On September 22, I painted three different images of what my situation might be like after leaving training home. One is described like this:
Yet there is also this part of mine, that totally incapable girl. She thinks she requires a lot of assistance cause of behavioural/social/communicative difficulties – not just disruptive behaviour. She sees evidence, in the fact that I was at first unable to buy a railroad ticket a few weeks ago (cause the situation confused me), that she can’t do these things for herself (I can buy railroad tickets perfectly well) and, in the fact that Renee left cause she didn’t know what to do, evidence for the idea that she’s truly too difficult to handle and belongs in the mental health system. This is not saying I need 24-hour care or something, but what it says is that I have fundamental impairments in social/behaviourral/communicative functioning that aren’t going to go away once I’m learning to adjust to some emotional difficulties, and that do require to be addressed after I leave training home.
Today, Arda wrote my request for funding for services once I’m in Nijmegen. It finally gave me a clearer picture of where Arda thinks I’ll be on the independence ladder, and one that I agree with. Yet it also means I can now view in my mind the rainbow that my situation has become. There are colors for the housekeeping assistance I’ll need, the independent living support cause of my blindness (reading mail etc.) and cause of my autism spectrum condition, the mobility training I’ll need to learn new routes, support for attending college, and mental health services. And that same rainbow today was black in September. What’s changed?
The biggest thing that’s changed, is actually my attitude. You may think of this what you want, but I think it’s a change for the positive, because I stopped thinking of myself as “totally incapable”. I’m far from that. I certainly do have my difficulties, but I’ve realized – even though it’s not yet a solid realization -, that these don’t alter my abilities. You may think my situation has deteriorated, but I really didn’t lose any skills. All I lost were images of what I might become. Or really, I only lost one image. After all, I can still be a responsible user of services, like many self-advocates are. So maybe what I really did was to realize that a situation in which I need many independent living services and am in the mental health system, doesn’t mean a situation in which I can’t be responsible or a situation where I’m unable to go to college. How stupid from me for writing myself off as “totally incapable”.