For those who don't know what the 'R' word is, it's retard. A word that I have despised for years ever since I heard some administrators and teachers call me that one time in the early '80s. I have always hated it when people call me that. If there's one thing that will set me off, it's calling me that word.
I had an incident a few months back in which an older resident at my old apartment complex called me that after I had pointed out he was breaking the rules by being allowed to be in the TV lounge after-hours. The complex usually kept it locked up because of the fact that college kids are known to vandalize things while drunk. I've actually seen it happen.
I had pointed out to the guy that he wasn't supposed to be in there and that I was going to report him. And his retort after I told him that I follow the rules after 16 years, he said, 'I don't care if you were born here you stupid retard, I'll do whatever I want!'
Suffice to say, it shook me up. The incident caused me to have a lot of bad flashbacks that night and weekend to my childhood and it's what helped me hasten my decision to move and end up in my new home, which went faster than I thought it would.
I of course reported the incident to the property manager and I will admit when I reported it, I was literally near shaking over it. She even commented on how emotional I was over it and even she said what the guy had said was plain wrong.
And to note, I hadn't had flashbacks since 1998 when I was getting harassing phone calls from someone I went to high school with. I'd had bad flashbacks then and did the best thing I could- change my phone number and got it unlisted.
I admit I'm still shook up but I am slowly getting over the incident. What has made me think about the word has been the incident I had with that guy and what I recently saw on TV. A report that has made me feel a little positive despite such a negative incident that has effectively forced me out of my home of sixteen years.
A local high school near Cleveland has been pushing a movement to stop usage of that word. That actually made me smile that night when I saw it on TV. It made me feel better that there were others like myself who found that word offensive. I have my reasons for finding it offensive.
As many know on ADISC I have disabilities such as Asperger's, a hearing loss, cerebral palsy and that's why I am so offended by that word.
I take pride in what that high school in Cleveland's trying to do. It makes me think about that word and to me, I find it up there with other words that are offensive to people. Some people don't find it offensive but there are people like myself that do.
So what I want to ask ADISC is this; what's your thought on the word? Do you find it offensive or not? Like I said, I've always found the word offensive. This is not an attention-seeking post but rather a way to start a healthy and open-minded discussion over the word. I'd like to discuss this thing with my fellow ADISCers and see where they stand on the issue.
To me, this is from the heart and very emotional for me to write about. I had wanted to write this after the incident but I needed time to think about it. After a lot of emotional thinking, I feel I'm ready to discuss this in a calm manner with my ADISC family.
Thank you ADISC, for giving me a forum to write this.