My son, J., has many medical issues and severe cognitive disabilities. Yesterday, at one of the endless meetings we have about said disabilities, my husband and I were asked to describe how J. got that scar on his face. We shifted, almost in shame, as if it were someone’s fault. It wasn’t. So one of us explained how one day, J. was in so much pain from his gastroenteritis when he came home from school—this is our guess; he can’t communicate what he’s feeling or what motivates him—and we weren’t able to get him his medical cannabis in time. He often bangs his head on things when he’s hurting. That day, he happened to be standing by a window. He put his head right through it, slashing his face open on a jagged piece of glass.
The developmental psychologist then asked us if J.’s ever tried to hurt us “with malice.” My spouse and I considered. We have scars from J.’s bites everywhere—I have one on the web of my hand and another on my left breast, where he bit me in fear after seeing a dog while I was holding him. My spouse has his own scar on his face, for which he, the least vain person I know, is considering plastic surgery to have removed. It looks a bit like a pimple, makes it difficult to shave. And who wants to look at that every day? Read More