Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

The Coping Scene

My daughters are quite different in many ways, and the way they see me is one of them. Right now, Mary notices when I have the slightest limp, especially when I first get out of bed in the morning. She is overly solicitous. She talks of wheelchairs and of avoiding strain on my knees. I do appreciate that she notices in that she isn't likely to drag me around town shopping, for example. Elaine tends not to notice or else simply does not recognize that I am in pain much of the time. I am just as glad that she doesn't realize it. There isn't anything she can do and I have the option of saying no from time to time when options arise. There are times, though, when I go along and find myself in situations where my insides are screaming for relief but I don't want to make any waves. I can always get through stuff, can tough my way through, and usually the worst that happens is that I suffer for a few days or so, find myself in more pain.

The other day, when we went to the site of the WTC (I do not like calling it "ground zero") she said she wanted to shop at a discount department store near there, too. I asked if there were seats where I could sit now and then. She suggested that I stay in a coffee shop or cafe if it got too difficult, and that's what I did. That worked well, I think because she knows I am not crying wolf.

On balance I prefer to have my disabilities "not noticed", allowing me to step up from time to time, to mention that some activities might not be what I want to do. The funny thing is that it isn't my own comfort that often motivates me to say out loud that I maybe should opt out of an activity. The motivation comes from how much I hold others back - their comfort. Perhaps this is another reason I like doing a lot of things alone. I can take however long I need to and not feel like I am holding anyone else back.

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