I recently saw a post that someone asked “what is the relationship you have with your wheelchair?” Which I thought was a very interesting question. So I got to thinkin, and this is what I’ve come up with.
My wheelchair isn’t something I really think about all day. To some, that may sound weird, to others you might relate. So just hear me out.
I’ve somehow wired my brain to make it feel as though I’m “walking” in my wheelchair. Which clearly isn’t the case. I’m not delusional you guys, I promise.
I do have days that I realize how fucked I would be if I forgot to charge my chair for a night and then my chair dies. Or the possibility of it stop working. Cuz these are possible scenarios that able-bodied people never have to worry about.
I think I have a mutual understanding with my wheelchair that it’s meant to be my “legs.” I understand some people name their chairs and such but… I’m not that much of a fruit. No offense. (:
I love my wheelchair. Sometimes. And other times it just gets in the way or it’s really loud. Like right now for instance, my wheel is deciding to do this thing where it squeaks every time I drive. It’s pretty embarrassing.
Whatever. I also beat the hell out of my chair… I have 2 broken headlights, squeaky wheels, bent anti tip… I pretty much put this chair through hell just to get things done.
If you want to name my chair for me, be my guest. (:
I know I’m not the strongest person. But I’m as strong as I can be.
I know I’m not the smartest person. But I know i know some things that others might not.
I know I can’t walk. But I know I can rock a wheelchair just as good as a girl in yogas.
I know I’m not perfect. But perfectly imperfect.
I know I’m not normal. But I don’t care to be.
I know I’m not the most popular person. But I have a small amount of best friends that I love way too much and would never switch them for more people.
I know I’m not the most religious. But I have my own beliefs.
I know I’m not the prettiest. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be confident.
I know I’m not the most creative. But I like to act like I am.
I know I’m not the best singer… Not even close. But the hell it’s gonna stop me from singing.
I know I can’t help everyone that needs it. But I like to believe I can.
I know I’m not most open person. But I love to let people in and figure things out.
I know I’m not the happiest person. But everyone needs a shoulder sometimes.
I know I’m not the nicest person. But I would never do anything to intentionally hurt someone. Ever.
I know I don’t always have the best ideas. But I love contributing.
Just because you’re not ‘the best’ or ‘the most’ at something… Doesn’t mean you should stop doing it. Just know what you’re capable of and hold on to it. Cuz chances are… There’s probably someone worse than you.
There are just those days that I wish I could be invisible. A day where I don’t have to fake a smile. A day that I could just mope for absolutely no reason with no one asking me “what’s wrong?”
Now, I don’t wanna sound emo or depressed or anything. I’m really not. Everyone just has those days where they just want to shut out the world. But every class I’ve had in college where usually the teacher has no clue who you are, will always know me.
No matter where I go or what I do, my chair will always make me noticeable. And it sucks. It has it’s perks, I don’t wanna sound completely negative here.
But, for example, my accounting class of almost 200 only about 30 students go because she’s the worst teacher ever and class is irrelevant. So anyways. After skipping class for like 3 weeks my teacher goes “oh it’s nice to have you back”
Luckily she assumed I wasn’t coming to class because I told her I get stuck in the snow. But still…
Days where I just hate people and the world and want nobody to notice my existence….. It’s physically impossible.
And then I just have those days where I feel like no one notices me. No one texts me that day. I feel like the world hates me.
Sometimes… There’s just no medium.
Independence. A strong word and even stronger characteristic.
I don’t think everybody realizes the things I go through everyday. Not even just me. Anybody with a disability.
How long does it take an able bodied person to put a shirt on? Five seconds? 10? Okay okay, let’s even say 30 if you’re a girl because of that hard-to-reach zipper in the back on that sexy peplum. Or if you’re a guy and wearing a button up…there a lot of buttons.
How long does it take me? Maybe… Three minutes let’s say. Could take 5 if it’s a tight shirt.
My point here is that a lot of people don’t realize how fortunate they are to be able to do a simple task such as picking a pencil off the ground. Or getting out of bed in the morning.
There are things I’m capable of and things I’m not. And I’m aware of most of them. And if it’s one word I hate… It’s dependence. Depending on other people is shitty. I appreciate every single stranger that has opened a door for me, or every one of my friends for coming to my rescue in a dire need of help.
But there’s two things:
1. There’s nothing I can do about it…and it just means I’ll never get lonely pretty much. There’s a plus!
2. Even though there are things I am absolutely not capable of, I ALWAYS think of the things that I CAN do. I’m not trying to brag but I love that there are so many things I am capable of doing myself. And i know I can do so much because I actually try and do it before saying “I need help.” Which more people need to start doing.
People with disabilities create this invisible line of limitation created by their own minds. For fucks sake people. The more you don’t do, you’ll end up losing the ability completely. An ability you might not even know you had! So do yourself a favor and if you can do it, someone else shouldn’t be. Point blank.
Especially if you have muscular dystrophy. You all know damn well the muscle you don’t use deteriorates and is gone forever. So don’t get lazy and let someone else do something because it’s faster if they do it. Unless you’re in a rush, you’re better off doing it yourself.
And I’m not here to lecture anybody. Just something I’ve noticed before. Also, I just hate seeing my friends get weaker and weaker every year.
I will not let my life be dependent on other people when it’s not needed. I create my own schedule with my abilities. It’s either that or I need to work around other peoples schedules, which is never fun.
This disease will not control my life. I’m controlling it. Every single day of my life. And I really hope others follow this motto too.
A quote that will forever be a part of my life: “Nobody has a disability. Everyone has ability. Let’s find it.”
Sheltered disabled children….
Is one thing that really grinds my gears. Parents that feel the need to protect their child is one thing. But keeping them sheltered because they have a disability is another.
Usually these parents believe that their disabled child can’t leave the house alone and they are the only ones that are able to take care of their child. NO!
Gosh I cannot thank my mother enough for never holding me back from doing something because of my disability. My mom never treated me different just because I was in a wheelchair and my brother wasn’t. I still got slapped just as much as he did… My mom actually use to try and force me out the house to take buses and trains alone.
And now I’m in college, and I did it by myself. I applied by myself. I found help by myself. I called for my accommodations and got everything set up and now I’m two semesters away from being a college graduate. Even my mom was impressed that I did it by myself…
It just pains me knowing that there are really children and maybe even adults at this point that are afraid to leave their house without their parents. I talked about independence in a previous blog so this pretty much connects to that.
I’m not trying to offend anyone here, but if you’re a parent with a disabled child… I can tell you right now, your child is NOT alone. And your child IS capable of being independent. And there are SO many resources in the world for disabled people to go where they need to go and get shit done.
Who knows, parents that have disabled children may never even read this blog but I’ve heard stories about parents who just shelter their child because they don’t feel like their child has the ability to do anything on their own. Which calls for a rant.
It’s just sad, really. There’s so much potential that is being wasted away.
My rant for the week is that some parents that have disabled children should realize by now that we’re at a time where resources are endless. Not to mention support groups left and right. Become educated and let your child live the most normal life they could possibly have. That’s all I ask.
I’m a strong advocate for independence and equality for people with disabilities. If it’s not obvious already. So I feel strongly about people with disabilities doing things on their own and growing up to live the most normal life that any other “able-bodied” person will have.
All my life I dreamed to be an actress. The idea of having my name known worldwide sounds so amazing. I doubt I’d be a good actress in the first place but still. A girl can dream.
Around my senior year of high school I started to actual give a flying fadoodle about my looks. And gained some confidence.
Now, I dream of being a model. I want to be THAT girl that changes the way a model should look. And I mean I somewhat have the face and have a great rack. And then there’s the chair.
Oh how could I forget. There’s no possible way a girl in a wheelchair can become a model. How ABSURD, am I right?
Not. Fuck the rules. Fuck the status quo. And fuck the next person that tells me NO (for a stupid reason of course. I take constructive criticism well).
I don’t mean to sound vein or anything. Everybody has dreams. This is mine.
My dream is to become a model, since I sure as hell can’t act. Being a model is pretty much acting without talking. Which I can do. Anyways. I want to become that iconic person that changes the way the world looks at people with disabilities. People with disabilities always feel like they cannot do something because of the automatic assumption that their wheelchair is the answer. That their wheelchair makes them not as accepted. Blahblahblah
All a wheelchair does is make a person stand out more, in a good way. Most of the time, that person has the best things to say and deserves to stand out. And people don’t see that.
I want people with disabilities to realize the potential they have. I want you all to see that people with disabilities have an equal chance of becoming whatever they want to be.
Well, world, that’s what I’m here for.
And I want you all to listen. And listen well.
My disability does not define me. I define IT. So don’t look at my chair and judge me. I’d rather you look at my cleavage if that’s the case. Nothing is wrong with my brain and I thank god for that everyday. I just hope you all can see that too.
thanks for reading (:
It’s interesting to know what people see when they look in the mirror.
Confidence is so important. I can’t stress it enough. Confidence, to me, means that you stick to what you believe in because it correlates with you, personally, not your friends or family or soulmate. Confidence is saying a different answer that isn’t the popular choice because you feel strongly about another. Confidence is seeing what makes you better than the next person. So I must ask, are you confident?
Id hope the answer is yes.
I believe I’m confident. I really do. I sometimes find myself being really insecure or unsure about the world, but I think that’s completely ordinary. People have their days, right?
But in general, I am confident. I’m confident in what I believe in.
What do I believe in? I believe in being a good person. I believe in everybody having their own faith. I believe that everyone has a voice and opinion, and I love to hear them. I believe that there is more than one answer to any problem. And lastly, I believe in myself.
When everyone else in the classroom says yes, I find a reason to say no.
I like knowing that I can have my own voice and others will listen. I like knowing that I can look in the mirror and smile at what i see.
I know I sound like a total fruit, but there are a lot of people in the world who aren’t as confident, so maybe this can help.
Now. I’m making this up as I go along so bare with me. Hopefully some of you will try this too.
Look in the mirror. What do you see? Not just physically.
When I look in the mirror I see, starting from the top:
A strong girl, mentally of course. No makeup and unbrushed hair.
A huge heart, lots of love, and a pretty laced bralette.
A bigger appetite than perceived but willing to give up the food on my plate for my little siblings that ask for some.
And tiny legs that are pretty useless but then I see a $45,000 bedazzled wheelchair that makes me feel as normal as possible. Seriously. I’ve had friends forget to hold open doors for me and then say “sorry I forgot you were in a wheelchair.” Because when they see ME they don’t see a disabled girl. They see Sawsan.
Confidence can control your life and you won’t even realize it. The only person fighting back from you being confident, is yourself. Find yourself. Make a day of it. Write it down. Change your wardrobe. Bake a cake. Compliment a person you don’t know. Ask someone on a date, if you get rejected then all the more reason to ask the hotter guy out next door instead. Kiss a hobo… Not really. But I won’t judge if you do.
I use my confidence to inspire people and to make them happy. That’s what makes me confident.
I guess I should start from the beginning?
My name is Sawsan Abuosbie. Saw-sin ABOOZ-bee. I’m 20 years old, junior at Illinois state university. And I’m in a wheelchair.
Yes. A 4 wheeled hunk of metal of an ass that I use in replace of my legs. It really brings out my eyes.
I was born with this thing, which I don’t expect anyone to have heard of, called spinal muscular atrophy type 2. It’s a form of muscular dystrophy. And in the muscular dystrophy book for dummies, SMA2 simply means that I cannot gain muscle in the main muscles of my body. Arms, legs, neck, and lungs. This is a progressive disease so I do lose muscle and get weaker with time. Ive had many friends die of this disease because they get so weak, so it is a very serious disease.
For the record, I can feel my legs and ass. But there is one part of my body, unrelated to this disease, that I actually cannot feel. But we’ll get into that later.
For now, I’ll stick to sharing with the world my thoughts and stuff… That’s what blogging is for isn’t it?
I’m pretty chill, I love people, and guys, and abs, and CAMP. oh you guys will hear a lot about my camp. It’s my life. Literally. I LOVE music and the media. Pop culture. All that jazz.
I like to rant about the stupid shit that people do to piss me off. Granted I don’t actually get pissed. More like…. Very confused as to what goes through people’s minds when they decided to be idiots. Yeah I like to rant about them.
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