Monday, June 4, 2012

Giving Voice Blog Hop

Today I am participating in the Giving Voice Blog Hop at Scribble and Edit

Ever wondered what it's like for someone who cannot express themselves?
The Giving Voice Blogfest is your chance to express what it means for those people in the form of a poem, excerpt, flash fiction piece. Maximum 400 words in length.
How does your character feel about his situation? How will they cope with the speech problem? Maybe your story will include a Speech & Language Therapist transforming their lives.

Here's my entry:

Here comes Ethan in the van to pick us up.  Just seeing him puts me in a bad mood.  He’s never been nice to me.  It’s not that I don’t like going to the center.  It is the getting there that I don’t like.

I wheel out to the van as Elaine and Brian walk out.  As usual, Ethan manhandles me onto the lift, pushing me around as if I’m a ragdoll.  I feel as if I am losing balance and my arms go flying, a natural reflex to defend myself.  I bumped Ethan as I was flailing around.

Before I know what’s happening, he slams my head down onto my lap.  OUCH!  I cried out in pain, which makes him even angrier.  He finishes pushing my chair into place, continuing to yell at me.

When we finally get off the van, I feel as if I’m exploding from the inside out.  I lose control of myself, yelling and throwing the arm and leg rests from my chair across the room.  I can’t help it.  I am tired of Ethan pushing me around!

I’m thankful to arrive at the center, with people who understand me.   Most people either ignore me or talk to me as if I’m a child.  It’s not that I can’t understand what others are saying, but I’m not able to put thoughts or feelings into words.  I can relax here, knowing that Ethan won’t be around.  Everyone at the center is always smiling and it makes me smile.  I’m treated the same as everyone else.

After lunch, I start feeling a little edgy, knowing Ethan will be back soon.  It will surely be unpleasant ride, especially after this morning.  I’m scared of getting hurt again.

I notice that Elaine is talking to the staff, and they keep looking at me.  I wonder if she is telling them about Ethan.  Since she’s the only one living at my house who talks, she is my only hope.

The next morning before Ethan came to get us, one of the women from the office came over to talk to Elaine.  When Ethan arrives, he is on his best behavior.  It’s nice to have a peaceful morning for once. 

That afternoon, after a good day at the center, a new woman picks us up.  Ethan is gone…forever.  What a relief!
Working with individuals with developmental disabilities and/or autism, this story is sadly based on a true event.  Unfortunately, these individuals are extremely vulnerable and sometimes victims of abuse.  I wanted to use this opportunity to education others to the fact that even if a person doesn't speak, it doesn't mean they don't communicate.  They have thoughts and feelings just as you and I do.  Many times, they will show you what you want to know if you only take the time to pay attention.

Special Thanks to Madeleine at Scribble and Edit for hosting


  1. This is a great story - and its real sadness lies in its truth.
    Lovely, positive ending, though, and I shared the MCs happiness that Ethan was gone :-) Thanks!

  2. Thanks for taking part in the blogfest. Yes sadly this kind of intolerant abuse is all too common. I'm glad your story has a happy ending.
    What a shame your MC wasn't able to convey their own needs for themselves with a communication aid or to someone who might take the time to listen and interpret. However, it's great that someone else was on hand to help and understand in the end.

  3. That's terrible it really happened! Who could treat anyone like that?

  4. I'm glad the story had a happy ending! People who don't like the disabled have no business working with them.

  5. This is a really great story. I'm so sorry this happened. I liked the ending of this story.

  6. oh i so identify with this wonderful glimpse into the disabled population

  7. Wow, what a jerk! I'm so glad this story had a happy ending!

  8. I like that story, and I like that Ethan goes away.

  9. Hello Heather. I found myself tearing up at this voice. I have a close family member with a disability but thankfully I hope he never gets treated like this. Your voice shone through. Well done.


  10. I felt this story, felt the protagonists vulnerability. I hated Ethan by the end, sad that there really are some people who lack the ability to give just a little more patience and understanding. Everybody deserves a chance at the best quality life they can reach. Wonderful piece.

  11. I am sure that happens more than anyone thinks about unless they work daily in those situations. How sad though when hearing the stories. :(

  12. I'm so used to verbally expressing myself - even if I have to think before I speak - I can only imagine how hard it would be to internalize everything. Most of us only do that to self edit.

    Great excerpt; brings up the issues in an emotionally charged yet sensitive manner.