A-Z Disability Challenge | F : Treat Your Friends In The Way You’d Want To Be Treated

I know I’ve said this for almost every post, but for today it is really important. The topic I will be discussing is how you should treat your disabled friends. I wish this was common sense, but I guess for some people, they lack knowing how to act while hanging out with a person with any kind of disability in both private and publicly!

I am purely basing this off of my own experiences I had while I was in school, because this was the time that I saw anybody outside of my family really making the conscious decision to really hang out with me outside of having a sleep over and of course, seeing each other in classes. This was also the point in my life that I realized that I was truly different than my “friends” because whenever I was around them, I made myself forget that I was disabled. I wanted to be like them so badly that I never felt accepted to be myself, so I wanted to write this post for both sides.


I loved birthday parties! I enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with my friends outside of school. Although, from the ages 7 to about 10, there wasn’t anything too major that we all did together. I never played spin the bottle or seven minutes in heaven like most preteens did. Now whenever I had birthday parties and sleepovers, I was in a more controlled environment and everybody was basically forced to do what I wanted to do. After my 7th birthday and having over 20+ kids, that included a bunch of rowdy boys, came over to our house, I never had boys over ever. So, I never really had the chance to play spin the bottle like I really wanted to!

I think my favorite parties were over at Haley and Zack’s houses. I’ve been friends with both of them for YEARS! I met Haley in kindergarten, she was my first true friend and Zack’s grandparents lived really close to mine, so we’d see each other almost every other weekend. Anyways, I loved going to their parties. Whenever I would go over to Haley’s, we would be indoors, but when I was attending Zack’s, we were mostly outdoors, sitting by the bonfire, or at least I was. Both made sure to include me as best as they could, but there were a lot of things that they were doing that I knew I couldn’t do, so I felt conflicted a lot of the times, but whenever I’d get in that little funk, I’d end up talking to their families. I love both of their mothers, and whenever I see them, we’ll talk and hug each other!

Once we all got into high school, it was almost like, everybody was too uncool to have sleepovers. I had the hardest time finding people that wanted or had the time to sleep over at my house. I rarely slept at anybody’s house other than my friend Haley and with my cousin Kristi. There was a reason for this though, after I had my back surgeries I grew a lot both in height and weight,  in a short period of time, and it wasn’t until probably 2008 that I began to feel okay with somebody touching my back again. I was still pretty fragile by the time I hit middle school to the end of junior year of high school. This is why I only hung out at two people’s houses, because only two adults were really comfortable and basically took up the challenge to lift me up stairs, beds, couches, etc.

It wasn’t until the end of high school, were things really started to change. There is nothing like a broken heart, especially when it’s caused by your friends. Boys will come and go, but I think I cried more about not being to hang out with my friends. It was never like I wasn’t allowed to go out because my parents said so, it was the fact that nobody would do it. It wasn’t until my 18th birthday that I actually had a friend of mine, take me out. One person.

So, imagine the disappointment when I was told that I was going to get picked up to go out to eat with some friends and I never got a call or a text that said “they were right outside.” In that moment, I truly hated the body I was born in, because I thought if I wasn’t like this, I could be driving my own car, picking them up, and we’d be happy as clowns. Instead, I sat in my room permanently attached to my mom’s shoulder as the minutes trickled by and I received no messages.

It wasn’t until my mom basically said this is not right and packed us up, she texted my cousin Kristi to see if she wanted to go putt-putting that afternoon. While we were at a stop light, I got a text message from the same person I was supposed to be waiting on, asking if I was there already because they’d seen my mom’s car–still didn’t get the message that they were going to pick me up like they said–so I quickly realized that the whole thing was a big joke and that I got excited for no absolutely fucking reason! I know it’s been over 8 years, but I still feel somewhat hurt about this! Friends should never make you feel like that, ever! I can never literally look forward to anything because of this one outing that never happened. It’s okay though, my mom, sister, Kristi and I had fun at miniature golf anyways!

I do worry about these younger generation of disabled kids and teens, because I know how I was and how I dealt with my pain of never feeling like you are enough for roughly anybody. It wasn’t healthy and I know that now. It wasn’t until 2012, two years after I graduated from high school, that I truly began to really love myself for who I was. I started treating myself better! Unfortunately, I’m still not good at keeping up with my friendships, and it’s probably stemmed from this past experiences and other stuff. That’s why it’s highly important to always remember to treat your friends, whether they are able or disabled, like you would want to be treated.

The End.

Do you have any advice for the younger generations on how to treat other people? Were you ever put in the same situations? How did you make it out? Let me know!

A-Z Disability Challenge | D : Dear Disability Community

Howdy!

For today, I am basically writing a letter to the disability community. This post is going to a very strong, opinionated piece. I have been keeping a lot of these thoughts locked up for a long time and I think it’s time to unleash them on here. So you’ve been warned!

I feel like the disability and feminist communities are fairly similar with the way people within it can be quick to judge you if you don’t agree with a certain subject. Everybody thinks we all should have the same feelings about the main topic that both groups discuss, like equality and you role as a human being. I’ve been thinking about the role and where I stand on the various topics that both groups fight for on a daily basis, but I’m mainly targeting disabled people.


I think I’m an army of one. I’ve always thought that, because I was kind of taught that over the years. The only back-up I have is my family and maybe some close family friends, but hardly any of them share the same feelings as me, especially about disability in general, because they’re not in my shoes, or maybe in this case we’ll say “wheels?” It’s not their fault by any means, and I’ve kind of learned to live with it. I’ve become more of a silent advocate for the community. I don’t join a lot of the discussions of bigger topics, like politics. When I was in high school, we were taught how to register to vote and if you already 18, you were allowed to go ahead and do it in class. When I was asked to do it, I said no. There was a lot of backlash for it, one person even told me that I wasn’t allowed to complain if a person you’re rooting for doesn’t win because I didn’t vote. Fast forward to 2016, after seeing the chaos, I don’t think my vote would have mattered because Trump had bewitched the public into letting him into the White House anyways.

The second reason why was because I was afraid of basically breaking rank in my household. My parents are strong Republicans and being somebody, who supports the opposite committee or person, is literally the worse thing you could possibly do. So, I try my best to stay far away from politics at home and even online within my own community. Despite the fact that the majority of the disabled people out there, hate our President as much as I do, there are some very extreme people who will do anything to “stand up” for their rights.

At the start of 2017 I think, I saw a video of a news channel filming people with various disabilities, some of them removing themselves out of their wheelchairs, lying on the ground, and being carried away by security and police officers to jail. I’ve never been in a position to feel like that was my only option, but I was conflicted at the thought of seeing how far people in different circumstances doing anything and everything to plead to people, even making a spectacle of themselves. However, whenever a bill that contains something about disabled people, I am concerned but all I feel like I can do physically is pray.

The next topic I’d like to discuss is about the death of Stephan Hawking. There was a cartoon drawing of Stephan ascending to Heaven, free of his wheelchair, computer, and tubes, and he’s shown walking up the golden stairs to the sky. I thought it was a beautiful drawing, but a lot of wheelchair users were really angry about it. Immediately, there were arguments being made about being in a wheelchair is a form of being “free” and that the drawing just added to the myth that once we die, we’re free of all of our flaws: disabilities included.

Again, this was another thing that I chose to stay out of, because I did not agree with the disabled community on two things. Throughout my childhood, I was told by various family members that when we die, our bodies will be transformed if you will. As I got older, I began to believe this more and have always looked forward to that possibility. And the other was, I don’t believe my wheelchair gives me my freedom. Am I mobile? Yes, but I am not free to move around for a long distance by myself. I feel like I have the most freedom when I’m on the floor. Why? Because there’s more space to spread things out, I don’t need everything right beside me at all times. There are issues with reaching for things that are higher than me, but I always find my way around it.

I know I’m going to be attacked in some form by the words I’ve said in this post, but I still stand by what I believe and that is, we’re not all supposed to have the same feelings and nobody is going to make me convert to their way of thinking, trust me, people have tried their hardest to do this for years! I’ve heard many different sides of these two subjects online, mostly on Twitter and so far, nobody’s said anything to divert me in another direction, the only thing I’ve learned to do is hold my tongue and I’m perfectly fine with doing that for the rest of my life.

How do you stay out of the drama with your family, friends and/or online? Are there topics you do not discuss at all?

A-Z Disability Challenge | C : Be Truthful To Your Children

Howdy!

This post is very close to my heart. Since my sister found out she was pregnant with my nephew, I wondered how we were going to explain to him about my disability. It’s kind of easier to explain to children in the grocery store about how came to be like this. Our go-to is “god made me like this” or “I was born like this” but I have a feeling Nolan isn’t going to let those explanations slide. I think it is important to talk about disabled people with young children.

I’ve never been able to hold him like everybody else because of my arms, so imagine the expression on his face when I started basically wagging them in front of his face when he was about three months old! He was mesmerized that these large hook-like arms that were just swinging back and forth. He’s been practically in love with them ever since. He has expressed his interest in my feet recently, one day he was on the couch and I started waving at him with my feet and he just starting waving with his foot! He’s starting to realize how different I am compared to his mom and dad. We have a special connection.

Children are both very curious and honest creatures. They haven’t been in this world long enough to see the bad unless they’ve been taught it since they were in the womb! They like to figure things out for themselves, and only ask their parents or grandparents when they’re a bit lost for words. I’ve seen a lot of kids in various ages, stare but also try to shield their faces so you don’t notice them. They usually wait to ask questions until I’m fully out of view, but I’ve realized if I tell them “hi” or I wave at them, they’ll just put you on the spot right there and you just have to go with your gut and hope their families will fill in the gaps the best they can after you leave. Here’s my advice to parents who would rather dodge this discussion because you think it might be too difficult for them to understand; if you’re comfortable then explaining the differences between a girl and a boy’s anatomy and/or race, then saying something how a person could be in braces from head to toe, standing in crutches, or rolling around in a wheelchair will be a piece of cake.

How do you explain to children about disability? Where do you stand on educating people on how to talk about some of the more common disabilities, like spina bifida, blindness, deafness, or even cerebral palsy to children at home or even at school?