Some of you might recall my post a few weeks back, when I triumphantly approached the Assistant Dean with my new, comfortable description of SPD as a "disability," and the hours and tears it took to reach acceptance of this potent term. I spoke to my OT and therapist, requested paperwork, and filed it with the university - in all of my "free" time (which these days seemingly consists of an hour before bed every night, assuming I'm not rushing to have dinner, unpacking or repacking for my next hour+ trip to the Bronx, etc. This endless schedule of two jobs and four classes plus commuting will be the end of me, really.)
So he and I set up a meeting, and I scrambled back up to the boogie-down borough early one day this week to discuss the university's findings on my paperwork. I'll sum up our meeting by saying it was a disaster of epic proportions. The university doesn't consider me as someone who needs support (not disabled? So where are we now, then?), and apparently he didn't think much of me either, saying they didn't believe there really was anything wrong with me, and therefore, they were unwilling to support even my smallest requests of just letting professors know of my diagnosis. As a normal, human being with emotions, I started to tear up - a habit of mine (I rarely hide my feelings) - and I asked him, while swallowing these forming tears, why we even bothered filing this paperwork if I didn't fall under their own personal category of "disabled." My questioning lead to a barrage of negativity from him, questioning my career path choice, and flaunting his power over my eventual graduation from their program. He described my reaction as "inappropriate," which is humorous in retrospect, as yelling at me for 10 minutes for my reaction was beyond inappropriate. Essentially, I apologized for displaying an emotion in public until I was able to calm him down enough and back out of his room. Later, I spoke to a second-year student with a disability, who said his behavior was par-for-the-course, and not the least bit surprising. Unfortunate, really, that in life we find those who are least suited to helping others are often placed in positions of some power.
Yesterday, to cap off this week, I received a paper back from that initial class where I was considered "disabled." I nervously looked down at my well-thought-out document, at my first grade from my graduate program. It was an A+. Josh, ever the humorist, said, "what, you couldn't do any better? You couldn't get a prize AND this grade? What, no car?" :-)
In other news, I've cut back on my listening device for now, as the hour stints were making me seriously nauseated and way more labile than usual. Half-hour sessions are still affecting me, but not in such an adverse manner. I find my middle ear feels sensitive on both sides, and I can't tolerate listening to an iPod even an hour after the listening program. I've been reminded a few times that it's always a step back before moving forward. Doesn't that just sum it all up.