we can't choose.

I have no idea what I am going to do.


  1. wear some foam earplugs--I do it on airplanes so I can fall asleep easier. Yet you can still hear enough like when the steward comes by.

  2. Yep, tried the earplugs many times...they're plentiful because I work at a theater :) No dice. I really just need to be working in a room with the lights off, no other people, and earphoned music.

  3. Your words: "When people cannot see your disability it can be harder for them to really understand what your issue is." That's the truth. I don't even try to explain my (whatever ya wanna call it) to people anymore. Not just because they can't understand, but they(most people) probably don't give a (whatever ya wanna call it) about how I feel, what I know or what I think.

    After a while it stops hurting I reckon. :)

  4. I like to think that one of the defining factors of a human being is empathy. Psychiatric guidelines presume so as well...but I think a larger than we'd like to think percentage of the population is a little low on the stuff. And increased economic stress, which seems to be hitting a lot of people right now, seems to lower some people's ability to think for anyone's benefit but their own...which is exactly what you shouldn't do when faced with difficulty. Rambleramble...rambleramble :)