Now I have a Disability

Now that I was home for a few weeks I was very sad and depressed that all of my friends were able to go out all summer and I had to stay at home in a hospital bed. I tried really hard not to get mad but deep down was just really sad and angry that I was missing out. I had a boyfriend at the time of the accident. We had only been together for a few months and I liked him so much. After my accident we hung out a few times. Then one night he came over to tell me that he didn’t think he could go out with someone that couldn’t do anything. Now that I am older I understand that it was a lot of pressure for a 16 year old and I do not have hard feelings about it at all but at the time it was a reality check that there would be people that wouldn’t want to be with me because of this disability.
I was also in a wheelchair for a while after I was finally able to sit up enough. I was finally able to go out in public once I had the wheel chair. My friend would take me to the mall to get me out. It was the first time that I realized just how rude people were. My mom taught me to not ask people that were hurt what was wrong. I was amazed at how many people would come up to me and ask me what happened and why I was in a wheel chair. I was still really traumatized by it and didn’t want to talk about it but really didn’t know what else to say.
I was very embarrassed by my foot even though I didn’t have any control over what happened to it and it should have been more of a symbol that I had survived an accident that very easily could have killed me. I was young though and didn’t have that perspective. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what was wrong with my foot I feel like I would be a millionaire. People would come up and say “Oh my god what did you do?”, “Wow is your ankle that sprained”, “Did you get bit by a horse?” are just a few of the many. It just amazes me how often people can’t help themselves. Even though I knew that people weren’t trying to be mean and often thought they were joking until they heard my answer. I would love to think it taught them to never ask others again but only they know the answer to that.
Even as I got older I had people that were even mean and rude about it. I have a handicapped sticker and have had people question that it was valid. When I was about 19 I had a woman report me to mall security for parking in a handicapped spot. I was so shocked by it. I was also 19 so felt the need to confront her about it. She tried to walk away when she saw me but I of course being 19 didn’t let that happen. Once I told her about my accident and having to get my foot reattached then she said she was sorry. I of course told her a few more sentences of how I felt about it. I also have had people walk by me and say yeah you are pretty handicapped. I think probably the worst was that I had a police officer that followed me into a gas station and started questioning me about it when I came out. He asked me for proof that it was my sticker, which I had. I finally was crying and asking if he needed to see my foot in order to prove it. He had enough nerve to then say that he had to go to his car to “check his database”. There is no database for something like this. Instead of coming back and apologizing or anything even close to it he came back and said that he couldn’t check it because his computers were down. We had been on our way out for a night of fun but instead he ruined my entire night. I wrote a letter to the chief of police about it and he did personally call me and apologize. He also offered for me to do a ride along with the officer that had confronted me. I told him no thank you, like I really wanted to ride along with someone like that but I did appreciate the phone call.
This unfortunately is something that I will have to deal with the rest of my life. I don’t always fit the picture of what people have in their mind of someone that is disabled. I used to wish every single day that this didn’t really happen. My foot may have given me a disability but my personality, strength and most days my attitude certainly do not. I know that I am not alone in that so please always think before you judge others.

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