Feeling left out this summer?Jul 11 12:07
Water-skiing, swimming off the end of a boat, exploring woods where there are no trails. These are things I miss every summer.
When my family and friends (and boyfriend) get to partake in these activities, it takes a lot to not to get jealous. You'd think I'd be over this by now, but it still happens. How do you deal with this feeling that I know everyone of you out there must get from time to time?
When I was injured, one of the first things I did was I promise myself that I wouldn't make anyone feel guilty for being of the do things that I couldn't do any more. I didn't want to be the "guilt trip cripple." And this was especially the case when it came to dating.
I decided that I was going to date able-bodied guys and one of the key things when dating someone who can still walk is letting them still do all the things they can do physically without making them feel guilty. This can be tough. It's hard for the people that are able-bodied to not feel guilty when you get left out. How do you stop people from feeling bad?
The main reason you should care of course (other than the fact that it's the mature thing to do) is that it will help the health of your relationships long-term. When I first date somebody, I always tell them from the get go that I know there will be things that I can’t do with them, and that's ok. “NEVER feel guilty,” I say. And I'll make the intentional effort to make sure they still get out there and do the things they've always liked to do.
Making everything accessible simply isn’t possible (even though you can get pretty close sometimes). Sometimes we have to be ok with sitting at the sidelines. That is part of the disability experience. It never gets easy though.
How do you deal with feeling left out because of your disability?
Post a comment about this blog!
Disability buzz, travel, fashion and dating — fun things to amp up everyday wheeling life.
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.