At your apartment, I never forgot to remove my shoes immediately as I entered inside. It wasn’t a standing rule in the house, but more like an effort to hurry things up. One fateful night I forgot until we were in the room, as she waited on the bed I hurriedly unlaced my sneakers.
Couples like us have expectations, especially when it comes to love and unconditional support when it comes to overcoming our disability. That support we expect to gain from you. Your friends and family might not understand how it feels to be with someone like me. Some will praise and even strangers alike. You will panic, get pressured and hear plenty of backhanded ill compliments that will make you think that my disability is a problem in our relationship that we need to solve. That’s the situation when able bodied people get together with disabled people.
But I don’t need you to save me from my condition, because it’s who i am. I need you to see me and not a part of me. I don’t want you to see past my condition as most people say, see past my cerebral palsy. It’s a part of me; just the statement itself doesn’t make sense. How can you see past something that is so obvious? Instead, I would appreciate it if you could see my condition as part of my value and not my limitation.
Don’t try to overcome my disability since it isn’t your responsibility and you won’t be able to, since it’s impossible. Always remember that I also don’t want it, but I have managed to live with it all these years. If you want me, then you will have to want it too. There is no me without my disability. It matters to us and it’s not a bad thing.
At the end of the day, don’t be bothered about the tiny stuff. Don’t offer to help; furthermore, I have been doing the same thing for the past 27 years without your help love. If I want help, you will be the first person I will tell. If you want to be my hero, a time an opportunity will come. Like offering your arm when the stairs have no railings. Try and use better compliments and when chatting with your friends and family, please don’t clarify to them that I can walk. And the most important point is you must learn to let me fail so that I can learn. I know it’s hard to see a disabled person struggle. Let me try things, fail and learn from them. Speak to me honestly and screw up. This is the kind of help I need.
This is my definition of love in simple steps and language.
No more removing shoes, apologizing for my condition, no more worry that you are afraid, I want to be myself as a whole, don’t just love me anyway, instead love me the whole way.