11 March 2021
Recently, I posted a comment to another blog and it is the basis for this post. In case you are wondering, the comment will be the italicized paragraph below.
“I wrestled with the label of “disabled” for quite some time. Many of my friends do not see me as normal. Some of my friends and many family members think I am faking it and just milking the system so I don’t have to work…and then one of my many issues pop up. And the doubters [zealots;] turn[ed] a blind eye for months at a time. It wasn’t until recently that I started viewing everything from a different mindset. It comes down to this. I started looking at the numerous disabilities as industrial accidents. And the symptoms as my superpowers. I learned that a seizure can be very fun to use as an ability. I stopped being embarrassed about my disabilities and started treating them as special abilities. Seizures can lead people to a place of understanding and support, and they freak Norms out. Acute amnesia has shown friends what it’s like to wake up and not know them and is this a friendship worth pursuing. An episode after Depersonalization-Derealization Disease kicked in [which led to a psychotic break] showed a group of Norms where my heart lies.”
I grew up in a very traditional middle class family. I learned that if you can work, regardless of the level of discomfort or pain you have – you work. So when I was diagnosed with Epilepsy in September of 2017.
Philippians 61; Furthermore, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things pertain to love, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, or if there be any praise, think on these things, *which you have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me: those things do, and the God of peace shall be with you.
I was put on a variety of medications that made life different; I was put on disability. I was trapped in my own mind. The connection between my body, my senses and my mind was severed.
I would get lost following Sweets home from the grocery story. My mind had the same level of thought going on – however, to those on the outside, I was basically a walking vegetable. If it wasn’t for Sweets, my Defender and my wife, I would have had a very difficult time. Other defenders such as Bill from GHS and Brianna from TLC both in Flint helped out in their own ways through their professions.
They could see, as well as, anyone that didn’t allow their religious or political views to cloud their judgement that I was struggling. So I began seeking my own form of justice. And the Zealots kept trying to enforce their influence on me.
Life changed for me just recently when I started viewing things differently. Many times people would see me hobbling down the street. I would be using my crutch canes. And out of the blue would tell me (many of them complete strangers); “You are my hero” or “You give me encouragement.”
After they would move on I would have to ask Sweets; “Do we know them?” And oftentimes she would reply with; “No.” How am I a hero or an encouragement to someone that has no idea who I am or what I have walked through?
I am RR “Elroy” VanWoert and I am a Paladin.