I had a deep thought the other night while lying in bed. What if in spite of my disability, I had been treated exactly the same as everybody else throughout my years of my being paralyzed? Would my journey have been as hard?
I’m talking about an alternative Alice in Wonderland-type World where peers never treated me any different, the public never treated me different, a fantasy world where my disability was a moot issue, like a mole on someone’s back.
What if this world existed? Would it have still bothered me to be disabled? I think … that’s a no.
Of course I miss not being able to move and feel my legs — desperately so — and would love them back. However the long and arduous road since my accident has only been long and arduous because of the way I’ve been treated.
The rest is all internal struggle. No one likes to be treated less-than, but that’s what happens when you have a disability. It’s really, really hard to adjust to.
If my physical disability hadn’t been accompanied by the social pariah label, I know these past 20 years wouldn’t have been so difficult. Unfortunately, I’ve had to become an expert at rebuffing rude treatment and questions, and swallowing my pride when friends and boyfriends drift away.
This can be a tough pill to swallow, but if you have a disability chances are you can totally relate. It’s no wonder we clique-up, only wanting to have friends or boyfriends who are also disabled. We’ve had to deal with so much in our lives, putting energy into persuading the nondisabled world to like and accept us isn’t right.
If someone can’t see who we are, then they are wholly not worth trying to persuade. We should instead focus our energy on loving ourselves and holding out until others see our awesomeness.
If we can do that, then we are well on our way at giving our self esteem a major boost.
Do you think disability wouldn’t be so arduous if we had social equality?