Wednesday, 10 March 2010

One Day

Just one day I would like to go out….just one day… somewhere that people don’t stare at Violet, and I don’t mean stare quickly...I mean prolonged stares!

I have posted about this before and how it effects her here

I did a quiet survey the other day while at the shops where I thought it would be interesting to count just how many people did these prolonged stares and in half an hour Emily and I counted 82 people! That is ridiculous and down right unnecessary! Even just before we left a boy with his Mum was running to keep up with Violet’s stroller and was shouting as loud as he could “Mum have you seen her face, Mum have you seen her face, Mum I know what’s wrong with her face” I could have decked him! Meanwhile Violet is leaning back as far as she can in her stroller and turning her face away to avoid letting him see her any longer.

Although I never let Violet see it or hear it, this hurts me to the core when people stare and make comments that are hurtful and unnecessary. It hurts me because I am Violet’s Mum and it hurts me because this is not what any child should have to deal with ever…let alone on this scale!

Violet is very wary of other children and how they see her. She first mentioned this to me when she was just 3. She is still not keen on making any friends at preschool and I really feel this has a huge impact on why. She makes excuses not to go to the shops these days and when I ask her why, she says because people stare at me. Sad isn’t it!

I did mention to her Psychologist at our appointment last Tuesday that I think Violet is struggling with this and it is having a huge impact on her. Sad to think it’s most likely only going to get worse once she starts school next year.

At our school funding meeting yesterday the lady from DET said that kids are quite accepting these days, but from our experiences so far I can not disagree more. Given the area we live in of Western Sydney, my fears of people being unaccepting and their disgusting behaviour was again sadly confirmed last night when a young man in a wheelchair was savagely attacked at Mt Druitt Train Station. This is our local area and where they want Violet to look at schools first.


Alison said...

Wow - 82 people is a lot.

It must be so hurtful for all of you. I hate it when people deliberately stare at us - and we don't get anywhere near that many stares. The good thing also is that Ashlea is unaware. How sad for Violet to have learnt not to trust people already.

I saw that article in the paper today too and felt sick. Totally disgusting.

How far out of your area is my area? We have a great school with a physical support unit - would be great for Violet!

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

I like to call this our 'big pink elephant'. And to be honest, there are many days, almost all, that a part of me is glad that Ivey is completely blind. She can't see the stares. And thus far, she is unaware, or atleast I hope, that some of the cmments are about her. I know that most people just don't know what to do. I am okay with the uncertainty of where to look. I am not okay with what they say.

All in all, people are good with the best of intentions. Fortunately, you and I are the ones who must teach others how to be in a situation with others who are unfamiliar with our daughters. I say fortunately, because we are the ones who can do it the best. Sometimes it is a burden to carry that responsibility. But for the record, I would love to have just one day out in public - one day to be left alone. Or wouldn't it be wonderful if we could go out together, something that neither of us have ever experienced. "Not being the 'different' kid in the crowd", but having strength in numbers.

Have strength my sweet friend. We can all get throught this together.

Good luck with school. We started this year. I have made extra efforts to make sure the kids around Ivey are educated about her. They are unbelievingly accepting. Once they knew about her eyes, hearing aids, mickey button they moved on. Those things are just part of Ivey and they don't exclude her. But I have created a situation where they can ask questions when they have one. It is great. It is even better for the adults. There are times the kids will ask a question that an adult is to afraid to ask. Once all know the answer, the fear is removed.

Josephine said...

This is so sad. I am so sorry that your and poor Violet have to put up with the ignorance and insensitivity of people. I try to be forgiving when it is children who say insensitive things to or about Avery, but adults have absolutely no excuse.

April said...

What a tender post... I'm so sorry that she is hurting inside. She is so beautiful! I hope people will be more gentle...

Rosalie said...

Oh Sarah, that is just so heartbreaking and of course i know exactly what you mean. I just hope it's curiosity and nothing else.

What school do they want her to go to? They mentioned us to send her to the special school at Whalan and we have alread said that we prefer Kurrambee for this exact reason. Hugs.

Kristen said...

Aw, that is sad!

Melissa and Luke Young said...

This post upsets me. It upsets me because why should you or Violet have to endure that. We know our children are different. I have this same strugle with Ellie

And I am aware that people are going to look at Ellie, I dont mind a glance, but as you said when people "stare" or try and break their neck to get a look, this is wrong. I really thing society are not accepting, their is a small part that is, but most are not. I really dont know how you change this, some days when I am having a bad day, i actually say to some people "do you really feel it is necesary to stare at my daughter for so long"this makes them feel very umcomfortable but I dont know if it fixes the situation.

I to am also scared and fearful for when Ellie is older and is aware that she is 'different' my biggest fear for her was I never wanted her to feel different, but how can kids like ours not, when society makes them feel different.

Thinking of you.... its not easy... you do a great job

Laura said...

Wow! I really don't know what to say. I'm so saddened to hear that people stare at sweet Violet. I'd want to deck people too!

Since Cara cannot talk and makes some "strange" noises at times, her peers tend to dismiss her as odd at times, and that's hard, so I kind of know where you're coming from. It breaks our hearts as moms to see our kids treated differently. I think one our most important jobs as moms is to advocate for our kids and also, equip them with the tools they need to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, the world can be a cruel, cruel place at times.

I hope that you can find a school for Violet that is the perfect match...where she can be excepted for the wonderful girl that she is!

Jolene said...

OH man reading this just broke my heart for you and her! I know all about the stares, my daughter gets them too with her cochlear implant! If I see a child staring I'll ask, do you know what that is?? Then explain how Jasmine is deaf and that helps her hear! If its an adult and its a prolonged stare it ticks me off! If your wondering then ASK don't stare, ugh! Some days I don't care, other days when I am not in the mood I hide it under her hair! I really don't care if people ask about it, much rather that then the stares!
Your daughter is beautiful!

Korin said...

Sarah, my heart aches reading your post. I am crushed to read this and am furious with all of the ignorant people in the world!

Some people have seriously fallen out of a tree and hit their head on every branch all the way down! Stupid, ingnorant, heartless..i can go on and on.

Big Hugs

Korin said...

Is your blog linked into facebook?

Sarah said...

Thanks for all your kind thoughts everyone.

Korin, Yes Violet's blog is on Facebook thru my Facebook or Networked Blogs. If you scroll down to the bottom of her blog you will see her Facebook link.

Mazzmerise said...

Hugs Sarah,
82 OMG that is so to many in a short period of time no wonder she gets so upset ♥
people just dont think sometimes what it feels like when they stare I hated that and still do
Alex has learnt after what she has done to ask as its better than staring or snide comments we dont get many but the ones we have upset Alex and she looks fine except for the hair etc as you know we are in a different light but as a mother it does hurt and so hard to keep from our precious little ones, ♥

BIGHUGS to Violet too, its sad but yes children can be good but also sometimes cruel :(

Margie said...

I feel ill after reading what you and Violet are going through. so sorry to hear that these people are so ignorant. i am scratching my head, i cant believe you counted 82, that is terrible to put it mildly. i would move away, or keep Violet away from that if you can, but i personally would move. you are living around people with complex disabilities and they are bringing up children the same way. Violet has no disabilies, only the ones she faces in the street. sorry, i am very upset to hear this. x

Cassandra said...

Kindrid falls into people all the time because her balance is so poor. Her eyes do not work together and they are often looking two different directions. She also has an involuntary head sway like Stevie Wonder does. I just tell myself that she so smart, they wont be laughing one day!It is hurtful and it is a shame that the parents do not teach the children better, if they could only walk in our shoes.