I told her that my interest in her experience stemmed from the similarities I’d found between learning disabilities and my physical disabilities, and asked how her career had developed. After summarizing her career path, she asked me about my experience. I recounted my journey. Was I seeing a therapist, she asked. When I said yes, she wondered if I was attending a group of people with physical disabilities. No, I answered. I had thought about it, but I was reluctant to do it; I didn’t feel comfortable. Then, she told me an anecdote. Her parents, who were well into their eighties, had gone to an event organized by the community center in their neighborhood. The next day she asked them if they had had a good time. No, they answered; the attendants were all old farts. Her anecdote was both funny and thought-provoking. I acknowledged my disability: my reluctance to go wasn’t a denial. Could it be caused by my fear of discovering that my fantasy of total and final “cure” was just a fantasy? A day later my friend’s friend emailed me links to support groups for people with disabilities.
On the next Saturday, a friend came to visit. When I told her about my hesitation to attend a disability support group, she encouraged me to go. It would be a shock at first, but then I would feel that I wasn’t a unique case. I would feel part of a group that experienced the same suffering and had to overcome the same obstacles. Her words have helped me make a final decision. When I get back, I’ll open my computer and muster the courage to cross that bridge.