Posts

What My Accident Has Taken

What My Accident Has Taken

In the past few years I have learned the importance of a positive attitude in life. I always seek out the lessons to be learned from tragedy and my mistakes. But life isn’t all sugar and sweetness no matter how many times I want to see it that way. What has my accident taken away from me? A lot. Read more

The Power of Body Manipulation Post-SCI

The Power of Body Manipulation Post-SCI

Tattoos, plastic surgery and more, humans for thousands of years have been manipulating their bodies – to honor those we have lost, to enhance our beauty, to hide imperfections, to celebrate life moments; it is just something we do. But after a spinal cord injury I think the need for this grows exponentially, and it’s not hard to understand why. Read more

Empowering My Children With Special Needs

Empowering Children With Special Needs

I could not be more proud of my children. My life is constantly on the move as the mother of three beautiful girls.  There are lessons, play dates, and clothing does not last long in this house. There is the constant shopping for a teenage daughter whom is quickly approaching six feet tall. Bella is outgrowing everything at an alarming rate. Tay is constantly wearing out the knees of her pants or destroying them climbing trees. The baby is eating more and more solids and staining clothing faster than I can keep her closet replaced. She’s quite the messy screaming eater and very handy with getting her own spoon into the mix and flinging it around the house. Read more

Disabilities and Feeling Attactive

Disabilities and Feeling Attractive

What makes you feel physically desirable? Do you feel good about your body? Do you still feel sexy? Those can be tough questions to answer when you’re living with a disability. Read more

Embarrassed for Being Attracted to a Disabled Person

Embarrassed for Being Attracted to a Disabled Person?

There are a lot of difficult things about living life as a wheelchair-user – spotty to widespread inaccessibility, overpriced medical equipment, seeing everyone at butt level (this is really one of the worst)- but one of the most maddening aspects of all is the social stigma that comes along with using a wheelchair. Read more

The Pain of Parenting a Child With Special Needs

The Pain of Parenting a Child With Special Needs

Children are a blessing in all forms. They provide us with unconditional love. Not every child has the same physical or intellectual abilities. It is bittersweet to have a child that has special needs. You wouldn’t trade your child for anything in this world. When you look at them all you see is your sweet baby and everything they’ve accomplished. Then you look away into the rest of the world and you see everything they are up against and it is painful. Read more

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Every single time someone called me “pretty” growing up, I cringed. As an adult, it’s taken some time and an acknowledgement of ugly days, but I can accept the compliment. I can feel pretty, and that, as a woman and as a woman with a disability is quite the achievement. I already tapped into the acceptance of my body and the celebration in owning said body, but it’s been a long hard road. Let me paint you a picture of an awkward, lanky redheaded girl with glasses far too big for her face. Now, I know that growing up is hard for women in general. You swoon over your crush who sits a couple seats ahead of you in homeroom, you shyly write your name with theirs. We’ve all been there, but when you bring disability into the equation, it was adding insult to adolescent injury. Your hair’s too frizzy? Perfect. There’s a product for that! But there’s nothing to allow you to walk in the heels that you see your peers clanking around in. There’s nothing that’s going to fix the fact that you know he asked for your number as a joke, but in order to play along with your peers, you gave it to him anyway and nothing is going to fix the heartbreak that came along with waking up from your first surgery in first grade thinking you’re now able to walk, You’re now able to be like everyone else, and the crushing realization that that’s not the reality. Everyone goes through a phase where they’re growing into their noses, their ears, their shoes. I had to grow into ownership of my disability and how it coexists with my womanhood. Read more

Crippled Punk

Crippled Punk

I remember vividly when my music got louder and my voice a bit more commanding. For the most part within my life, people have always been shouting over me. Whisking me away to doctors who’d poke and prod and refer to me as “She” or “the patient” as opposed to my name, I was known as the “daughter with Cerebral Palsy” to my parents, and my siblings were referred to as “related to the girl in the wheelchair”. I can’t say I blame them. I was fairly quiet as a child. Kept to myself a lot. I guess you could say I strived for the idea of “disability sainthood”. By that I mean, nobody expected me to do anything more, and when you’re relatively isolated in a fairly ablest school district and household, there wasn’t much opportunity to rebel and stomp out of the house. My only true rebellion came through music. The louder, the better. I started talking to more and more people about it, and I knew that I had found my way home. It wasn’t on the school stage, or choir class. It wasn’t through the computer screen nor was it my awkwardly fitting clothes. It was in basements. With crappy microphones and cheap beer (if we were lucky). I discovered that nobody really seemed to care about my disabilities, although I will say that I surprised a lot of them upon saying yes to the first one or two “gigs”. That said, I didn’t know much. I know that we changed our name several times and that when push came to shove I had a loud voice, so it could carry over loud instruments and teenagers as well, and this was my secret. It was small, relatively tame, and when nobody else was around I could disappear for a few and be someone far more confident than myself. Although, I’m pretty sure my brother knew something was amiss… Read more

Post-SCI Insecurities

Post-SCI Insecurities

Who doesn’t suffer from insecurities? I can’t think of anyone in my own circle who doesn’t have them. Having a disability has it’s own dose of insecurities doesn’t it? What do people see when they look at me? Am I more than a wheelchair in the eyes of a stranger? How can I prove that I am still good enough? How can I show them that I am still every bit as much of a person as they are? I think it’s only natural for every human being to have such self doubts, especially when having been faced with a life changing event. How do you get past them and move on? Read more