“No, I don’t want to go to the Cinema with you.”

Thinking through situations, whether they are certain or of possibility, becomes a mandatory skill to possess when one is trying to live a normal life whilst having a physical disability. Eighty percent of the time it is: understanding that you have restrictions and knowing how far you can go without discomforting those around you. In other words, I basically imagine a scenario in my head of what could happen, from least to most likely, and then think of ideas of dodging them.

It is a cycle of: overthinking, analysing, and then overthinking once again. It can be strenuous and tiring, but I feel that I have to think of these situations through to avoid unnecessary dilemmas that come with a physical disability.

Let me give you an example.

If my friends invite me or even if a guy asks me out to go see a movie at the cinema. This is how the thinking process goes:

“Okay now the closest cinema is couple minutes from here, that cinema is in a huge mall, where would he park his car? In the disabled parking? But he doesn’t have a disability sticker, why would he have a sticker anyway? No, its fine I can walk. Wait, there are stairs, what if the elevator is out of order? What do I order for snacks? I can’t carry anything with crutches? I can’t expect him to carry his stuff and my stuff too. Where are we going to sit? There are always stairs inside the movie house. Why are there so many stairs? Maybe it is best if we choose the isle seats, but other people might want to pass us. Where would we put the crutches? What if I need to go the bathroom? – Don’t order any liquids. What if I get stuck? What if a slip or fall? Oh no that’ll be embarrassing to him and to me. I’ll get socially anxious again. I don’t want to make him feel any discomfort. I don’t want him to feel that he’s doing anything wrong. He doesn’t deserve this; he’s neither a caregiver nor a slave. Does he know what he getting himself into? Did he expect this? I feel horrible. A first date doesn’t proceed like this. I’ll save us both the regret. Sorry I’m not going.”

If someone wishes to take me somewhere, it would have to be “disabled friendly”. One level, no stairs, (but ramps are permitted) is the optimum. I don’t want anyone to feel any sort of malcontent for my disability. I don’t want people to say, “What do we do now?” because I cannot get to the place where we need to be. Then I feel like I ruined it for them or I should not have tagged along.

Unfortunately, this is the catch with obtaining a disability of some sort. It does not only affect just the one person who has it, it has a chain reaction with everyone around you. I think that it is not only proving to everyone that you are independent, but I think it is also proving to yourself that you are not a burden to everyone around you. I think situations through for everyone’s convenience and comfort.

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