I have come to accept the fact that when I walk down the street, in the grocery store, or to a doctor's appointment, someone is going to ask me "What's wrong? What's your problem? Why are you saying no? Why are you doing that with your head?" As I mentioned in a prior post, accepting does not mean you have to like it. Some days, I simply answer "I have a movement disorder," but other times I am so annoyed by their stupidity and ignorance (I know, I'm making judgements) that I can't help but reflect that back on them.
I realize that the first time you see me, it's a bit of a shock, it raises eyebrows, and makes people wonder what in the world I am doing. But after you have spent at least 30 seconds looking at me, you'll see it's NOT stopping, and perhaps notice other small twitches. I have no doubt I look odd, or even troubled, as my head shakes back and forth. And I appreciate people's general concern, but sometimes people need to think before they speak.
While at the train station the other day, waiting for a delayed train, and surrounded by second glances and stares, a woman on the far end of the platform came walking towards me. As I watched her approaching, I could see she was looking directly at me, and heading straight for me. "Is this the platform for the southbound train?" she asked out of breath.
"No, this IS the platform for the southbound train." I said clearly.
"It's NOT the platform?" her head cocked to the side.
"You are on the right platform if you are going south."
"I don't understand." she said "You're saying no."
"I always say no." I said shortly, "but you are on the right platform." She walked away satisfied with my answer, but I couldn't help thinking, in your entire stride walking up to me, did you not notice my head was moving? When you stood right in front of me, did my head stop shaking? NO. So wouldn't you, although possibly in a state of puzzlement, come to the conclusion that my head is not going to stop moving just because you asked me a question? Especially when I am answering you?!? There is so much truth behind "think before you speak."
While on the train, a woman asked if she could sit next to me.
"I can't sit here?"
I moved my bag and said "Sure, you can sit here."
"UGH!" she exclaimed with an eye roll, and stomped off in the opposite direction.
I couldn't help but laugh. Some people just don't listen, even when they are the ones asking the question. Again, this was an instance where I questioned people's lack of awareness. And how they can take things so personally. Myself included. These are moments I think, maybe I'm not the only one who's head just isn't screwed on tight.