Don’t be sad for me, k?Aug 02 04:45
A funny thing happened at a party the other night. While a lot of crazy things happen to me, this one was blog-worthy. It all started innocent enough; met a drunk girl at a Bachelorette party who wanted to know how I got hurt. After giving her the “dove into a lake, broke my neck, have been paralyzed the last 18 years” run-down, all she had to say was one thing: “You make me so sad.” Then she started bawling.
Oh man. There’s nothing like a sudden sentence brimming with pity to knock you down a few pegs. But being the classy lady I am (thanks Mom), I resisted my first reaction, which was to tell her off and to tell her to stop being so weak, that life requires strength, which you sorely lack, etc, etc, but we all know how far you can get with an inebriated mind. So instead, I asked her point-blank, “Why are you crying?” in the most severe tone I could muster.
Was that bitchy of me? Maybe. But it was better than flying off the handle. My sane, cautious side knew she was oh-so severely plowed (I had witnessed her guzzling down UV Blue and lemonades an hour earlier), so I tried my damndest to be nice. Its funny. Not every gimp out there would’ve been pissed in this scenario. But when you fight to recover a normal life after a serious debilitating injury, and try to just go out enjoy yourself like everyone else, the last thing you want is your presence to cause tears. What am I? The Elephant Man crashing a kindergarten party?
After her boyfriend walked away in a huff before chastising her for being so rude, she attempted to give an answer. Of course she really didn’t know what to say. “Oh I don’t know,” she said, “I guess it (your injury) just makes me think about my kids and them possibly getting hurt.” All I could do was nod, and roll my eyes on the inside. "I was dead for 4 minutes. Be happy I'm here, not sad." I knew this girl had a rough upbringing, no Mom (so I found out), but the sheer weakness she showed in the face of adversity was insane…but don’t worry folks, this blog has a silver lining.
After witnessing someone so weak, albeit drunk, in just the realm of a disability POSSIBLY happening blew my mind. I’ve seriously become some badass Boudica type and didn’t even know it. We don’t cry, we fight. I fight. I have no time to cry.
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1. Tlaura | Aug 03 03:01
Girl, I so appreciate this article. I'm a classy chic like you therefore I don't always say what I think but it frustrates me to no end how some are just so emotionally weak. I often wonder if it's me. I deal with "able bodied" people in my everyday life that seem to wollow in self pity and seem to refuse to shake it off. They don't get it and neither do I. Thanks again.
2. Tara | Aug 03 08:08
The last thing you want when out with friends is to have someone pointing out the obvious. I hardly ever think about it. When you move past your own insecurities and hit that party everyone is talking about and are having a good time the last thing you should think about is the fact that you are most likely the only chic in a chair and then to have it pointed out by a drunken person just makes it worse.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.