Poetry: Do You Hate Me?

Do you hate me because I have the unique ability to question my surroundings objectively without superstition to cloud my judgement? Do you hate me because my brain thinks in different patterns than yours? Do you hate me because my looks are asymmetrical and don’t fit your concept of beauty?

Do you hate me because I pity the have-nots and those who cannot defend themselves? Do you hate me because I can decipher between right and wrong without the guidance or fear of some unseen presence? Do you hate me because I can invent worlds in my head and don’t need expensive trips around the world to go to far off places?

Do you hate me because I don’t mind that a boy can love a boy and a girl can love a girl in a world with little love to go around? Do you hate me because I want to change the world into something for all, and it doesn’t fit your personal agenda?

Do you hate me because I see, hear, smell, taste and feel the real world around me?

Instead of hating me because you are blind, deaf, senseless and unfeeling, why not take advantage of my giving nature and let me share my gifts with you? For no matter how much you despise my very being, I love you enough to want to help you rise beyond your shortcomings. God did not teach me this, for I do not believe in God. Society did not teach me this, for I have seen what lies in the hearts of the selfish.

My Mother taught me this. My family taught me this. My friends have taught me this. My rivals have taught me this. Those in need have birthed this in me. I am the epitome of spiritual transcendence because I struggle, I suffer, and I overcome.

Without Hate in my heart.

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10 Responses

  1. This is thoughtful and worth reading.

    I would like to suggest rethinking the use of words like “blind” and “deaf” to describe people who are willfully ignorant. I’m sure the last thing you want is to imply negative things about people with those disabilities.

    1. Dear MissLunaRose, with all due respect, it does appear to me that you misunderstand the concept intended when the writer used the words “blind” and :”deaf” … because … those words used in the context of the post ….. EMPHATICALLY have no negativity whatsoever in relation to people who are blind or deaf. Your perception of the meanings and messages seem to imply that in spite of the fact that you “have eyes and vision” .. you do not see the point that is being made by the writer … and … the fact that you have ears and hear … you still are unable to “hear with your mind’s ears” (i.e. perceive) the writers intention and meanings. I would like to suggest that you “rethink” your perception and then “open your eyes and ears.”

      1. I’m glad that others can interpret this so broadly. And I welcome constructive criticism. Let me point out, when I wrote this, it was from a very specific lens. No matter how the reader interprets the poem internally, the words and feelings are derived from the driver’s seat. I can never assume someone is truly unfeeling or apathetic. But actions speak volumes, and instead of defining the person I am addressing the actions of the world. To be honest, those that take offense to the wording, probably have doubts about their sincerity to open seeing, hearing and feeling. Being uncomfortable, truly leads to clarity, and in some instances, evolution of consciousness.

    2. Yes, absolutely. The deaf and blind communities have repeatedly asked that those of us who are not deaf or blind to please stop using these terms to mean “willfully ignorant.” It’s the same as a non-autistic person saying “autistic” to mean “unaware” or “unempathetic,” and we all know how inaccurate and offensive that is.

      Part of truly being open-minded and empathetic, of truly loving anyone, is to listen to what they say and respect their wishes. If someone tells us, “Using those words is hurting me,” and we say, “But I didn’t mean it that way,” and then we *continue* to use words that hurt them, are we truly showing them love? I know my husband loves and respects me, but if he were to use ableist language like this, knowing I also have disabilities and love my other friends with disabilities, I would start to doubt that love and respect.

      I am not blind or deaf, but I am autistic, and just as I hope non-autistic people would listen to me when I tell them what words hurt, or how I would like to be referred to, I listen to deaf and blind people (or anyone else with disabilities) when they explain how to show them respect and love.

      1. Well, poetry is not specific. And sometimes people have to face hard truths, regardless of how soft or abrasive the words are. Most NTs are not going to read this, nor would they understand the perspective, since they haven’t lived it. Poetry is not typically about being apologetic, nor is it from a muted point of view. Feelings, when allowed to surface, can be raw, and yes, sometimes judgemental. While I may have certain faces in mind when I write these feelings down, everyone that reads this and empathizes may have their own demons to confront, so the judgement may be warranted based on their unique experience.

      2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think it’s so important to listen to members of disability communities, especially when we are not members of those communities ourselves.

        I really hope the Autistic, Blind, and Deaf communities can become closer. I feel like these are all beautiful communities, and cross-disability solidarity is a powerful thing. All three communities share a love of identity-first language, both the Autistic and Deaf communities enjoy sign language and a rich culture (not sure if Blind culture is a thing? but I hope it is), and I just think friendship is cool. Imagine what would happen if the three communities got together to advocate and make the world a better place.

        And hey, if we want something to happen, we can start with our own actions. So as autistic people, we can welcome blind and deaf people, and show them consideration and respect, and maybe we can help build bridges. 🙂

      3. I think there’s a point when others demands based on their feelings go to far. Blind and deaf as words have been used for centuries for both literal and metaphorical blindness and deafness. People are not obligated to go so far too pander to feelings that we stop using words for what they were intended. I’m sorry, but I cannot agree with your point of view, though I get where you’re coming from. Being able to see but still turning a blind eye and hearing but not speaking upon deaf ears would lose all meaning. And trying to compare the disorder with an actual one of the senses is a misnomer. What the neurotypical world has gotten wrong for years, that’s not our fault. Manage your feelings, don’t let the little things get to you, stop getting offended easily or offended for other people. The world has no skin anymore. We feel so unprotected that the slightest demeaning things thrown our way becomes like a sword. If words hurt that much, it’s because you’re willfully giving them power over you. Don’t.

        1. If there is one thing I’ve learned from listening to people in the disability community, it’s that people who are not affected by certain disabilities don’t get to decide what is and isn’t offensive or hurtful to those who are. I am not blind or deaf, and therefore I do not get to tell blind or deaf people they are being too sensitive when they ask for others to consider that their language usage may be ableist. Words have power, after all. They can build up, they can be reclaimed, or they can frame people as something “other than,” the way they have for centuries.

          And language is not a static thing either; it is as living and breathing and growing and changing as the humans who speak it. And thank goodness for that, because we now have words like “neurodiverse” instead of, for example “retarded.” Words that we can claim for ourselves instead of words that are used against us.

          Yes, blind and deaf have been used as centuries as synonymous with willful ignorance. And most likely will be used that way for quite a bit longer, as blind and deaf folks are in the minority and the disability rights movement in general isn’t at the top of most platforms (or anywhere on them).

          And no one is saying that those words cannot be used however you want. We are simply explaining that there are blind and deaf people who wish those words were used for them and them alone, and not as synonyms for stupidity and lack of caring. It’s completely up to you to choose whether that’s important to you or not. 🙂

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