Imposter Syndrome

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

I had been thinking just now. In the movie Dumbo, he was singled out and made fun of because of his big ears. Did that mean he had something wrong with him and he was abnormal? He just had oversized ears. The other elephants just didn’t tolerate it and kids laughed at him about it and his mother tried to protect him only to be mistaken as a mad elephant. I am sure many people with disabilities can relate to this movie.

In Beauty and the Beast, Belle liked to read and the whole town made fun of her. Did that mean she is abnormal and had something wrong with her? She just had a different interest than other people, she liked to read and be in her own world and be somewhere else. Her own father liked to invent things, did that mean he had something wrong with him? The whole village thought he was crazy too but yet they all liked Gaston. I am sure people with disabilities, especially those with autism could relate to her and her dad because of their interests.

Then there is Ariel, she had an obsession with humans and liked collecting human things. Did that make her abnormal and mean she had something wrong with her? She didn’t conform to her kingdom norms and she kept on disobeying her father. She had her own ideas and kept following her dream and even sacrificed her voice to be with a human she was in love with. She was also in her own world because she didn’t seem to interact with her sisters. She was just too into her human interest. I am sure autistic people and introverts could relate to her.

I have noticed Disney had already made movies about differences and how some people are just different than others and making other characters make fun of them and single them out and I never thought there was something wrong with Dumbo, Belle, and Ariel. They also did it again with Finding Dory but I have yet to see the movie. I heard they had other birds make fun of this one bird and that caused a controversy. To me this was nothing new and they had already done it in their other movies which is what I had already listed.

I on the other hand communicate different, approach people different, see things differently, learn differently, I function differently and I care about people differently. What if my mother was right all along and there is nothing wrong with me? What if I don’t have a disorder and it was just other kids that were the problem and the school staff? They just didn’t understand me because I wasn’t like them so they treated me as if I were abnormal. What if it’s other people that are the problem so they ignore me? I don’t mind really because I don’t like to be bothered and I prefer to read or play my game than chit chat and being interrupted. What if that part of me is just a difference than a disability? What if I don’t have anxiety and I am just mistaken as having it because of my differences? What if I don’t have a learning disability? What if I don’t have a true disability and I am just normal? What if my mother was right and it was actually other people who are the problem? It’s a shame how intolerant people are of differences so they treat you like you have something wrong with you. Then you are dealing with “impairments” because of ignorant people who are acting like a bunch of narcissists.

I am sure there are people out there who get diagnosed with a disorder when they clearly don’t have one and their problem is just with people who don’t understand. I often see autistic people arguing that autism isn’t a disability, it’s just a difference, what if those people don’t have autism either and they are just different? They are not disabled, they do not have a disorder, they are just different but they are diagnosed because of people so a label gets placed on them? I believe the high functioning ones, especially the ones who are close to normal think like this. The ones who are truly handicapped by it wouldn’t be saying this.

Just where do we draw the line for differences and disability? Just when does difference become a disability? What if their differences was holding them back and giving them road blocks because of the way life is set up and it’s not made for their difference and what if too many people around them were just ignorant of differences so it impacted their life, is that when a doctor diagnoses them?

I am on SSDI and I often wonder if I truly belong on it and I just need to try harder or is it just my difference because of the way life is set up and ignorant people so I am seen as disabled by society?

I am reading The Difficult Child and I am puzzled about how can these children not have anything wrong with them, how can they be normal? Their differences is putting a strain on their families and affecting their learning environment and their peers and it’s also impacting their lives so how is this not a disorder they have? It’s giving them an impairment. Stanley Turecki could be one of those doctors who don’t like to label kids and he sees everyone as normal. Of course he doesn’t deny disorders don’t exist. What I learned in his book that was revised in 1989 is even kids back in the 80’s were being diagnosed when they isn’t anything wrong with them and they are just difficult so it’s not anything new that kids today are being diagnosed with disorders now just because they are different. This book gives me a different perspective and helps me understand where my mom comes from when she says I am normal and have nothing wrong with me. She read this book when I was a kid because I remember seeing her reading it and back when I saw the front cover, I felt bad because I knew I was a difficult child or else she wouldn’t be reading it. She never wanted to take me to any developmental specialists, she only took me to clinical psychologists who work with kids who have problems. That includes anxiety, depression, anger, ADHD, learning disabilities, OCD, etc but not developmental disorders or language disorders. I can also see why now she didn’t tell me about ADD or sensory processing disorder or dyspraxia when I was in 4th and 5th grade and 6th grade when I would ask what was wrong with me. She said she didn’t know what was wrong with me either and she might not have agreed with those diagnoses even though she did tell me when I was 15 I did have dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder but I had grown out of them. I asked her about ADD and she said I truly had it. But then imposter syndrome still kicks in again because I am thinking again “but what if I didn’t have any of these?” Turecki mentioned sensory issues in his book and he implied these things were normal in difficult children and he wrote difficult children are normal. But then again how can they be considered normal if they put a strain on their siblings and parents and if their issues impact their life and affecting their learning environment? When does it become a disorder?

To my mother normal means functional in society so that would mean Temple Grandin is normal and Bones. They both function well in society and get along with people even though Grandin prefers isolation. But she is still functional because she has appropriate behavior and social skills and she has a job and lives on her own and takes care of herself well. I have seen some episodes of Bones and she is also functional in that despite her poor social skills. She lives on her own, can talk to people, have conversations, gets along with everyone. I am sure my mother would consider Helen Keller as normal. Yeah she was blind and deaf but she was still functional. I wonder if she would consider my husband as normal. He isolates himself in the basement playing his computer game all day long and he doesn’t like to be around people he isn’t familiar with. He shuts down in them and he also has bad feet so it limits his daily life. The more he uses his feet, the more pain he is in and the more he has to rest them so he ends up not being able to do much because he has to rest them. They hurt too much for him to use them. When they are not hurting as bad, he can stand on them and do more until he sits down again and then he can barely walk. So using wheelchairs on our Wisconsin trip was a life saver because it allowed him to enjoy the trip because he didn’t have to use his feet and we used a wheelchair whenever they were available and we used one at the airports for him.

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