Lies I have Believed

…I’m a gimpy doctor and THAT especially in beginning freaked everyone out. Now I am quite at home with my profession and found in the sweet nook of academic pediatrics that my disability is nearly an asset or at the least a neutral aspect of my professional life. I spent the better part of my 20s talking people into this concept. I refused to believe that I couldn’t be just as good as a pediatrician as anybody else and I worked my tail off for it.

That said, while I refused to believe that lie that society told me.  I believe others and as I emerge from the cocoon of medicine in this final year of formal training (which is code for I HAVE FREE TIME) I find myself in a web of misconceptions that I have neglected to deal with since college.

I recently have had the attention and affections of a boy in my life.  I find myself cynical and pessimistic. I find myself thinking there is no way he COULD REALLY LIKE ME LIKE THAT because why would a guy like a girl like me.  And when I say a girl like me the vision in my head is my most awkward disability moment of the week (dropping my pager in the running water of the sink or mishearing something or how much I hate my pointy elbows…)  Seriously these are the words that go through my head. I know, I know I sound like a 15 yo higher schooler….. I am developmentally delayed.

In my intellectual life, I know all about stigma, I have studied it in different languages, cultures and flavors.  I can tell you that stigma is so powerful that causes African mothers to hide their disabled babies in a corner of a hut never to see the sun or that in some places it leads to being abandoned on the side of the road to die or beg or whatever happens next.  I know about the folk lore of disability from vampires to Tiny TIm…to Ann Coulter   Intellectually I know all about stigma and the monstrous lies it weaves…and I don’t believe them….

Ok yes I do. yes I really do.

Spiritually, I know all about the curse not of disability but of its misunderstanding.  Of faith healing, of exorcisms, of drowned babies, of witch doctors and shamamens, of oppression, of beggars at the temples and cathedrals of the world or our inspiring testimonial pedestals  and everything else that compounds the life of those who are different in our spiritual lives.  I know all about disability and I know the truth of Christ’s redemption and kingdom. I don’t believe the lies….

Oh wait…yes I do.  I believe them….

My heart is still human and fragile and wary of monsters…. Wary that while my community did not abandon me on the side of the road, they don’t quite value me beyond the inspirational freak show that makes a nice testimonial or life time movie special   I don’t trust easily, I lack faith that people really see me as an actual regular human being who is not just a tagline for making themselves feel like maybe their life is just not that bad. …And yes I have my share of pity dates in the past….

So this is all new to me. This believing that I can be valued in this way.  I know I am behind a decade. I know I have been believing lives.

but sometimes truth takes time.  sometimes we have to fan the flame a bit and stare into its glow and warmth before we can believe.

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2 responses to “Lies I have Believed

  1. I share with you in my own set so critiques based off my own perceptions. But I rest from myself when leaning on the Lord. While this it a bit off your topic I think you my also benefit on a concept that keeps me from driving myself crazy…. Worry is just prayer backwards, so turn it around. For example, one of my worries..what if they judge me and hurt my feelings.. turn it around, Lord give me the strength to be confindant in who I am, who you made me to be and help others to see me as you do. Amen. And your right it takes time and work but every bit worth the continual effort. Be blessed!

  2. I believe the lies about womanhood, about my “place” in society, about my “role” in the family. I believe the lies about beauty and what is valued as beautiful, and that “thin” is optimal. I believe the lies that if I just get through the next few weeks, I’ll finally shake the nagging sense that the black cloud of depression is slowly taking over, and if I eat right, sleep well, think happy thoughts, it will just go away. I believe the lie that I am broken and that its me, not the delicate balance of chemicals in my brain.
    I believe the lie that everyone else is better than me, handles life better than me, and has more ambition, motivation, and yes, inspiration.

    That said, we all have lies we believe, and we’re all deades behind, I just hope someone can walk me through the process of catching up.

    I love you dearly, friend. Miss you too…. Thanks for writing this.

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