A long time ago I befriended Christopher at a request by his father. His father and I were lovers. That is another story I will tell you some other time.
I don’t blame his father, it was the time. A time when we just didn’t understand mental, psychological and learning issues. I know now I had and have a learning disability but I too didn’t know until I was 40 years old. A little late.
I don’t know what was the issue for Christopher but what I do know is he was labeled ‘retarded’. Where most people had a great deal of difficulty talking to him, I didn’t. I didn’t find him slow but then “my family” thought I was. The people who knew me didn’t think that way about me but it was hard for them to convince me because my family were so sure I was stupid, slow and mentally ill. But then they had something to hide.
I know now that we have to be very careful about ‘labeling’. It wasn’t too long ago in history that people with epilepsy were put into mental hospitals.
Christopher admired his father so much and wanted to be just like him. His father, when a young man, used to ride the railways so Christopher thought that was a right of passage and started to do that; it killed him.
Christopher lived an angst life and he loved being with me so much because I accepted him as the sweet gentle person he was and didn’t see the “retarded”.
Christopher and I believed people when they told us we were not right, not normal and as good obedient people we listened and it changed us.
Please think twice before you assume you know someone.