Posted in Developmental disability service system

We are living out their dreams.

We are living out the dreams of the people who run this system that is supposed to exist for our benefit.

They have detailed, elaborate dreams for us.  Sometimes to make them feel good about themselves, sometimes to make themselves look good to others, sometimes a little of both.  Sometimes to feel like they’re making a difference.

We take on their dreams as our own.  We live them out as living dolls.  It’s especially confusing when their dreams are similar to things we want.  But quite often, we just go along.  Quite often, we learn that what they want of us is what we want.  And if we don’t go along, we can encounter huge amounts of trouble.

They’re skilled at manipulating us in ways that they are not always fully aware they are doing.  Sometimes they sincerely believe they are helping us do what we want.  Instead we are doing what they think they’d want in our place.  Or just doing what they want for us.

And we have to smile and be grateful and pose for the brochures.

And we can have our real dreams taken away — the little bit of them we get — if we show we are not satisfied with their dreams for us.

This can be brutal.  At its worst, it’s violation, puppetry, at a deep level.  We are human beings.  We have minds of our own.  Some of us manage better than others in these circumstances.

And if we say we don’t want these things, that threatens their entire self-concept, so their reaction can be out of proportion, even dangerous to us.


Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

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