Is it me you’re looking for?
From the other side.
How are you?
All of the above are acceptable ways to end that sentence. It is a casual greeting that I tend to use a lot to normally colleagues and friends alike. However in this job I have really struggled with this. The people in this department are lovely, polite, friendly individuals yet I still have an issue with saying a simple “Hello”. Most people will probably interpret this as an act of extreme rudeness and that really is not the case, I am an under confident individual.
What does this have to do with your Learning Disabilities? This question is extremely valid in these circumstances. The answer is a lot. While people gain their confidence in many different ways in many different areas in their live I would suggest that people with Learning Disabilities face a lot of rejection and the feeling of being stuck on something simple whilst their classmates are able to move on to another task with such ease. The notion of constantly being held back by a learning disability is extremely infuriating and whilst in my personal experience I have always grafted to get a good result however visibly completing a task with so much energy and ferocity not only tires an individual out but also shows the disadvantage we have. It is exhausting. Therefore when someone has seen a moment of frustration at trying to complete a simple task it can be hard to have the confidence to recover from it.
Grafting, temerity and ferocity are how I am able to function at an acceptable level compared to other individuals. Neither the verb nor two nouns that follow have particularly positive connotations; I naturally assume that this must reflect badly on me. So, when I see people that I know from the department I naturally look down is to avoid their eye contact so that they have less chance of remembering my fumbling faux pas and just assuming I’m a rude individual instead.
Today however I did not do that. Within this office I have a desk mate who is an intern for someone else in the department. He will come in naturally to visit his Intern regularly and for the past three times he has visited I have done something embarrassing each time: I have fallen off my chair, forgotten how to spell the word “about” and walked in to the door frame. All of these can be explained by one of my three Learning Disabilities. Today I was fed up with coming across as rude and when I heard his particular footsteps in the corridor I looked up in the eye and said brightly “Hello”. Although it is a small simple step it does mean that I have achieved something which to me is massive.