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Thread: Attitudes towards AB/disabled relationships

  1. #21
    Can I interject? I hope it's ok when I feel inspired by one of my compadres here. (Buckwheat, Justin, cspine, Bruce, I could go on and on, all at different times and in different ways.)

    I know the card you drew, I've watched you play it, and darn it sometimes it inspires me!

    The "caregivers" have inspired me too. I've learned a lot about sticking from you all, the parents, siblings, mates...

    I wish I had another word for "inspire", because I've learned from you all. I feel taught.

    "Inspired" is a word like "crip". 90% of us hate it but I haven't found an alternative.

    End of rant.

  2. #22
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
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    Beth ..... thanks!

    Obie

  3. #23
    as to the question regarding age... hmmm...

    not to take away from my relationship, but i would say yes... only because i'm 28, never been engaged, etc... blah, blah, blah... i can say that i'm at a point in my life where i'm much more open to lots of things... relationships, love, humanity etc... i think i'm less self-centered just due to caring about life as a whole, being with him just gives me a new perspective and also since i'm older, a lot more patience... i've been out of the 'it's all about me' stage for awhile... i'm sure that makes me much more relaxed with everything... plus, i think because i've done some of the crazy things that i've done and traveled like i have, i'm much more willing to be less judgemental and look outside the box... PLUS, i figure, i've had my adventures, well, he's still young, now we get to go at it together... i feel that just because he got hurt is all the more reason to get out there and take advantage of his/my level of 'more appreciation' for life.

    And honestly, I'm also out of the shallow 'look' of a man who is an as*, instead I want a 'real' man who is just that a MAN. Well, ya'll, THAT he is.

    lots of ramblings here, loads of caffeine, so be patient with me on any scattered thought processes... i hope you get my point.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, margarita in one hand - chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by kate
    get the yucky "you two are such an inspiration" thing constantly. This is because a great many people knew us pre-injury . . . they do not realize that there is a subtle slam in their "admiration".

    They assume that my persistence in the marriage is some version of self-sacrifice. It's not. I am lucky beyond description to be where I am, if they only knew it.

    They assume that his persistence in living a full life is some version of courage. I leave it to him to address that, but my sense is that he's a lot like everyone else, only with more pain issues. What is the alternative to living a full life, anyway, no matter what your circumstances?

    Our daughters are not immune, btw. They also are, in their own way, an "inspiration" to people who mostly know better than to say so in their presence. (The word "inspiration" always inspires much eye-rolling at our dinner table.)

    SCI makes you a projection super-magnet on steroids. Everyone assigns to you their own worst fears and most intense emotions--without any connection whatsoever to the reality of your life.
    Boy, most of this sure describes my home and family, too. Particularly interesting as our demographics are very similar, except I'm injured, not Colin. Bruce and I also share a birthday and Minnesota roots (Bruce & I had a nice phone chat a few weeks ago).

    Susan

  5. #25
    oh, to clarify my 'yes', i meant that if i was younger i might not have stuck around, let's be honest, i would have been less likely to look at it as a possible long term relationship due to (mine and his) age and i wouldn't have dragged him through the possible emotional mess of prolonging something due to guilt or someother stupid reason that isn't true caring. He would/does need someone there because they care, not over some other emotional crutch, guilt, pity, etc. that would have been the wrong reason to be there... would i have been a solid friend, yep, i do solid well, i just wouldn't have been in a relationship on a dating level. that would be dishonest.

    ok, between these two posts i hope that you guys get the point.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, margarita in one hand - chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

  6. #26
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    Can I interject? I hope it's ok when I feel inspired by one of my compadres here.

    I know the card you drew, I've watched you play it, and darn it sometimes it inspires me!

    The "caregivers" have inspired me too. I've learned a lot about sticking from you all, the parents, siblings, mates...
    .
    It's not the word, Beth . . . it's the way AB people with no connection to SCI throw it around, as if their ever-so-safe-observation-from-a-distance has fully qualified them to learn some sort of lesson by our example.

    That is, sorry to be blunt, bullshit.

    They do not have clue #1 about what keeps us going, and yet they claim us--all because we choose not to be ashamed of or ruled by disability. It's annoying, because the polite response when someone lays that trip on you is to say something grateful and modest--when in fact I often feel like sticking my finger in their eye.

    OTOH, when someone on these boards uses the word, they've earned it, and I don't mind at all. Hell, I am inspired by Wise, and by many, many people who post here--in the literal sense of the word.

    They fill me with spirit.

  7. #27
    it irritates me when i get the whispered in the ear 'i don't know how you do it', then they look at him... the whole time i'm thinking... hell, he's the one that got hurt, he's the one in pain all of the time, he's the one that is physically exhausted from working so hard everyday to just get functional... all i've got to do is help... yes, he's extremely independent, he does alot by himself...

    Ok, those people drive me crazy. i don't even know how to respond to that, i don't want to get nasty, but damn...

    and yes, they are right there are days when i'm beat, but he works so hard to be independent to make his and my life better...
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, margarita in one hand - chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

  8. #28
    Senior Member Zaphod's Avatar
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    HikerBabe

    I get what you're saying and agree, that to some extentage age plays a part in this sort of thing.

    However in this particular case I don't think it was her lack of life experience as much as her lack of self confidence, hell I dunno, but here we are a year later and I'm stuill thinking of her 100 times a day, haveing nightmares about her being with someone else, and planning my day to avoid bumping into her.

  9. #29

    Zaphod

    Yeah, I think confidence comes with age though sometimes too. It seems like when people get to a certain age (which is diff for everyone), they just don't care what people think any more. Honestly, at first it was weird for me when my bf would kiss my in public or something. I could help but notice that anyone who was around staring at us like they'd never seen two people kissing before!

    Maybe there was more too it than what everyone else thought of her Zaphod? Another big thing for us is that I feel guilty all the time doing things he can't do. We work pretty hard to figure out ways for him to do some of the things that I like to do, but other things are just impossible. Maybe this girl thinks her life would somehow be limited by your disability, and you need to show her that that isn't the case. If it's worth it to you, maybe you should have a heart-to-heart with her and see what else is really going on in her head?

  10. #30
    Embarrassment...hmm... haven't thought about it.



    Honestly, I'm not ever embarrassed with him, if anything I tend to forget that he has limitations, so I put him in situations sometimes the he isn't ready for. I think these are just growing pains for us. I don't always know what he can't do and he doesn't always know what he can do... plus, it changes every day, needless to say, this gets us in some weird situations... hell, we've debated over which mop and bucket to buy...



    I'm degressing.



    Age. Yes, i think age has a huge amount to do with it... alot of it just kinda came about naturally between he and I. I don't think everyone is ready to get married at 23, 25, even 40. (of course, i don't think ANYONE is EVER ready to have an SCI) I feel the same way about people being involved with anyone with any kind of physical disability. I think sometimes it's even harder when you've been with that person pre-injury. It's really hard to not mentally compare the two times in their life and in your's. I think that it's often too easy to find the shortcomings vs just acknowledge that things are different and adapt. I'm not saying that older people are immediately more mature. It's about where a person is at in their life. I personally have met a lot of physically older people who were VERY immature... so i wouldn't say that it's only about age.



    At the same time, anything out of the social 'norm' isn't something that (personal oppinion) many people can deal with. I don't think I've ever lived in any 'normal' life, so for me it's not about any kind of norm, it's more about just accepting something new/different in my life. Don't get me wrong, if i've ever given the impression that dealing with this is a cakewalk, well, I apologize, because it's not.



    There are days that really kill me... even days when i really want to kill him. THEN something happens that makes it all worthwhile... and I realize that we are better than good together. Or he'll do something that just makes me feel amazing to be with him...either way, the wheelchair gets left in the 'mental' wayside. If or when it's not like that between us, well, I'll re-evaluate our relationship.



    We're still new at this and we're still new together. Now we're learning how to live together and for all we know we'll find out that we weren't as good together as we thought we were. Who knows... that is all about life. This isn't special, every relationship has to go through the same things, regardless of AB or disabled.

    I can't say that i was truly at a specific 'point' in my life. So far, we're dealing with it and it's working out for both of us. I know this relationship is different than any other relationship I've been in, but at the same time, HE is different than anyone else that I've ever dated.

    Maybe it just takes a different type of person (maybe all of the Sig others should do a personality test to see how we compare), but I don't see that as the case. I just see it as like in any other relationship. It just comes down to the two people involved. I don't think it's something that can be understood or figured out or even explained most of the time.

    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, margarita in one hand - chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

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