Meg Casey
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"Most Able Disabled"

Meg Casey's handicapped issues column

Handicapped mentality

Meg Casey
December 8, 1982

Dear Meg Casey,

I will I would like to know if there is such a thing as handicapped mentality? How does a disabled person feel about others? Do do they harbor resentment towards me because I'm a physically able to do what they cannot?

I’ve often wondered what it felt like.

From,
A Friend

Dear friend,

You ask a lot of questions for someone from Milford! (Couldn’t resist!)

To answer your first question: No, there's no such thing as a "handicapped mentality." That is too broad a statement to make about a classification including such a huge and varied group of individuals. Handicapped people are just people with a handicap and are subject to the same differences in intelligence and personality as anyone else.

Not every disabled person has a chip on shoulder. Not every white person belongs to the KKK.

I think what you are really referring to is an attitude of the handicapped. Then, I would have to say "maybe."

Some people some people suffer from a self-consciousness that comes across as hostility instead of a protective shield against hurt or embarrassment. Some are shy and others have a very vocal "poor me" complex.

As a curt word spoken can set your whole day off badly, to be an object of discrimination in some form can set your whole life off badly.

Perhaps the people simply haven't had a positive relationship with anyone before you came along. Be patient with them. You’ll both learn something. You're only as handicapped as you allow yourself to be. I truly believe that the human spirit is indomitable when seen through the eyes of an optimist.

This entire country was built by people who didn't fit in some where else in the world. People had dreams for their lives that they refused to give up, so they came here and made them happen.

They didn't wait for the gods to bridge the gaps for them. Some things you have to do for yourself.


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photographs and other content courtesy of the Casey family unless noted
blog posts and art by Meg Casey
originally published 1982 to 1985 in the Milford Citizen newspaper
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The original author disdained those only seeking to profit from tragedies.
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