16 July, 2011

I just found this (Let Me Be Played) and I really needed to read it. It's weird to realize I'd gone through all this before.

The guy who triggers/stresses me at work is leaving due to a family emergency. I think he will think of this camp as a place where he didn't get along with most of the other staff and they gossiped about him. I don't think he will think much about the actual work he did.

The other night, he was standing in the bathroom drumming loudly on a wall, presumably to be funny, while waiting for his campers to finish getting ready for bed. I said, "Gosh you're just like my campers from last session, they were always banging on stuff and you always think someone's knocking on the door, but it's just them."

First session my campers were 10, 11, and 12; two of them had autism and the 11-year-old had a few developmental and emotional disabilities. The two older kids, especially the 12-year-old, RL, would constantly bang and drum on surfaces. It wasn't necessarily because they were angry or anything, it was just what they did. RL was really physically affectionate so sometimes I'd suggest he bang on my arm instead, and he would start gently tapping it, which was a bit quieter.

Anyway, I said this to my coworker, and he goes, "I think your campers just did that to scare you."

I know this is only one sentence, but did it ever manage to upset me. I spoke to Zoe after and she kindly helped me pull out all the ways this SUCKS:

1. everything a disabled person does must have malicious intent
2. people with autism don't just sometimes bang on stuff or do other repetitive behaviors, just because it's how they are
3. I'm some kind of pussy (my word, not hers) who's afraid of people banging on walls??
4. for some reason, I'm the kind of person that some very nice little kids would want to scare, probably because...drumroll please...I'M NOT GOOD AT MY JOB BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO CONTROL PEOPLE

Oh, gosh. All I should ever want is for people like him to disapprove of me.

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