Monday, April 18, 2011
Every so often I like to remind my readers why I take the time to write this blog; my mission statement if you will. It’s partly for myself because writing my story is very cathartic but it’s also for the newly injured especially, the long timers, and the caregivers who have a tremendously hard job to do. Particularly family members and spouses who are emotionally involved with the SCI (spinal cord injured) individual they are caring for. Lots of changes happen in the relationship or family dynamic when they are closely involved with care, a lot of it not very good. I would also like to include a little of these changes and things I might have done differently given a second chance in this post as well.
My mission is to help the newly injured SCI victim regain their sense of self esteem, worth, image and confidence. To help them realize that they are still beautiful, athletic, intelligent, artistic, sexy, WHOLE human beings and everything they were before they were injured they still are. And there is NOTHING that they can’t aspire to be or do simply because of their SCI. YES, they may have to do things differently but nothing should stop them from trying. I tell them that we are NOT cripples, we are SUPERSTARS and we do NOT sit in wheelchairs, we ride in CHARIOTS!!!
For the first two years of my newly injured life if I was in public my head was down and eyes cast to the floor. I had tried while in rehab fitting into regular society on one of our field trips. I tried making eye contact with people with them only looking away, I noticed how when I smiled at small child their mother would shoo them away to take a wide berth around me and my colleagues out to get pizza for the day and I overheard the snickering of young men cruising the streets looking at the pretty girls and if had been only weeks before I would have been one of those girls. If only I could throw something at the cars. But I couldn’t even do that. So this is how they treat you when you’re in a wheelchair, huh? I decided right then and there that I wouldn’t leave myself open for that kind of rejection again. But happily along came what was called my “peer counselor” a man I had absolutely nothing in common with who’s job was to integrate me back into the community. Well, good luck to you, Sir. But as time went by and I got to know Don, he was not just a man with cerebral palsy who was almost 20 years my senior, but a great friend who I could turn to with ANY problem, a friend who was right there when I needed him and a friend who put aside his own needs to take me wherever I wanted to go once a week for four hours every week. And I learned how to be a disabled woman in the real world, how to draw people in with my smile and personality, how to hold my head up high, not to sweat the small stuff and stand up for myself when my rights were being violated.
But I still never made any friends except with my attendants and caregivers here at home. That’s the first thing I’d change if I could back knowing now what I didn’t know or didn’t want to see then.
(to be continued)
Janice and me I loved her like a sister as it turns out she was a whore with Eric and he let her do it.