I’ve been told many things by my father, he continues to tell me stuff all the time. As much as he says shit that makes me think, “Is my dad an asshole?” He also has many nuggets of wisdom he has dropped on me throughout the years, one of the things that had the most impact on me was, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink,” that has thought me that you can only do so much and if someone is not going to listen to you it’s going to be a waste of your time to try to get them to listen to something they don’t want to listen to.
Sometimes that person might even know that they should listen to you, but their emotions have tricked them to do the opposite. But this is not want this story is about, however I did mention a few times here and here if you care to read.
One of the things my dad had always told me was: “You can’t be mad at someone for what they don’t know.” But can you?
So I’m hanging out at home and Shannon gave me three things to do while she is at work: Do the dishes, fold the clothes, take out the trash, and “You can do laundry if you want to because it’s all in the bathroom.”
The first thing I do is listen to podcast while doing about a hour and a half worth of dishes. When I was done I used some of those clean dishes to have hot dogs and drink a Monster while watching part 8 of a video game walkthough on YouTube.
I usually don’t watch someone else play a video game, but it this case…I will never play Resident Evil 7, it dose not seem as scary as I thought it might. But part of my disability is hyperactive nerves and when I’m watching a horror movie I’ll find myself looking at the ground until that demon jumps out of the wall. That being said horror is my favorite kind of movie even if I jump two feet every time I see something scary pop out of nowhere, even if I see it coming form two miles away.
If I play video games like that I’m known to turn into the guy who stands in one spot and never ever beats the game because he doesn’t want to go out of that door, and I’m tired of knocking shit over and accidentally throwing my controller against the wall due to me jumping two feet over nothing.
Afterwards I was rolling around my house looking for a sweatshirt so that I could take the first of two trash bags outside. A few posts ago I mentioned that my house was up to A.D.A. regulations. That being said…every house in our neighborhood that looks just like mine has a small patio leading into the front door and in order to get onto that patio you need to step up two concrete steps. Unlike the other houses, my house is on a hill, oh wow, look at that; Nebraska actually has changes in elevation!
The owner of the house has made a ramp that allows me easy access from the driveway to the front door or vise-versa. That being so, I tied the trash bag, put the trash on my lap, opened the door, went outside, turned my chair to the side so I could reach the door to close said door, and closed it just to start using gravity to roll me down the ramp that turns the other way when you’re at the half-way point.
Just as I’m doing this I see two kids outside walking past my house via the sidewalk. I look up to see one of these two kids putting a piece of pizza in the other hand just to take the trash bag from me as he walks over to the outside trashcan to throw it away.
As he grabbed it I was slightly caught off guard as I say, “Oh…thank you very much,” as he replied with, “You’re very welcome.”
So I turned around and came back in the house to grab the second trash bag, but instead of that I found myself thinking, “That’s a nice kid.” A few other thoughts are drifting around in my head such as, “When I was that young kids were not that nice.” As thoughts are drifting though my head I think, “Did he just help me because he assumed that I can’t do it?”
And that got me to thinking about every time I go somewhere with my fiance and she gets back into the car while I’m putting my wheelchair in my trunk; watching people look at her as if they’re thinking, “Wow, she’s an asshole!”
As far as that goes, I have a system…I rely on that system, if anything fucks up that system…
If you see me standing at the back of my car disassembling my wheelchair to lift it into my trunk and you say, “Do you need any help,” I’ll always say, “No,” I might even finish by saying, “Thank you though.”
When putting away, or even taking out, my wheelchair I have a system of taking it out/putting it back and what parts need to be removed first, and how to balance myself against my bumper while I do it. I also know how to work my wheelchair, you don’t. If another body invades my space, it fucks up my whole world and makes me uncomfortable. That does not mean I hate you, I’m glad you want to help, I understand that it is not your intention to upset me.
I just don’t like turning around, finding a new way to balance myself, and making you feel like you’re doing to whole thing by yourself because I can’t be in your way. I understand that you might attempt to know, but you really don’t; every time you move, I have to move in a way that I’m not used to it that situation. You might be able to move around other person, but I can’t, well I can…but if I try to I’ll most likely fall and try to grab onto your body for support…
And grabbing onto someone you don’t know, while I have an excuse to do so in said situation; it’s still weird. And you don’t know my disability, if I grab you you’ll grab me back, which is awesome; but they way that you assume is correct to do so just makes it harder for me to walk.
It’s best that I just stay out of your way, and then I need to give you instruction on how to assemble/dissemble my wheelchair as well as where to put the pieces because it’s the best fit in my trunk.
I think all of this when I look at you and say, “No, thank you though.”
And then I’m looked at like I’m weird for not wanting help. And Shannon knows this, I explained this to her. When we get done shopping she’ll just get in the passenger seat and wait for me. Other people must assume she is an asshole. She knows that if I needed help I would ask, but I don’t; so she sits there and looks like an asshole.
I do things by myself. Oh look at that, someone in a wheelchair who tries his hardest to be as independent as possible! Shannon isn’t always going to be there, neither will some random ass person; I got to learn how to do shit on my own.
Once again, I know you are tying to be nice, but it’s often not needed.
So…that all runs into, “Do they just do it because they don’t know any better? Are they assuming that someone in a wheelchair can’t do anything”