Go ahead and check out a few of the things people have said to me and tell me I’m overreacting: Luckily, I've had partners who didn’t think this way, but I know plenty of people who do.
Most are directed at people who have disabilities, belittling and minimizing our needs and desires, asking us to compromise and sell themselves short of healthy love and sex.Few, if any, are directed at people looking to date or already dating someone with a disability.Oh, and let’s not forget about the time I went on the Jaws ride at Universal Studios and managed not to have a heart attack, despite my unnatural fear of sharks. But still, even though I’m in my early 30s and have it together (mostly), I’ve never really been able to shake those love and relationship hangups that most people seem to leave in adolescence. In some ways, I’m still that awkward 16-year-old girl, trying to muddle through all those confusing questions. I was out with my date, and enjoying myself with him, as usual, when he decided that he needed to go to the men’s room.
The men’s room attendant, who observed my date making his way to the restroom, hastened towards me to ask, “Don’t you think you should go in there with him? ” You see, he felt the need to ask that ridiculous question because my date was blind. Will it be awkward when we try to kiss and my fused neck makes things, ummm, challenging? Will he accept my unhealthy relationship with my cats?Instead, they reward an able-bodied person for daring to love someone who uses a cane. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have ever made a statement like that. I was scared to reach out because of the stigmas I faced.Who would want me if they knew I struggled to get up in the mornings?For me, the problem with stories like these is that they don't focus on the girl in the wheelchair; they focus on the date.