Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Girl + Boy + Wheelchair = Hmm.

January 26, 2010

I just read a Yahoo question; a boy was telling yahoo that a while ago he met a beautiful girl and became friends with her, however now he has started ‘liking her a lot more then friends’. The thing is, she’s in a wheelchair and he’s not sure if he could cope with it- her disability that is. Most of the answers tell him that if he’s even thinking about that then he is not the man for her, others tell him to gain some confidence and tell her how he feels, that way he could ask the questions he needs to.

I don’t know what I think.

If I was the ‘girl’ in this situation and I found out my ‘friend’ had posted this on yahoo, I would probably be rather upset. Here’s this guy that I might have feelings for and he’s worried about my wheelchair. However on the other hand I think: “Sure, that’s a fair enough question; I might be that way if I was in his shoes”. I just can’t get my head round it. For years I’ve wondered if boys think that way about me, it’d explain a lot, trust me. In fact only one person, yes a boy, has ever asked me out right: “Can you have children?” I didn’t know what to say at the time! I asked my Mum because obviously she has all the answers but it just made me worry about my future and I’m only 17!!

If other people are thinking that way about my future now, what am I going to be like when I actually have to deal with it?

I went to a new clinic the other day, it specialises in people with Spina bifida (wheey!) and whilst I was there I actually felt like I could be cared for in the right way, they can give me the independence I need but also give me the answers for the questions I have, or other people have that I don’t even think of!

I’m going to answer him as if a boy friend of mine had asked me the same question:

People with disabilities can win gold medals, get on the catwalk and climb mountains. Now why would we not be able to be in a relationship? P.W.D.’s get married all the time, sometimes to other P.W.D.’s but often to people without them. If you want to love me, you love all of me, that’s wheels included.



P.W.D.’s = People With ‘Dis’abilities (We should have t-shirts, I know!)


“Why are you in a wheelchair?”

August 8, 2009

QuestionMarkSomeone asked me yesterday “Why are you in a wheelchair?” I looked at them bemused for a moment; I’ve been asked this question many times before and almost every time I’ve changed my response:

“F*** me, I’m in a wheelchair?!”
“Well I lifted myself out of bed and just got in”
“I found it in a dust bin”
“I was born with it, Mums labour was hell”

This time however I gave them the honest answer “I was born with Spina bifida”. They didn’t ask too many questions after that, in fact, I’ve hardly spoken to them since. I got the impression they wanted a more elaborate story on a horrific accident…sorry to disappoint. It did make me wander though, about why people ask and should wheelchair users give them an honest answer?

I know some wheelchair users are often offended if they are not asked straight out; they feel that people are talking about them behind their backs and I can, I think, relate to this. It drives me crazy when I’m out with my Mother or worse, a friend and the lady in the lift turns to THEM and asks THEM what’s wrong with me. Well apparently I’m bloody invisible, that’s what’s wrong with me! The thing is; I don’t feel my wheelchair defines me as a person, nor do I feel it’s an important story to tell. I don’t think I have ever turned round to a friend and told them my story without them asking. In fact many of my friends have gone months without even mentioning my four wheels.

My boyfriend who I’ve known for several months now has never asked me what’s ‘wrong’ with me, maybe he doesn’t see the wrong, I don’t know. You see, I think that’s why some people ask, they see ‘it’ as a barrier to getting to know a person properly, then again (and this is the most common case I feel) maybe it is just a mans curiosity…and what’s wrong with curiosity?

Next time I’m asked, I will reply frankly, I’ll leave the bad stuff out, I’ll give my frills and cotton candy story on how and why I’m disabled. People don’t want to know the hard stuff; they want to hear a story book answer. Maybe that’s my problem with that question, I feel I have to lie to cover up certain aspects of myself, after all, phatic conversation doesn’t call for the details.

Ali x

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