Talking about my disability is a sensitive subject

Young patient at the reception in the hospital
This is how I feel when people ask me about my disability

You would think that as a person who has spent eight months blogging about my disability that it’s a topic that comes naturally to me, something that I want to shout about from the mountain top, but to be completely transparent I don’t like talking about my disability. You may think that I am completely comfortable and confident about sharing details of my disability since I blog about it, but that is definitely not the case.

In a previous post I shared some specifics about my disability. I’ll be honest and say that it was extremely uncomfortable. If you read my last post, I stated that I was reluctant to share about my disability because of the book I’ve written. Well, another reason I was reluctant to share is because many people who know me don’t know what my disability is. They know I have a disability obviously, but they don’t know the nature of my disability. I don’t talk about it unless someone with intrusive questions ask. I stated in my very first post “overcoming the fear of sharing my testimony” that I feel asking a disable person about their nature of their disability is rude and I still feel that same way today. Discussing about the nature of their disability is a sensitive subject for some people.

 A lot of people couldn’t tell what I was dealing with on the outside, but I believed that they wouldn’t like me or would look at me different if they found out the truth. So, I buried my secret as deep as it could go. I never shared it with any of my close’s friends back in school. I can still remember all the questions I got from people asking why I was short. People didn’t know that a hole that I was born with in my spine caused me to be short. I didn’t want to explain so I would just let them go on with whatever theory they came up with.  

It was hard looking in the mirror and not like what I saw. When I’m around tall people I always feel a little inadequate. And when people that are taller than me make cracks about my height, they don’t understand that it is due to my disability and so I don’t find it funny. I’ve always appeared to look significantly younger than I am. When people saw how actually intelligent or how well I articulated myself , they were impressed. I want people to stop underestimating me. Just because I have physical disability does not mean I am incapable (except maybe when it comes to reaching the top shelves lol). Just because I have a disability doesn’t mean I am worth less than anyone else.

In an effort to not be underestimated, I sometimes hide things about myself. I don’t often talk about having a disability openly. I try to avoid situations where I’ll be asked about it. I feel that if people don’t know about my physical disability, they won’t underestimate me. I don’t want to be seen as “the disabled girl on crutches” I want people to get to know me for who I am. I have a desire to be deeply and truly known and a desire to point people to Jesus.

Published by: Kim Petitt

As a person living with a disability challenge is part of my life. I struggled with my identity and I recognize that I still have insecurities to face, but that doesn't mean I can't walk in everything God has purposed me to walk in despite my insecurities. Because of the nature of my condition and physical disability, God's grace is evident in my life everyday and I find strength in the word of God that says in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who gives me power". (CJB).

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17 thoughts on “Talking about my disability is a sensitive subject”

  1. Your picture tells a thousand words and is a bit funny, the guy cowering behind his desk.
    But I understand your point of view, people share when they are comfortable and should not be made to feel uncomfortable or inadequate.
    Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The picture made me laugh a little when I came across it and describes how I feel. As a person with a visible disability, although the crutches makes some people think I just broke my foot or something nonetheless I still dread that question, “what happened?” On one hand I just want my disability to be ignored but on the other hand I feel it is important for me to raise awareness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is the first time I comment. I have read some of your posts. I know he has treated his condition, but I am convinced that I deal with a normal person. Now I admire you more and I can say it because you bring to light your problem. I follow you because your writings are valuable to me. I enjoy them and if I have the opportunity to meet you in person, I would be flattered to hear you live and direct. It would be a great honor for me. You have a strength to overcome the problems of life and that will give you many satisfactions. I will continue reading you and you are KIM. A kiss.

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  3. Thanks Kim for sharing your story. It means a lot that you’re taking these tough steps of faith in order to inspire all of us and fulfill God’s purpose for your life. I know the Lord will continue to bless you for you faithfulness and obedience. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tell me why you give a s–t what other people think about you? You have a wonderful mind, it is a shame to waste it worrying about other people thoughts. I also have a disability called PTSD from Vietnam, but I work on keeping my mind on the present and what I am doing NOW! NOW is all we have, everything else is already History, or has yet to come into being. Like right now I am writing to you to change the narrative. Just be who you are, like I learned to admire the wonderful display that Nature brings to life on this Planet of ours. Sure, some people are fat, some are short, some are tall, this is the Body Nature presented YOU with, make the best of it, which is all anybody can do. Be Grateful that you have been gifted the gift of LIFE! Because before you know it, it will be over. You have the gift of being able to write words, make the best use of it! Advice from an old man……
    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Coming from someone who has a cleft lip/palate and a father with an extreme disability I understand what you mean that it’s disrespectful to ask someone about their disability especially if you are not close to that person. But I admire that even though you sit with discomfort your doing it anyways to teach others and hopefully make yourself feel more secure as well. Much love to you in your journey 💛

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    1. Thank you Ricky! And, thank you for sharing! The most common question I get asked, “what’s wrong with your legs?” I understand that people are just curious but it’s a sensitive subject for me and I don’t like to explain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish people could be a little more sensitive if they are going to ask you that because to me I would have thought they were being rude in their approach. I get crazy questions too like “Did you get into a fight” or “How’d you cut your lip?” After awhile it stopped being embarrassing for me and I just decided to educate the person asking with medical facts. Not everyone is like me though and not everyone wants to be pointed out like that either. You’re a strong lady Kim try not to let it get you too down.

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      2. I don’t get as defensive about it as I used too. Depending on whose asking, I usually turn it to an opportunity for me to share God with them. It amazes some people that in my condition, I serve God.

        You would be amazed at some of the things I’ve been asked. I like that you use that opportunity to educate people. We live in a world where people lack diplomacy and sometimes you have to just let it go and not take it personally.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey sometimes you got to give the situation to God, and to use your service in the lord to let people know about your faith is a great outlet for not only you but them as well. Anyone can serve the lord no matter the time, place, or physical state. That’s something more people should be open to.

        Thank you. I used to get bullied A LOT about it when I was little but at some point I remember just thinking to myself that instead of letting things get to me and taking it as someone belittling me I should take the chance to let them know what my cleft and myself are really about.

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      4. I got bullied too as I got older the bullying reduced as the other kids got used to it. I think you had a great outlook and it’s awesome that you didn’t let the bullying get to you, for most people its very hard. I remember coming home crying everyday. I didn’t understand why I was different and why other kids picked on me. I realized that all of that made me stronger, and it gives me a powerful testimony so that I can help others.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m here to say that everything you went through was well worth it because now you’re sharing your stories and faith with people who really need it. More power to you.

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