Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Thoughts about our talk and invisible diablities

Thoughts about our talk and invisible diablities

ndifrank's picture

I too share a lot of these same feelings. I suffer from anxiety and I don't feel comfortable always saying that out loud. My anxiety has shaped me into someone who tends to be a listener within the classroom like Abby and a talkative person outside of the classroom. I really appreciated the conversation we had today and although I don't beleive we should have a fully structured course that includes hand raising or using cards, I still would appreciate more space to be who I am. Amelia brought up the idea of not wanting to have to shrink within the classroom and while I do agree with that, I am also grappling with the idea that the classroom only has so much space (our space being our time). One person taking up a lot of space causes another to take up less. I know that I don't speak up that much within the class and it has always been a struggle for me. I am a victim of emotional abuse which included a lot yelling and chastizing that silenced me as a child. Like Gabby, I didn't talk for a long time when I was a child and because of it. It was assumed by teachers and classmates that I wasn't intelligent. Connecting to Gabby's points about triggering experiences, when voices are raised I tend to immediatly shutter. My anxiety is my disability and for my entire academic career I have had to struggle with it and have never been given a space  to even acknowlege it . On thursday when I tried to talk, I began to physically shake because of how anxious I was. The classroom has always been a place where my anxiety has stiffled me and it has never effected any of the jobs or internships I have held. I felt offended with the idea that Kate rose about the "real world that made feel that if I want more space and therefore want the classroom to be accessible to my needs that it means that I don't want to challenge myself or that I won't be able to handle the "real world". I  also think we should look into our use of the term "real world" or "reality" because Bryn Mawr is far different than fantasy conjured up by my own ideals.Gabby's point on what we define as accessibility has reminded of a lot of issues on Bryn Mawr's campus as whole with the treatment of students suffering from mental illness.As simple as students are only allowed accomadations to have a therapy dog if they are suffering from a physical disability. I have also tried to recieve accomadations for housing due to my anxiety and depression and was asked very problamatic questions such as "everybody suffers from anxiety. Are you sure you just won't get over it after a while?  I think the topic of invisible disablities would be interesting to delve deeper into starting with our own discussions in the classroom and bryn mawr as a whole. 


I in no way want this to be an attack or singling out on anyone in the class although, I understand I have quoted and referenced to single students. I am in no ways angry nor do I feel that anything said was a personal attack on me or anyone for that matter. This was really difficult for me to write and I truly care about everyone within the class and hope that this will help us to grow to learn not only ourselves but each other. I know that ideally these thoughts would have been said in the class but today I just felt really vulnerable and exhausted. This class has been really amazing and difficult for me at the same time. I think what Kate brought up about needing an emotional space to unpack our feelings is really needed. I also think that like Nikki said we should try to bond outside of the classroom in order to know each other better in a less academic light. I think a lot of students in the classroom have shared so many vulnerable feelings and experiences and spending time together, even just eating dinner, would help put the pieces of what we know about each other together. I also want to try to be more self aware like Sula brought up so I can contribute more to the classroom and speak up more if people get lost in their passionate thoughts ( which I completely understand and respect. I do the same.) . I also think that Rhett's guideline about giving some moment of silence (that sounds so dramatic but I dont know how to word it better) to help those in the classroom that don't process as fast is something we can use to remind ourselves to breathe, allowing feelings to be felt and ideas to be thought. I am willing to talk to anyone about what I have written and would love any responses. 

( I also apologize for any grammer or spelling mistakes)

What Post are you responding to?
Relation of this post to Related Post: 

Identity Matters Tags