I just want to say Thanks to all who recognize that just because my body doesn’t work quite right,doesn’t mean my mind quit working also. I very much appreciate the people who simply talk to me normally. Often, people don’t know how to react to a person in a chair. Most are curious about how I got there, or how I manage certain tasks, or any number of other things. Maybe they have never really known a disabled person before. It is quite common to “dumb it down” during conversation like you would to a child. While I understand this instinct and am not truly offended by it, I do sincerely like to be treated like an intelligent woman. Just because I am suddenly shorter than average and always have a place to sit does not mean I am stupid. It means I am shorter than you.
For the most part, I don’t mind when someone asks me what happened, or any of the other myriad of questions they may have. It is a highly personal thing to ask, but I would rather answer the questions than spread hate and encourage prejudice. I particularly like answering the questions of a child. They are honestly simply curious and trying to learn. It bothers me when parents discourage honest curiosity in small children. how else are they supposed to learn if they don’t ask?
I am bothered by pity though. It really angers me when someone looks at me with that “Oh you poor thing” look in their eyes. Pity, as far as I know, has never really helped anyone. Another thing that bothers me is when someone doesn’t know how to deal with me because I am disabled, so they simply ignore me. I am thinking in particular of a recent incident when I was struggling with a heavy door while in my wheelchair and three people simply stared, a fourth looked at me with pity in her eyes and walked through the door without pausing. It had shut again before I could react to get through. It is not rude to ask “do you need help with that?” that question allows me to say no thank you, if it is something I can manage, or yes please if I can’t do it. I have lost count of the number of women’s restrooms my husband has seen in the process of helping me with the doors. and the number of women who simply walked on by without comment or pause.
OK, enough ranting. Today’s lesson in my life, was about learning to like myself. I need to stop worrying about everyone else’s opinions and find a reason to think positively about me. I am working on it. So far all I have some up with is that I like my tattoos. I have 3, with plans for 4 more right now.