A Cultural Difference

Moving Forward Series by

Meena Dhanjal Outlaw

One of the things that bother me most is when someone is bold enough to say something to me that is directly related to my disability or my life. Even more so, I can’t help but get territorial when the insult is directed at my children or in this case my husband.

The sting of the stares and comments finally ceased to bother me after about four years after I became paralyzed.

Nevertheless, there are moments like a recent incident that I have to question the character of such a bold person.

My husband and I were at a social gathering.  Within the group of friends one guy continues his little, but insulting snipes at my husband.

Just like in every situation, my husband never allows anything to bother him.  This is definitely something I can say I am still working on, but I also didn’t get upset at this person.

Instead, when we got home, I decided to read up on why people feel so compelled to put others down. After all, knowledge is power, not arguments. There were two reasons that I read on ‘Psychology Today.’

One is that the person saying such remarks is insecure and is trying to make him or her feel better.

The second reason is that this same person would feel a sense of control and it has everything to do with the lack of control he or she had as a child.

So, basically this is learned behavior.

There is something to be said about a man like David.

To love a woman with a disability as unconditionally as he does says that this is a man that has all his morals and ethics in tact.

What saddens me though is that the friend’s behavior will carry on in the next generation through his children. It is these types of people that have no filter when it comes to insulting anyone regardless of race, disability or gender.

I came away from this situation with the decision that we will no longer socialize with this person.  David, on the other hand, is able to let it go. Apparently it’s a guy thing.

That always baffles me, but I understand something different.  When we are true and good then, we have nothing to hide or prove.

This very person also puts down his wife regardless who is present. There have been times I’ve wanted to stop him and give him a peace of my mind.  Unfortunately, I also realize that his wife is perfectly content in the way he treats her. Therefore, correcting him would only backfire on me.

I’m sure I noticed such behavior before the spinal cord injury, but I have found that I can read people much better now.

There’s no moral to this story. The unsavory part is that this person is an Indian man.  Therefore, somehow in this culture this behavior is deemed acceptable. So much so, that such a community ignores an Indian woman and her children after being left paralyzed and alone to deal with it.

My husband isn’t Indian.  He truly is a good ole boy raised in a Christian household from Alabama.  In all the years I have known my husband and his family there has never been a sign of this type of disrespect.

I have on the other hand also met Indian men that do behave with decency, but I can definitely say, this type of behavior is a cultural difference.

The next day, I came to the following conclusion; that I can only be more appreciative of who I have as my support system. The other and final conclusion is that I can close the door to my house and never have to worry about my safety or sanity.

www.psychologytoday.com

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