A recent episode of Push Girls exemplified one of the most frustrating things that can happen when you have a disability – when your parents take it harder than you do. While we may be able to move on after a couple of years, parents often times cannot.
Maybe it’s harder to accept from the 3rd person perspective, especially when you’re the parent. We get to push on, live our lives, see the world in all its glory. We’re not the ones who have to see ourselves in our wheelchairs, which apparently can be pretty hard. Oh the damned wheelchair symbolizing so much sadness wherever we go. And I thought being in a wheelchair was hard.
In the Push Girls episode I was referring to (Season 2, Episode 6 btw), Chelsie had to have a heart-to-heart with her dad, who’s having a really hard time moving on after her car accident. I don’t blame him, I can’t imagine seeing my little girl paralyzed, but his inability to move on is influencing Chelsie in a bad way.
Her dad is holding onto a lot of anger towards her mom, who he feels is responsible for her injury. Chelsie was out late at a party when she got hurt, and her dad (her parents are divorced) thinks she shouldn’t have been allowed to stay out so late….hence blaming the mother. Don’t blame the kids driving drunk in the car for the own irresponsible actions, oh no.
Her dad now can’t even be in the same room as her mom. Chelsie has asked him to forgive, to move on, “If I can move on, why can’t you?” to no avail. And the saddest part is seeing how it influences Chelsie. Having your parents fight because of your injury can make you feel immensely guilty, and that’s what’s happening with Chelsie. She’s having some serious survivor’s guilt.
I know of another quad who’s own father has shown an even more unhealthy way of dealing with his son’s accident – he pretends it never happened. He’s a C6 quad, has been paralyzed for 20 years, and his dad has never put up a ramp for him at his house. It really blows my mind how cruel some parents can be.
And don’t get me started on Mia’s mom from Push Girls, who has always felt her daughter never tried hard enough to get better. “You can still move that toe, Mia. Why don’t you go back to rehab??” Oh the parent who fiercely believes our condition is tied to our own laziness. Those are the worst
Life is hard enough when you have a disability. Having parents who can’t move on, or make you feel guilty, not cool. And sadly this is way more common than people realize.
How have your parents dealt with your disability?