The Incredible Shrunk World of the Disabled Person  

Now, I am currently on vacation at my aunts’ place, who live in a small town in southern Kentucky. Now, this is unremarkable. What is remarkable is how incredibly small one of my aunts’ world can be at most times. It is hard for her to even get to the most basic, menial places. The place is fairly isolated, and the aunt I’m referring to has disabilities, too. It would be hard leaving her without any help for me, so I’m glad my other aunt can be somewhat helpful. What I marvel at his how small and shrunken the world for her seems.

I’m a person with a shrunken world, too. My parents divorced when I was sixteen, and my elder sister had already moved away, so nobody taught me how to drive. I need my mother to drive me places. On most days, my world does not extend past the end of our street. At least I walk the dog. Yet, on most days, my mother can barely walk upright, let alone get to the car. I do the cooking for both of us. At least it’s a short distance between her spots around the house. We live in a rather small apartment, and for me, at least, the walls can close in around both of us. When I write about these things, know this: I’m not writing for sympathy. I am writing to let you know how incredibly small the world of a disabled person can be.

Just so you know, I am turning forty in a few weeks. By comparison, many forty-year-olds have a job, a spouse, maybe some children, and a few activities to immerse themselves in. They often commute to work. They may have to drive some distance to get to the grocery store. My most common grocery store is just three blocks away. Fortunately, I can walk to many of my favorite places because they are within five blocks. Now, to get to something like paying the electric bill, I need someone to drive me. Good thing my mom drives. She also helps with my mental and emotional health, too. She’s very useful on several things. Of course, I cook and clean, and she appreciates it. We do for each other.

I never said either one of us is useless. We help each other daily. Without the other, it would be a very small world for both of us.


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Autistic woman in her 40s, bringing attention to issues that affect her and her kind.

2 thoughts on “The Incredible Shrunk World of the Disabled Person  ”

  1. I relate. I will be 40 next February and I don’t drive, either. Too much anxiety in my case, as well as deteriorating joints. My husband does all the driving. My world can feel pretty small most days, too.

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