Someone once said that Disneyland was the happiest place on earth. So happy in fact that the only tears you will find are of joy and excitement. Unless you actually start to look closely at things, there are tears of frustration, boredom, overstimulation and anger just to name a few. I suspect there are tears of loneliness in Disneyland as well.
I’ve been there before, this place of magical happiness; this place of carefree fun and pure joy. And I’ve never felt a part of any of it. I was never able to capture the magic of the place nor even hang on to a shred of that which the people I was with managed to have. No matter how hard I tried, it slipped through my fingers, and perhaps the harder I tried the more it slipped through.
Disneyland is not a place to visit when you are intense pain. Nor is it a place to visit when you are struggling to move or stand. Sure it is, I’ve been assured, wheelchair friendly and all that wonderful stuff. But when you are trying to hide your disability, or when you have an invisible disability sometimes things aren’t that easy. Disneyland isn’t super wonderful to visit when you have to minimize your sun exposure because rides in the rain just lack a little something.
None of this is Disney’s fault. None of it is really the fault of lupus either. I know, that sounds odd doesn’t it? But it isn’t. It’s really my own failings at finding a way to summon up the joy or grasp the magic while in so much pain that standing in line seems like torture. When moving in a crowded area means being bumped which means sore joints will be made more sore. When it means plastering on a much larger than usually plastered on forced smile just to ensure I’m not ruining anyone else’s time. And it means realizing again that there are things that set us apart as if an invisible wall exists, whether I’m the one who built the wall or not is irrelevant; the wall is there.
So for me Disney is the perfect place of loneliness. It is one of the few places I’ve managed to visit and feel utterly alone and isolated while being fully surrounded by people having the time of their lives.