Another Type of Exclusion

I’ve been wanting to cry all day.  Physically I can’t seem to make it happen.  Maybe that is a left over response from when I was a child and I wasn’t allowed to, or maybe it’s because of my better angel on my shoulder saying “be thankful things are not worse”.  Whatever the reason, this feeling sucks.

It’s the last day of school for our eldest today.  One of my closest friends, a mother of another child in my son’s class, mother of my child’s best friend in fact, has organised to go to coffee with another parent as a bit of a break up day for the grown ups thing.  I wasn’t invited.  Nor was anyone else, so I am trying to not take it personally.

Another close friend is also going to a break up day for the parents event.  These are parents from another class, so I am trying to not take it personally.

That same friend goes out on the weekend and knows I would love to go out with her, but she never invites me.  Most (if not all) establishments in town have stairs, plus quite often I’m ill anyway, so I am trying to not take it personally.

In some respects, I am lucky in that I have a lot of friends who I consider close.  People who I would do anything for, or give anything to.  People who, if I won the lotto, would be taken care of, no questions asked and with no expectations.

My better angel keeps trying to placate my not so better angel.  “They know you are sick and assume you can’t go.”  “It’s not like they think ‘Should we invite her?’ and then go ‘nah!'”.  “It’s too complicated to take you along with the wheelchair and lack of access and everything.”

It IS personal.  I am personally sitting here, writing this, instead of being out enjoying my son’s last day at school (and his very last day at this particular school).  My husband will leave soon to take photo’s for him, and give his teacher a card and gift, and bring all his books home.  My husband will be there to say goodbye to the people who have been in our lives over the last four years.

My husband can’t take me because he dislocated his shoulder and it still hasn’t healed properly.  And I don’t want him to take me because if I have to hear about how great the outings were in person, I’ll probably end up crying right there and then.

These are good people, my friends.  One of them just yesterday, went shopping for me.  And the other, when my husband dislocated his shoulder, came straight over to help us out.  Both HAVE taken me out before, on occasion.  I love them, and I know for sure that if they read this, they would probably be mortified.  And I nearly didn’t write it for that reason alone.

But it needs to be written.  People need to know that this is what exclusion looks like and feels like.  It’s insidious.  It looks like the girl who is rarely invited anywhere, who sits at home alone, wanting to cry.

It feels like I’m worthless.  It feels like I have no “hang out for the fun of it” value.

And to top it all off, I feel like a shite mother because I can’t be there for my son.  I know he understands, but I hate that he has to.


Disability consumer and activist. Pissed off since 1995... Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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9 comments on “Another Type of Exclusion
  1. addercatter says:

    Ahhh… I know these feelings too. I feel like you and I… and many others like us, would have a great time together if we were in the same area.

    Being left out… left out of life… it hurts. I’m proud of you for writing this. You are touching people’s lives each time you put your feelings out here in the wide open internet world. People like us. People who need to know that they aren’t alone in what they are going through.

    Hugs =^..^=

  2. ouremuk66 says:

    I am sure it isn’t personal but I equally sure it feels that way, and I wish for you that it didn’t .

    I don’t know what else to say, but I am certain that your son will not only understand but be at peace with his understanding – this is just how it is. It doesn’t make you less of a mother to him.

  3. Ursula Irwin says:

    Hi Linda,
    I found your blog after seeing your comment on a recent article by Corrinne Grant today. In particular, my heart sank when you articulated so bluntly (a language I can understand) how your disability has seen your relationships with your family and friends go down the drain (I was a bit intrigued about the candle party thing. Who would stop talking to someone because they wouldn’t attend a party-plan – but I am sure it is more complex than that).
    Reading this particular post about exclusion at the hands of your friends, my heart sank even more because I can think of so many other ways that would allow you to be included and you wouldn’t even have to leave your house.
    Well done for writing this, it takes a heap of bravery to say these things of your friends. I hope you find it in you to have a good cry and I’ll keep reading and maybe commenting along the way. Does your blog have a Facebook page? I’d like to like it.

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Pissed off since 1995. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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