It’s quite ironic how people get awkward around those in wheelchairs or with less ability when stigma is created, reinforced and assumed by those people exactly.
Of course I’m not accusing every one of doing this, nor am I saying that all are subject to this stigma but the majority who I’ve come across have had this approach in one way or another.
I can’t get my head around people who can’t put themselves in other’s situation. In this day and age, people can’t be so arrogant as to be so selfish.
I can’t understand why people assume others will accept a label or belittling words that you yourself would not accept.
The types of words I’m referring to are words, in my eyes which separate society and classify them.
Words like “disability”- if I strip that word down to its core meaning, you’re basically saying I am an inadequate human being based on the fact that society doesn’t see me as “perfect”. The one word that I hate the most is this word. Why people label me with this word based on my physical image, I do not understand. I once was like you; running, jumping and mobily independent. I have now been stripped of that independence and had it taken away from me at 13 years of age. I’ve needed a wheelchair since 18 years old to get from A to B as consequence of the damage done before intervening, but in no way does that mean I’ve been mentally affected, my brain still works, I’m still capable of adult conversations just like most of you.. I did not ask this upon me so don’t punish me like I have. Stop patronising me, stop thinking I am incapable for the sole reason my legs have caused me to require a wheelchair. I don’t want special treatment, I want to be treated in the same light that every other young adult is treated. I have a mind of my own, a personality behind this misleading image which deserves to be given the chance to flourish.
When people see me in a wheelchair (and have the courage to say hello) nine people out of ten refer to the wheelchair as mine. “Maybe you can bring your wheelchair…” NO, I HAAAAAAAATE how people associate the chair with my possession. Once again, I did not ask this situation for myself, so I would appreciate if others could respect that and my reasons behind why I don’t like to see myself as the owner. I don’t want this situation to last for the rest of my life, I won’t accept it, nor do I like being perceived that I accept it and calling the chair MY wheelchair gives off the impression that I have.
If you’re on the same walk path as I am, there’s no need to urgently dive out-of-the-way. I am human, just like you, I want to be treated like that; not like some deadly virus that forgot to get quarantined and has been released to the public. A lot of people think that wheelchair users require more entitlements getting around, simply because of our image and the stigma that society paints.
I am a woman, not a girl. I am 21 years old, I no longer am in the range to be called a girl. Girls are accounted from the age up until 18; from then on we are addressed as women or ladies.
Finally; EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN!, the amount of times I get looks and stares of pity and confusion from young kids is beyond a joke! Children should be introduced to the world in a wheelchair from a young age, their concepts need to be broadened and willingly by parents would be more appealing than having wheelchair users speaking their minds. I received stares from children since my first diagnosis with this disease, my whole life has been centered around children staring when when I’m in public, seeing me for the first time and I’m tired of it. I no longer enjoy going outdoors as fear a child will gawk at me like I have 12 heads
Some people need to re-evaluate their values when it comes to the treatment of others less fortunate.
- I am just like you, you shouldn’t assume I’m incapable based on past experiences you’ve had
- Not everyone with physical problems has the same mindset. Just because one person considers a description of their situation acceptable, does not mean it’s globally accepted by all. I have very precise descriptions I deem acceptable and not.
- Apologizing for being on the same walkway. WHY!? I don’t take up a whole sidewalk
- Don’t derogate me(not recognising my age and stage in life)
I didn’t choose this life; this life chose me, and I should not be punished by society for the problems that I had no power over, I feel like I am though, like people couldn’t care less how they treat me because I’m ‘not supposed to have a voice’
Ireland needs to educate themselves to the same par as other countries more accepting have