Monday, March 26, 2018


She was really offended.

I had been rolling in to the gym, in fact I was nearly there. This means that I'd rolled from the car, up the gradual grade to the door and into the building. I was by myself because Joe had to go find parking. She had said,"You are getting your workout already." I smiled but didn't say anything. No, I'm not working out, I'm rolling my chair. Walking from one place to another may be exercise but it isn't working out. She then, encouraged by my smile started to move towards me, hands out to grab the chair.

"Please no," I said.

And she was offended with a capital UPSET.

I said, "Look, you are walking and I don't offer you help with walking, I respect your ability to do so. Well, I don't walk, I roll, please respect my ability to do that."

Then I got the look. The, "You are just a bitter cripple trying to show off how independent you are when really you are constantly crying inside" look.

I swear one day I'm going to go up to some sporty looking non disabled person and say, "Wow, you are really good at balancing yourself on those little tiny feet, do you want me to help you maintain balance? Here take the handles on my wheelchair and I'll lead you to were you are going. No really, no bother."

I want protection from other people's niceness as much and sometimes more than their meanness.

No, I don't want protection, I can do that.

I just want to live my life without people inserting themselves into the narrative of my life, people trying to hijack my experience of my life, people trying to tell the story of their life through the story of mine.

This is my life.

And, even more importantly, it's my story.

That I want to tell.

And if you're not in it, stay out of it.

Out. Of. It.


Girl on wheels said...

I got God Blessed again today. I was out on my own, coming back from my doctors surgery when some random stranger felt the need to bless me. I was just rolling down the street, feeling happy and independent because 6 months ago I couldn’t have done this. Six months ago I had been housebound for almost 6 years, because I could only reliably push my wheelchair on flat surfaces which the pavements in my town aren’t. I was completely blindsided by it, my shock delayed by f**k you until he was out of hearing range and then I started to cry, which I never do. I was having such a good day and for some reason a stranger felt the need to let me know that he pitied me in the most patronising way he could think of. I don’t know why I had such a strong reaction, it’s not like this is the first time this is happened to me. I have been pitied, and patted and prayed for and even given knick-knacks with supposed healing abilities. I think it was because I was feeling so normal, I was just a person on a busy street going about my day. I was just like everyone else on that street, and then suddenly his pity and patronisation made me other.

So yeah abled people stop making my life about you, stop imaging me to be tragic and sad and so fucking inspirational because it makes you feel better. We’re all just people, we’re all born, we all live and we all die. Some of us just look a little different, or experience the world a little differently. Also stop fucking touching me, I am a grown woman if I need help I will ask for it and I certainly do not appreciate being moved out of your way. Next person who does that I’m parking on their toes.

Rachel said...

I've had total strangers come up to me and want to pray for me. Seriously. WTF for? It's more than a little late (as in conception) for me to not have what I have. And they think they're well-meaning but OMG it's infuriating, and not really well-intentioned at all. It means I'm not good enough for them at first glance. Get to know me and you might find there are things I wouldn't mind you praying about for me. None of those are going to be anything you know from seeing me walk down the damn street.

On my way out of work I saw a young girl, maybe nine or so, helping get her mom's wheelchair out of the back of their car and holding it while mom transferred herself. I have no doubt that mom can do that on her own, of course, but seeing somebody giving obviously wanted useful assistance was nice. Especially given that the wheelchair user (gasp!) has a child! Is that even allowed? Do disabled people have (whispering) sex? /sarcasm