hi Rahul,

most of what i wish to say has been said already, but I'd like to
reiterate a couple of things that i think are imperative, regardless
of the temporary discomfort they may cause in the relationship.

as an adult, whether disabled or not, 1 needs to put one's foot down,
and have the free will to decide one's own actions with total
responsibility for them. parents often find that difficult to accept,
partly for control, and partly because of their fear of being  of no
need to the child any more. so if there's no room for a calm
conversation, one can make one's decisions and break it to them
immediately before, or after you start executing it. even the language
you use needs to be assertive and firm,  reassuring them that you do
love and respect them, but  these are a few things that you will not
allow them to control, because  they are now yours to take charge of.
this is also when you  ask them: what they think you will do, once
they're not around any more to protect you from the big bad world. we
know of countless stories of parents who threaten to harm themselves
in cases of their children marrying against the parents wishes, but
after a few months it all defuses and the family is 1 again. so
particularly with emotional blackmail, I know it sounds unpleasant,
but it is best to assert, that you will not be deterred by any  such
threats.
the way to balance things out could be to show them that you'd love
their intervention in certain areas, but not in a few others.

also, it really does help even if in tiny ways, for them to see other
blind people moving around more independently. so wherever possible,
do invite a friend over, introduce them to your parents, and then
perhaps spontaneously decide to venture out on your own, the 2 of you,
without opportunity for any further discussion on the matter.
finally, I think financial independence, and your ability to manage
your own finances without their help, and also contributing towards
the running of the house, usually goes a long way as a sign of your
independent adulthood. if you can politely deny any1 else's help/
control in financial matters, and then prove your efficiency with wise
money management, then it becomes    relatively easier to assert your
independence  in other areas.
of course your own confidence and ability is paramount before you take
such steps.

what I'd emphasise the most in all this is, do not give in to
emotional blackmail!! just do not.
prepare yourself for some temporary strain, and look forward to a
healthier and more meaningful future with your family.

best,

Shireen.


On 8/5/17, Rahul Bajaj via Ai <ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
> Thanks, Alok. I agree that the anxiety and fear of the parent here is
> divorced from the actual capabilities of the disabled person.
> Such blind resistance to accepting the proposition that  the blind
> person has to be given space to grow and make their own mistakes is
> what creates an
> impasse.
> If a blind adult is told that they will always need an escort, but the
> only difference will be that the escort will be their wife instead of
> their mother
> in future, that reflects the parent's absolute failure to understand
> the other person's perspective.
>
> I think the suggestions that you have offered are very helpful.
> However, they nonetheless presuppose that the parent is willing to
> engage in a calm conversation
> with a semi open mind. The fundamental problem here is that that also
> is not true most of the time.
> The disabled person is told that the parent will start stepping back
> when the disabled person acquires the requisite independence. When
> asked to outline
> the criteria based on which the parent will be able to say that the
> child has reached that level, the parent becomes confrontational and
> states that the
> disabled person has not seen the darker side of the world yet.
>
> Best,
> Rahul
>
> On 05/08/2017, Alok Kaushik <alok.li...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Rahul,
>> What you have mentioned suggests that the  fundamental issue is  not
>> about
>> the capabilities of the visually impaired person and parent's comfort
>> level
>> with it but a limitation that the parent himself / herself  is facing in
>> terms  of handling the situation if  something goes wrong. He / she has  a
>> fixed  idea that he / she is responsible for  the  VI person, and  hence
>> has  to take decisions.
>>
>> This is a  more  difficult scenario to deal  with because it is not about
>> VI
>> person's but  their notions of  their own limitations and
>> responsibilities.
>> In such a case while  demonstrating your capabilities is  important, it is
>> equally important to relieve them of  the burden of  that  sense of
>> responsibility and limitation. This would  especially be  relevant in case
>> of single parents, and  also  in  scenarios  in which parents consider
>> themselves to be socially answerable if anything goes wrong.
>>
>> It would be important to make  them  understand that their  support would
>> not  be everlasting, and  their help  is needed to make oneself
>> independent,
>>  if they really want him / her to live well. They can  better help adapt,
>> practice, and achieve  a  high level of comfort while they can still
>> support
>> . One saying  that I often use to  quote is "You give your  son a  fish,
>> he
>> eats today. You teach him how to fish, he eats every day.".
>>
>> I  have also seen some parents say that you can do whatever you want after
>> us but not  while we are still around. This again reflects that the focus
>> of
>> their thinking is not really the limitations of the visually impaired
>> person
>> but their own limitations.
>>
>> One may have to  make  the parents realize they have a  support system to
>> handle any situation. And  also,  it needs to come out in one's
>> communication that he / she is now prepared to take on the
>> responsibilities
>> of his / her actions.
>>
>> I  would like  to reiterate that patience is  still the  key. If  one
>> really intends to  be  independent, it would eventually happen. In  fact
>> at
>> some point being independent would  be a requirement whether one wants to
>> or
>> not.
>>
>> Thanks.
>> Alok
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Rahul Bajaj [mailto:rahul.bajaj10...@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Friday, August 04, 2017 9:16 PM
>> To: Share, empower &Enrich
>> Cc: Alok Kaushik
>> Subject: Re: [Ai] Question about dealing with parents having a regressive
>> view about the capabilities of the disabled
>>
>> Thank you, everyone. Your responses are very insightful and informative.
>>
>> Alok, I agree with you that one has to strive to avoid either of those
>> extremes. However, all these suggestions operate on the premise that the
>> parent in question is reasonable and willing to change their views based
>> on
>> changing circumstances. I am afraid that is not always the case. Some
>> parents cannot be reasoned with and offer you a choice between not doing
>> something and doing it as per their own unreasonable terms. What choice is
>> one left with in such cases?
>> Further, while the incremental approach works best, that cannot address a
>> parent's unfounded fear that something horrible will happen.
>> Finally, if a parent is blackmailing a child into not doing something or
>> doing it in a very different way from what the child wants without even
>> articulating genuine safety concerns that make them wary, what should one
>> do?
>>
>> Best,
>> Rahul
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>>> On Aug 4, 2017, at 2:36 PM, Alok Kaushik via Ai
>>> <ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi Rahul,
>>> You have  brought  up a very relevant subject. Although I always had a
>>> very understanding family, I  also had  to experience  a  phase  in
>>> which
>>> the family members had to  be  brought  to a certain comfort level. I
>>> never faced any restrictions but additional comfort level had to be
>>> developed, and I can easily observe the change in level of  comfort and
>>> confidence they now have.
>>>
>>> Besides that I have also seen several cases around me, in which similar
>>> issues as  mentioned  by you were present. Here are my observations and
>>> thoughts.
>>>
>>> I do not think that  any organization or friend will  be able to make a
>>> decisive impact on the  thinking of  parents / family members just by
>>> telling them about some of the other people who have been able to do much
>>> more. It largely depends on how much  drive the visually impaired person
>>> himself / herself has to  become independent, and how effectively that is
>>> expressed.
>>>
>>> One  of  the main reasons of the parents is the safety concern. One
>>> still
>>> needs to take a decision to go ahead and do things but  taking some
>>> measures could help understand the parents that he / she is not reckless
>>> about the safety. For example, one can  share the taxi number while
>>> travelling outside at home, it communicates the same message, while being
>>> an actual safety measure. Letting the family members know when to expect
>>> you back home realistically would provide them extra comfort. These
>>> actions are simply related to information sharing and do  not necessarily
>>> restricts oneself. This goes a long way in  developing a comfort level
>>> without creating any friction in the relationship.
>>>
>>> Besides moving outdoors,  if  there are other things that one is looking
>>> to do but is facing restrictive approach, comfort level can best be
>>> created by generating opportunities to demonstrate that one  would  be
>>> happy doing such a task  and  can do it. Communicating that he / she
>>> would
>>> definitely ask for  help if  needed is  also very effective. There  is
>>> no
>>>  better conviction then actually seeing a person doing something.
>>>
>>> A few  things that we need  to keep in mind is that we ourselves need to
>>> be patient while persisting with the  effort to demonstrate and develop
>>> and  confidence  in others. It will  take  some time  and  repeated
>>> observations by others before their  scepticism could change to
>>> conviction.
>>>
>>> It is possible that one may have to be more  assertive at times, but it
>>> would be good to balance it out rather quickly to avoid any negative
>>> effect on the relationship. Underlying feeling behind the assertiveness
>>> needs to be that of confidence and not disregard.
>>>
>>> Of course  there would  be two extremes, one in which a person chooses
>>> to
>>>  enjoy the convenience that a protective environment offers,  which comes
>>> back  and bites hard  once that supportive environment collapses or
>>> dents,
>>> or in other  in which a person becomes a rebel, gains the independence
>>> and
>>> the relationships languishes.
>>>
>>> My thoughts are to bring about a change while sustaining good
>>> relationships.
>>>
>>> Thanks.
>>> Alok
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Ai [mailto:ai-boun...@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in] On Behalf
>>> Of Rahul Bajaj via Ai
>>> Sent: Friday, August 04, 2017 1:12 PM
>>> To: ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in
>>> Cc: Rahul Bajaj
>>> Subject: [Ai] Question about dealing with parents having a regressive
>>> view about the capabilities of the disabled
>>>
>>> Hi Everyone,
>>>
>>> I hope this message finds you well.
>>> At the outset, let me clarify that this question may or may not have
>>> anything to do with my own personal experiences, so I'd appreciate it if
>>> the aim of the conversation could be to understand this phenomenon in
>>> general terms as opposed to focusing too much on my own situation.
>>>
>>> While a lot of us focus on the importance of sensitizing various
>>> stakeholders, such as employers, academic institutions and others about
>>> the capabilities of the disabled, few focus on the discrimination that
>>> the
>>> disabled face in their own homes due to the view that their own family
>>> has
>>> about their capabilities or potential.
>>> More specifically, if one has a parent who is unwilling to learn from the
>>> experiences of other blind people and give their disabled child the
>>> freedom that we all deserve, to what extent should one follow what such a
>>> parent says?
>>> Further, while safety is doubtless important, if the disabled person has
>>> the requisite maturity to ascertain if they will be safe in a given
>>> environment, should they act as per their own assessment or follow what
>>> their parent is saying, in the fear of alienating them?
>>> I think there are many emotional forces at play in a family setting that
>>> may not be involved in other settings. For instance, one often hears of
>>> parents emotionally blackmailing their children into acting the way they
>>> want without recognizing that this may not be in the child's best
>>> interest.
>>> Finally, what makes the situation worse is the fact that the external
>>> world [friends and wellwishers] is also often apprehensive to interfere
>>> in
>>> these matters on behalf of the disabled person on the ground that this is
>>> an internal family matter, so that makes it significantly harder for the
>>> disabled person to fully assert himself/herself.
>>>
>>> If any of you have dealt with the above, I'd be curious to know what you
>>> think about these issues.
>>> I am mindful of the fact that not many people would be open to discussing
>>> this on a public forum, so please feel free to mail me off-list about
>>> this. Further, not many may see this as a problem, given how  accustomed
>>> they are to succumbing to their parents' wishes, no matter how uninformed
>>> and inappropriate those wishes may be.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>> Rahul
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