Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
This has been happening to me for 51 years. people come up to me and ask me “what is wrong with your face?” and get mad at me if i don’t want to explain that it was partially paralyzed from medical (birth) malpractice. i don’t see why i ‘have’ to repeatedly talk about that; it happens before anything about me is asked, as if that’s all there is to me, period. my family didn’t raise me to think of myself as ‘wrong’ simply because of that incident, and i have gone ahead and tried to enjoy and live my life like anyone else. when i look in the mirror, i can appreciate my features; i don’t have an “all or nothing” idea about what beauty is, much less what an ‘acceptable’ human body is. this seems to be really lost on some people. i’ve noticed that those who don’t act as though i ‘must’ explain my body to them are generally positive in their attitude about life overall, and can make thoughtful remarks rather than presumptuous ones about me (such as “you must hate yourself/want to commit suicide/be in denial if you are happy, successful, have relationships with guys, etc.” what can i say to those people to make it clear i deserve as much respect as an individual as anyone else?
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