Guest post by DJ Mermaid: No thank you, peeps!

February 27, 2016 • Posted in guest blog, Uncategorized, writing by

As promised, here’s guest post #2 by DJ Mermaid. In our hour together this past week she and I discussed some of the positive comments you left to her post last week. She isn’t quite ready to respond online to the comments you leave here, but trust me, she does read – and reread – them, so keep ‘em coming. Her guest post this week gives you a glimpse, ahem, of what a role model she is for me when it comes to self-advocacy.

by DJ Mermaid

Humans are very kind and helpful, even when you do not want it (although it is nice to have help “sometimes”). I have a physical disability and I get a “Do you want my hand, sweetie?” a lot.

DJ Mermaid and her little bother, er, brother.

DJ Mermaid and her little bother, er, brother.

I have cerebral palsy (CP) and I move a little different than anybody else does. Here are my tips on how to decline help when not needed:

  • In public always do things with your head up high and with a confident air to them. (That makes people know you are a PERSON!) It also may reassure people that you do not need help.
  • Say no politely when people ask you if you need help when you don’t need it.
  • If people just grab your hand or another part of your body physically without asking first, say NO quite loudly!

I have had a few experiences that I want to share with you so that you can get in my shoes — or fin, as I should say.

I was in Schaumburg, enjoying dinner at Bonefish Grill with my grandparents. (If you go I recommend Bang Bang shrimp). We were walking down the sidewalk when out of the deep blue sea this weirdo woman extended her hand and expected me to TAKE IT! (I was doing quite fine on my own if you ask me.) Of course, like I should have done I ignored her hand and said to her, “No thank you!”

Thankfully I survived that, but sadly human nature struck again at school when I had a substitute teacher’s assistant one morning. My amazing mom and I ascended the stairs leading into the school facility when an aide walked out and put forth her hand to take me into the building. I brushed by her and said, “No thank you!”

Just before I went in, my mother hugged me and said, “The first thing this woman wanted to do was grab your hand. Make sure you educate her today.” DUH. I know, mom.

One person, though, treats me like all the rest. Introducing… my little bother — er, brother that is. He always wants to win games that we play, always wants more dessert and so on. Sadly with him I can’t use CP to my advantage. Although I sometimes despise him, he and I protect and stand up for each other.

At school once I heard some of his classmates making fun of me. Literally the next morning in SCHOOL (!!) my brother and the boys marched up to my desk and somberly apologized. I didn’t even know it, but my brother SCREAMED at those boys and he and his teacher made them apologize.

Well that’s the end of my 2nd post!

-DJ Mermaid!

CShriver On February 27, 2016 at 11:58 am

Love you DJ Mermaid! You are making a huge difference by educating me at 65 how to treat others! Thank you! ??

DJ Mermaid On February 28, 2016 at 11:30 am

Thank you so much. I will keep on writing and advocating for everyone!

bethfinke On February 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

…and with DJ Mermaid as an advocate, we are all in good hands. Thank you, DJM!


Mary Rayis On February 27, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Great post, DJ, and education for us differently abled people!

Mel Theobald On February 27, 2016 at 12:05 pm

DJ Mermaid, good for you. Always keep that “head up high.” I too have a little “bother”, only difference is, he is going to be 70 years old this summer. Little brothers are a great benefit and they are there for a lifetime. Like your brother, he is very competitive and has a sweet tooth, but he is my best friend, too. Your instincts are just perfect.

Sheila A. Donovan On February 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm

I live the pun, “my little bother.” DJ is witty!

Sue Doyle On February 27, 2016 at 2:39 pm

You go, Girl!! Your bother/brother sounds typical. But they’re the best…I love mine, but he drives me absolutely nuts!!?

DJ Mermaid On February 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

My brother is anything BUT typical.
He drives me CRAZY too!

Andrea Kelton On February 27, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Keep on writing, DJ Mermaid. Your inspiring stories are fun to read!

Nancy Yacullo On February 27, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Hi DJ Mermaid,
Thanks for the good info. Your writing is great!
Fabulous picture, too, And, I love the bang, bang shrimp at Bonefish Grill, also–so not only are you a great educator of others, you are also a good food critic. Keep writing.

DJ Mermaid On February 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

Thank you for the compliments. I feel inspired to keep writing after reading this comment.

Leone Anderson On February 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Thank you, DJ Mermaid. We’re learning a lot from you.

Deborah Darsie On April 24, 2016 at 10:36 pm

DJ Mermaid – Oh, I do wish I had thought of that name for my ‘little’ sister. She is now 2 inches taller than I am and we decided to openly admit we like each other.

Thank you for sharing your little bother’s support of you in school. And kudos to the teacher who backed his efforts.

bethfinke On April 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

Yes. Three cheers for little bothers and their teachers!


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