disability

Are You Enough?

Recently, I was reminded rather forcefully about why I miss Max so much and I had to tell you about it. A member of my family is going through a rough time right now and I’m trying very hard to be supportive. Someone else asked me this question, or more specifically to enumerate what I bring to our relationship. My internal reaction was one of shock, particularly since I’m rather close to the asker. Later on, I got curious about my own thinking and actions. Do I believe I am enough? Do I act that way?

Having a physical disability isn’t easy. Opportunities can be limited, especially for those of us trying hard to contribute our gifts, or to simply earn a ‘seat at the table’ in order to provide for our families and plan for the future. Despite these trying realities, what we think about ourselves is critically important.

For me, that’s where Max was most valuable. He looked at me like I could do anything and I realize now that I believed him. I was enough just as I am.

Perhaps that changed after he died. I don’t know and it is something I have to ask myself. All I do know for sure is that I no longer have Max’ support now that he is gone. I’d like to think that I’m enough. That just by being the supportive person I am, I contribute mightily to any relationship.

For me, the answer to this question is I bring myself to the relationship. Max may not be here anymore, but what he taught me when alive still holds true. I am enough, just as I am. I can do anything I want to do.

If you are struggling with the same kind of issues or different ones entirely, it will be my honor to support you. Just go to the Contact link and send me an email.

Jobtoberfest 2017: Supporting employment and full inclusion of all

So here we are at Jobtoberfest, a job faire to promote the employment goals of people with any kind of disability. The turnout was amazing. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table to learn about the services at Porche Charities and to express your support for us.

You are the reason we are here and it is our honor to support you.

Truth be told, as I look at this picture (click on the title of this post to see it), I can't help feeling a little discouraged. There are powerful forces against us. The unemployment rate remains high, despite legal and other supports available on the job. Many employers still don't accept the concept of reasonable accommodations, especially when these involve bringing a service dog to work to improve performance.

But then I remembered something important. Together, we are stronger than the obstacles we face. We can do anything when we support each other.

That's the concept behind the 12 week group therapy sessions. You have lost your best friend. We can help. Just contact us through our website: www.animallosscounseling.org New groups are forming now.

Exciting News

Sorry I haven't written in a while. I've been busy.

To paraphrase Bill and Ted, strange things are afoot here at Porche Charities. While we lost most of our funding and some major support, we also have gained. No one said that creating a non-profit would be easy and they were right! The lessons learned have been invaluable and we need your support more now than ever.

We would also like to welcome Ray Zambo to Porche Charities. Ray, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, will be providing supervision services to our therapy clinicians in training. In his spare time, he is a talented painter whose work has been exhibited at the Paralyzed Veterans of America Reflections show among other places. More on his work as an artist can be found here: https://rayzambo.jimdo.com We are really excited to welcome him aboard and look forward to working together.

Important Safeguards

Dan likes to read instructions, open boxes and set things up. This is great for me because I don't. One of the reasons for my dislike of these activities is the often disturbing messages about people with disabilities found in safety warnings.

I recently bought a coffee pot. Where and from which company is unimportant because I have found that many companies have a paternalistic attitude toward us, so to point fingers seems to me to be a useless exercise. Here is the text of the very first safety warning (verbatim):

"The appliance is not intended for use by persons (including children) with reduced physical, sensory or mental capacities, or lack of experience or knowledge, unless they have been given supervision or instructions concerning use of the appliance by a person responsible for their safety."

I do realize that there is a certain amount of butt covering going on here, especially in this litigious environment. But is it really necessary to totally ignore the role of personal responsibility and good judgement? Don't get me started on putting us in the same category as children.

What does all of this have to do with animal loss? I realized something that Max did for me while he was alive and now that he's gone, I have to find a way to do for myself. Max saw me as whole, despite my 'reduced physical abilities'. He not only depended on me for food, water and care, I taught him how to help me. That gave me great confidence and allowed me to see myself as able to contribute something important in my world.

This view of me is also in stark contrast to how many others perceive me.

Helping you rediscover your own wholeness, in the absence of your friend, is one of our group purposes and it will be my pleasure to support you.

What do you think? I'd be interested to hear from you.