Monday, May 18, 2009

On the Outside Looking In

Well it happened…or at least I think it did…I am not sure, maybe I perceived this all wrong, but the important part is that I think it happened…It was bound to happen given the sort of week I was having.

So here it is, yesterday I felt ostracized because I have a child with a disability. I was in the cry room with Quinn at church. When I walk in, there was another person there with his/her child (around the same age as Quinn). I speak to this person about the volume of the sound, adjust it, and then recheck with them that the adjustment was ok. I was friendly, but this person didn’t really say much. He/she minimally talked to me and kept looking at Quinn. Another person comes in with a baby. The first person proceeds to start talking to this new person non-stop. They are discussing their children’s temperaments, developmental milestones, where they live, etc – all while the sermon is going on. The first person initiates all this discussion. I thought to myself, it was like pulling teeth to have him/her talk to me, but now he/she is just chatting away with someone he/she obviously doesn't know. All I can hear in my mind is that “I don’t belong,”” I am on the outside,” “They don’t think I matter“– it isn’t like they want to know anything about Quinn. Just ignore the lady right next you who has the child with a disability. Pretend she doesn’t exist. We don’t want to know or think anything about that. That would be just way to intense for us to even see, think, feel...Mind you, all of this was going on while we should have been listening to the sermon (which I am betting had an entirely different message), but the volume I had set was drowned out by their chatting and the hurt thoughts circling around in my head.

So in this situation, I am already on the outside, what can I do? I decide to go with it – why not emphasize that I am on the outside? I work with Quinn on her signing. Might as well make some use of this time. I can feel eyes on me across the room. So be it.



  1. Oh Karyn, I'm so sorry :(. That really stinks. i think you handled it really well! Quinn is SO beautiful and I just can't believe those other ladies were so rude :( Hopefully these instances will be few and far in between! Hang in there!

  2. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, you handled it well. I'm honestly too wrapped up in Kayla to worry about what other people are doing or saying and I've always been an outsider anyway, so I guess I'm just used to it. In fact, I've found Kayla brings me out of my shell and I end up striking up more conversations with strangers because of her.

  3. This makes me so angry. You handled it really well, I can't say I would have been able to bite my tongue.

  4. I am starting to think that there are people who subconsciously fear that "it's" catchy. If they pretend we don't exist, then maybe it won't happen to them. It makes me feel sorry for them that they are so insecure and fearful that they cannot recognize and accept our adorable children for who they are.

    You're not an outsider, you're an insider, part of an amazing world that few know the true beauty of.