I know it’s February, which gets me all riled up anyways, but I feel some rants coming on.
Maybe I’ve had a bad couple of days.
But I guess I’m tired.
I’m tired of not being able to get around when it’s snowing because of this wheelchair.
I’m tired of people telling me to stay inside in the winter because of this wheelchair; that’s three or four months!
I’m tired of being told that someone’s mother’s aunt’s cousin stopped eating pork and now she is running marathons and no longer needs a wheelchair, so therefore I should try that.
I’m tired of being told that I just need to pray harder and have faith.
I’m tired of being treated differently because of this wheelchair; some people treat me meanly (those are the minority thank God) and others treat me nicer than they would treat someone else.
I’m just plain tired.
The reality is that for the first time in my life I am now a visible minority. Before the wheelchair I was always at the top of the prejudicial food chain. I am white, male, straight, Christian, and middle class. I never got arrested or looked down on because of the colour of my skin. I never didn’t get hired because of my nationality. I never got spit on or beaten up because of my religious attire. I’ve never been touched or groped or the punchline of nasty jokes because of my gender.
Oh it’s not that it’s always been easy for me. I’ve had my ups and downs just like everyone else. But I’ve always been in the upper echelon of the privileged.
But that’s all different now.
Now I’m the wheelchair guy.
I can start to see why some people in wheelchairs are kind of nasty. Sometimes we’re just simply angry at our bodies for letting us down. Sometimes it’s because we can’t do a lot of things that most people can do. Sometimes we’re sick of people blaming us for our predicament. Sometimes our friends are going to a restaurant that we can’t get into because it has steps or even a lip to get in the door.
People in wheelchairs can be angry at the world, at God, for any number of reasons.
I know that if I didn’t have a good support network of a great family and friends, that I would be an angry man (well a lot angrier than I currently am:) and it would come out against the world. I get that more and more now.
So I guess this rant is simply to say this; we people in wheelchairs are people first. Being in a wheelchair is not my entire curriculum vitae.
I am a husband.
I am a father.
I am a son and a brother.
I am a friend.
I am so much more than just the ‘wheelchair guy’.
I just want to be treated like everyone else.
That’s not too much to ask right?