The blog on care below has been one I wanted to write for ages and so the recent alterations in circumstances inspired me to actually get on with it. Hope it was insightful and useful. This blog has been one I have been debating for a while. See, to me its almost too personal to share on a website but it is a key part of life for all. Having a disability and the subject area of love and relationships can be hard. Not just to have a fulfilled life in that area, but more being able to talk about it when the issues may differ from the norm, whatever the norm is.
So I am going to try and toe the line of talking of some of the personal side of this area for me, the point of this website after all is to do that, but to speak in a general way too. I hope this can be more interactive with people commenting on their thoughts too, rather than just a one way blog. If you are shy but have a question please do email me. I have removed the names and apologise for any negative connotations for having real names up in the first place.
My experience has on the whole been positive and ‘normal’, but on occasions have had extra matters to consider or worry about. I remember firstly at nursery my ‘girlfriend’, if thats possible at 3. We went to each others for dinner and also were going to marry on a rowing boat, strange but true. Then at primary (btw at both nursery and primary i was the only disabled student) I pretty much was boyfriend and girlfiend with every girl in my class between reception and year 6 – I know, a tart lol. This meant saying they were my girlfriend, holding hands and once or twice a peck on the cheek. Don’t ever remember anything around my disability coming up. There was my main ‘love’ at primary, we were together over a year in year 5 and had a joint birthday party where i wanted the two of us to dance to Brian Adams everything i do, at the party – how cheesy!!!
The story of my first proper kiss is hilarious, my step brothers can vouch. We were in the canaries on holiday, i was 13. I asked this girl if she’d go out with me, as you did, but she said she was leaving tomorrow but would kiss me. There was a group of kids our age hanging out that holiday totalling 20. She wanted to go away from the parents in the restaurant to the tennis courts. As we are walking over i am crapping it how to kiss while asking the lads for advice. Not cool. Then there’s a massive slope down so i need to back my wheelchair down it for safety. I just remember getting there, snogging this girl with my eyes wide open while 20 kids including my step bro’s are on the wall and trees around watching, so strange. Then after 12 seconds it stopped. Never saw her again but remember thinking thank god i have now at least snogged a girl properly, lol.
Soon after i was with someone who is still a great friend today. We were together 3 times over 4 years and for various reasons ended up better being friends. She showed me no matter about what i could or couldn’t do i was able to be a good boyfriend in a nice and loving relationship. If I am honest, prior to this i was starting to worry i wouldn’t be able to be an average boyfriend. As a teenager we all have doubts but being in a chair heightened them slightly around knowing my limits and questioning how much a girl could see past my disability.
It wasn’t until uni that i lost my virginity despite shall we say hitting 3rd base a few times before. This was with what i would say my first adult relationship. she was the first person i met on day 1 at uni as she cared for my neighbour. He is now one of my best mates and really took me under his wing that year. later we had a few late night club related kisses which evolved into a relationship. While i knew i was a loving, caring boyfriend, i worried a lot at this stage around the physical. Having never had sex i didn’t know how possible it was but more so again how a girl would feel about it. I am not going into details but it was a special night.
We were together 3 years and throughout that time i felt the most content in my life. However towards the end i realised uni was coming to an end and i wanted to have a bit more fun in the sense of not being tied down etc. I felt it was better to end the relationship and just let it be. After this period i had a couple of fun but short term relationships. Maybe in a way looking back i wanted to see if she was a one off or if other and maybe better ladies were out there. I still do not know the answer to that one.
I was with a very special girl from Austria and a little town called Lienz for 3 months in my masters year. As most of this was long distance she called it off but we remained good friends. She always managed to light up my day. Then soon after i met another amazing girl called who still unbelievably to me was from the same bloody town! Because of this i didn’t want to get attached, but over a couple of months we grew very close. We kissed in the famous coliseum nightclub in Coventry on her birthday 27th april and that was our anniversary date thereafter. It was a whirlwind romance and we managed to go for weekends away, music festivals and just had so much fun together. I didn’t need my carers either as she was so cool about helping me. Unfortunately the inevitable happened and she moved back to Austria, but we stayed together 2 further years chatting on skype, visiting each other as much as possible and writing nice emails from work. My visits to Lienz were amazing and the friends i made ever lasting. For me the distance took its toll and with no future date that either could move countries i had to break up. This was November ‘08 and as with most of my ex’s we still remain great friends.
I have since been single. For a long while i struggled to get over the break up. In the past 6 months i have had more of an eye open for mrs.right but have been so busy with work and other social stuff it hasn’t been an issue. I think the above shows i have had a normal experience of relationships and the topsy turvy nature is natural for all people. I do know disabled people that feel their wheelchair is an issue for being attractive to someone else. I even question it when out in the more superficial environment of pubs and nightclubs. I think my being single is more attributed to my stage of life, living in London and setting myself up for a safer future career and financially. The problem would be if i started believing my chair was an issue, the idea would become a reality. I think while there are people that could not be with someone disabled, there are many that could too. Its more that you never know who you will fall in love with. By being happy, content in yourself and enjoying life it is definite someone great will walk or roll into your life, probably when you least expect it. I have never been with a girl in chair but not because I would not, despite some potential difficulties. I think the point of being open minded and happy in yourself is right for everyone, not just for disabled people.
Any thoughts guys? 😉