People say that the truth is not black or white and that it means something different to different people. I agree with those sentiments. Police will tell you that if four different people see the same accident you will have four different eyewitness accounts. They may all have seen the same accident but they interpret what they have seen differently. How we process information is directly related to our past experiences.
When individuals deal with crisis situations they deal with it individually. If you are dealing with a disease, there are others in similar circumstances. We may have the same disease but it manifests itself differently in each case and we process and deal with that manifestation as individuals. People ask me how I deal with the pain associated with MS. I don’t have any pain. People ask how I deal with the lack of sensation associated with MS. My sensation is just fine. It is difficult for people to understand just how different this disease can be from the next person’s. And you can’t blame them. People can only understand what they are told and it is difficult to fully explain a disease that is so idiosyncratic.
It is not my job to teach people about MS. It is not my job to raise the consciousness of strangers to the problems associated with disabilities. It is only my job to explain to people honestly what I am facing and what can help me and others, in similar circumstances, if they want to know. In truth, I can’t force people to care. The average person is concerned with paying their rent or completing a project for work. I must respect that and I do. What I must also do is insure that I am not forgotten or dismissed just because I am different. People do not have to join my cause but they must respect my fight. After all, I do respect them, mostly.