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Working Through My Insecurities About My Disability

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As a pretty eccentric human being, I take comfort in the fact we can all be celebrated for being our own person. Just think about how boring this world would be if we were all the same. Nothing would ever get accomplished, and most of us would stay stale and stagnant. So while I like being celebrated for being different, I also wish to be treated with the same regard as the able-bodied population.

Growing up with a disability which requires me to use a wheelchair to survive, I have met many people who assume I must be some sort of superhero because I appear to remain positive while I depend on someone else to fulfill some of my most basic needs. While this is somewhat true, it does not reflect my character in its entirety. I wish more people could see me as a normal person who just needs a little more assistance to do ordinary activities which are required for daily living. Feeling like a burden or a bother is a big insecurity in my life; I always feel badly about having to ask for help. I feel like it becomes an annoyance to people who assist me. Truth be told though, I can assume I feel that way because some people have treated it as such.

As I struggled to get through high school in my later teens, I remember people scoffing and complaining if I had to use the bathroom. After the complaining continued, I just decided I would hold my bladder because I did not want to intrude or be a nuisance. This is when I began to assume other people feel the same way as these ladies. Maybe they just didn’t have the courage to say they were bothered out of fear it might crush my feelings? If that was their thought process, they were not incorrect. My assumptions not only hurt my feelings now, but they still affect me even more so as a grown woman today. I cannot help keeping these thoughts in the back of my head, whether they are true or not. It is psychological, and I know that to be true, but once you have that idea implanted in your head, it is hard for it to be removed. It is a constant struggle.

While we are talking about struggles, I must say dating is another for me. Sure, I would love the feeling of belonging to someone and feeling loved just as much as the next person. However, having a disability makes this extremely hard. To be honest, I find myself to be a pretty average-looking person. I do not find myself unattractive, but I do not think I am something extra special either. I am sandwiched somewhere in between. So, I honestly do not think it is my appearance that is holding me back. As a matter of fact, in my online dating experiences, I have had people tell me I was beautiful, yet when I told them I am disabled, I never heard from them again. I think things like that also play a part in my burdensome thinking. I think this segment of the population either does not want to deal with the extra responsibility or cannot imagine dealing with a disability.

However, if there is one thing I want people to understand, it is this: I am a normal human being who wants to be loved. I have a huge compassionate heart and open arms. I have an ungodly amount of patience as well. I guess I will just have to continue waiting ever so patiently in the wings for the one who will love me no matter what the condition or circumstance.

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Getty image by Magic Bones.

Originally published: January 14, 2018
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