Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture (A Brief PSA)
Hello my darling little squirrels.
If I may, tonight? A little PSA for you. I understand that it can be offputting and can make people nervous or concerned, I really do. I am here to tell you that we who live with this condition be treated the same way you would treat someone else with a physical difference: With respect, not with pity. Same goes for disdain, not with disgust or assumptions, and seriously, people, I ain’t mad at ya, I’m just here to give you the skinny.
I shake. Yep, I have a tremor, sometimes barely noticeable, sometimes all but completely debilitating. It sucks. It’s frustrating and embarrassing, mostly because it makes people stare, whisper, and can lead to INCREDIBLY humiliating when I get (often shouted) comments like “OH MY GOD, ARE YOU OKAY?!” or “Um, WHY are you shaking? God, that’s weird/sad/scary/” and my favourite of all, and this is one I used to get from my mom before she was educated over the years “YOU’RE SHAKING. STOP IT”
Guess what? Those questions, statements and the side-eyes or looks of horror or pity? They make ME uncomfortable. When I’m nervous or scared, panic/anxiety stricken, or feeling any deeply felt emotion, it makes me shake MORE. Imagine someone is obviously heavily pregnant. Or uses canes or a wheelchair. Hell, if they wear GLASSES. Or has ANY physical condition that is noticeable to the naked eye. Let’s say for the hell of it, you worked at Target as a cashier. A person comes up to you and it might take a couple chances to make correct change or pick at those damn electronic buttons on the ATM thingie. If that person used braces and canes, would you howl “OH MY GOD, DO YOU NEED HELP?!” Of course not. So please stop. We appreciate your concern. And sometimes, yes, I do need help with fine motor skills if I’m having a particularly bad day. I might ask you for a ride if I don’t feel safe to drive, or a fork at a Japanese restaurant when I would usually use chopsticks. Trust me, no one is more aware of my tremor than I am. I don’t want or desire my condition to cause whispers (“She’s got the shakes. Must be the DTs. She obviously needs booze/drugs”) or flimsy pity (“Must be Parkinson’s. Poor soul.”) We appreciate your concern, we delicately raise (figuratively) an eyebrow at your assumptions. It, like so many others, countless others, is a condition that we have to live with every day. We don’t need it to be spelled out in public.
Why do *I* shake? Does it really matter? I’m fine. If I need help, I will quietly and discreetly ask for it. That’s all. Thanks, really. I ain’t mad atcha.
Oh, and I DO make fun of it. So it’s not some big shameful secret. I just…Sometimes I get sick of explaining it, ya know?
There’s a (hopefully) funneh entry in the queue for tomorrow. Kisses!