NO LONGER WILL I TAKE THE BLAME

A certain person sent me a sick joke in an e-mail recently. It was about a little buck-toothed girl trying to buy a bunny from a pet store to feed to her python. When I objected to receiving such a disgusting forward, this so-called friend claimed in his rambling reply that I wasn’t doing anything to alert the public about snake owners feeding live rabbits to their pets. Instead of an apology, which any thoughtful individual would have given, I was indirectly criticized. I’ve decided that I will no longer take the blame when people falsely attribute it to me.

In my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I chronicled many instances when other people foisted the blame for their mistakes on me. Here is one egregious example from April of 1969 when I arrived in Vancouver from Edmonton after Easter vacation. I was only eleven years old, had no experience in travelling alone, and had poor sight, yet responsible adults acted as if I was the one who messed up.

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When I stepped down from the train, no one from Jericho met me. Not knowing what else to do, I stood on the platform for approximately a half hour. When my legs grew tired, I lugged my suitcases inside the station. “Maybe someone will come along and find me here,” I thought as I sat on a raised concrete platform with my luggage.

After an hour or two, a railway official spotted me. “What are you doing – just sitting there like that?” he demanded.

“I’m waiting for somebody from Jericho Hill School to pick me up.”

“Well, you can’t wait around here forever. Can’t you call a cab or something? I’ve got work to do. I’m not your dad, you know.”

“Couldn’t you call the school for me? I don’t have the number and I don’t have any money left. I can’t see well, you know,” I added. He sighed and walked into an office to find the school’s number in the telephone directory.

Some time later, a man from the Administration Office arrived and drove me to the dorm. “You caused us a lot of problems you know,” he grumped. “We expected you to come tomorrow. Now my schedule is all messed up because of you.” My face fell even lower as I realized he blamed me for his inconvenience and the bureaucratic bungling which caused it.

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like for me and my schoolmates in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. This 196-page paperback, containing 6 black and white photos, sells for $20.00 through the PayPal-equipped  http://www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison website. My When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) book is also available on the site and sells for $10.00.

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Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

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