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Thread: I'm NOT his f*$%ing ATTENDANT!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member pixyvixen's Avatar
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    I'm NOT his f*$%ing ATTENDANT!!!

    You know how when addressing a deaf person with an interpreter, you're supposed to look at the person and not the interpreter? (Well okay maybe you don't know, but this is what I've been taught through my university liberal arts education.) I guess the same applies to quads strolling around with someone? These 2 guys who work in the Office of Disability Accommodations on campus, they've really taken it too far! I mean, I used to work in that office. I've had classes with those guys before. And me and my guy were in the campus snack bar and they came up and just shot the shit with him and didn't even LOOK at me. Much less address me. Even though I had my hand on his shoulder. Even though they KNOW me. Not even eye contact.

    This is just one example. It happens all the time. We're out and about, and it's like I'm INVISIBLE if I'm with him. Most of the time he'll introduce me right off the bat, but since we both know the people he talked to today, there was no need to introduce.

    I hate it that people automatically assume I'm his attendant or assistant or helper or aide or whatever. No. Girlfriend. That's me. Sorry I know this is very trivial compared to living life with SCI, but I live my life with someone with SCI and I'd like to be acknowledged sometimes. If I were walking around with an AB man, people would say hi to me. Okay, end rant. Sorry.

  2. #2
    pixy, you definately have a valid concern... but don't let it get the best of you... it's their stupid ignorance. you've got something special & i commend you for holding onto him so dearly.

    maybe a respectful yet firm interjection into a conversation would get their attention... or you could pull a "honey, i've gotta run to the bathroom for a sec" followed by a kiss -- i think that should hit a nerve somewhere w/ the others. however, before pulling a stunt like that, talk it over w/ your boyfriend & make clear your thoughts & feelings (if you haven't already re: this) hey, you two could actually have fun with it & have a joke to laugh at down the road... who knows?

    but don't sweat the small stuff... to use a little metaphor, if you're faced with a mountain in front of you, just remember there's always a way around it... you don't have to tackle it all. best wishes

    ~scott

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    It's worse...

    when people can't make eye contact with the person they're talking to because they think he's deaf, dumb, or stupid - because he's SCI. I moved to Florida for a job once and my own boss could not address because my girlfriend was there. I used to go places with my twelve year old brother and people felt they needed to talk to him instead of me. My own rehab doctor couldn't talk to me if someone was with me. How friggin unbelievable is that?

    Be glad people are addressing him. He might not always get that.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  4. #4
    Maybe it was a "guy" thing and not a disabled thing. Well, I really don't know.

    It's just the flipside to the whole "asexual crip" image (i.e. the attractive woman walking next to him must be his nurse/aide/attendant). Does your bf know you feel this way? Maybe he'll just have to act more affectionate around you in public.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pixyvixen's Avatar
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    yeah I talked to him about it some. And I can't always expect him to remember to say "hey, you remember pixy, don't you". I don't always remember to introduce him. It was just really frustrating yesterday because they're guys I've had LOTS of contact with before.

    It's just another little factor in this very different life of SCI.

  6. #6
    I love Jim's kiss idea!

    That'll do it!

  7. #7

    public displays of affection...

    ..are kind of touchy terrain (ugh. pardon the pun). I, for one, was not at ease with my ex's arm around me at first (it was actually a hint of my lack of feelings for her). definitely a scenario to be discussed with him - as with any relationship, open and genuine communication is essential. but i'm sure the day will come where you will be able to run your fingers thru his hair without thinking twice; big sloppy kisses at public events; a smack on the lips with his mom in front you... all in good time.

    "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight..."
    -Bruce Cockburn

    ~Velcro holds my life together~

  8. #8
    I'm with Starlight...my guess is that it was a guy thing. I've also seen the same thing occur as overcompensation for making sure they're addressing him and not the companion with him.

    Someday people will learn to treat everyone the same...as crazy as this may sound I have found that people's attitudes toward folks in chairs are a lot better than they were twenty years ago.

  9. #9
    No answers pixy, but I know just what you mean. Was out last weekend with my bf and got mistaken for his attendant twice...even tho we were snuggling together part of the time even One guy asked me if I had another job during the week, or took care of him fulltime....I just said we took care of each other whenever we felt like it It took him a minute to 'get' what I meant, and you could see him trying to figure out if that was part of the job description LOL You're right, its not the worst thing about having a relationship with a guy who's a quad- I put it on a par with getting his pantlegs JUST right over his shoes, which have to be JUST right on the footrests..... I have 'shared' the fact (subtly) that we're intimate with people I never would if he weren't a quad, but it makes people look not only at me in a different light, but him too- Yeah, guys in chairs can be sexual I do consider myself to be patient, but like one buzzard said to the other "Patience my a**, one of these days I'm gonna kill something" Hopefully, I'm killing a few people's assumptions about crips.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pixyvixen's Avatar
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    lass

    oh my god that is so funny and so right about adjusting the pant leg *just right* and making sure the feet are *just so*. And it's true, I don't NEED to be recognized by anyone except him. It's just, I mean, with a name like pixyvixen, you KNOW I love to be the center of attention!

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