Friendships, Relationships and Disability
Hey there everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about friendships and relationships when you have a disability. I’m writing this post for the lovely people over at Eximius Novel – I thought this was a great subject to cover for all of you guys to enjoy.
Please note that all the experiences I speak about here are my own and I am NOT speaking for other disabled people! Just myself.
For me, making friends as a child actually wasn’t difficult.. I was quite confident and didn’t think about my disability at all, I was simply just like every other child as far as I was concerned.
I have many fond memories of friendships from when I was very young and I was so happy and carefree that I didn’t get offended or feel awkward at all when my friends would ask about my prosthetic leg or my missing pinky fingers.
I actually found it quite fun explaining my disability to friends when I was younger – I do remember being about 6 and telling some friends of mine in the playground that I was disabled because a witch from a storybook had put a spell on me! It was so funny because we all created a game from it afterwards and it was so much fun.
As I got older I started to suffer from low self esteem which made me struggle very much to accept the fact I had a disability. As you can imagine this made making friends complicated because I was always worried that they wouldn’t accept my disability, or that they’d find it weird or think that I was a freak.
Of course this was all just in my head, but I found it really difficult to approach new people and make friends because of it. What actually happened was that I’d eventually have to speak to the new people; and to my surprise we’d get along just great!
Nobody I’ve got to know has ever been rude or called me names because of my disability – to friends and family it’s just who I am.. It’s just Amy! I don’t know why I’d ever think people would care about my disability, I guess that’s what low self esteem can do to you.
I have had many positive friendships and what I’ve learned is that most people really only care about what’s on the inside. If you’re a good, kind person.. you will be loved! Real friends don’t care about things like disabilities at all, It’s just a part of who we are..Many friends have actually said it makes me more interesting!
Me and my two cousins!
Relationships I have to be honest, I am only 20 years old and I don’t have a ton of relationship experience at this age but what I do know and have learned I will tell you! :) I am in a long term relationship and having someone that loves you for exactly who you are is the most amazing feeling in the entire world.
As I was suffering with my low self esteem, telling my partner about my leg when we very first met seemed like the most daunting thing in the world to me. I was having all sorts of thoughts like “Will he still like me?” “Will he be put off me when he finds out about my prosthetic leg and missing fingers?”
Once I had told him he let me know immediately that it didn’t change a thing.. he was just really interested and concerned about how it had happened and he was also very sorry to know that I was so self conscious about it; so much so I thought it would change his opinion of me.
I can’t even begin tell you how much of a relief it was to learn that my disability wouldn’t be affecting my relationship; I remember thinking as a child that nobody would want to marry me because of my disability.. this was once I’d started to learn that I was different and I’d started comparing myself to other girls my age and realizing my body was totally different to theirs.
It’s safe to say that my disability does not affect my relationship in any way. I remember being so nervous taking my prosthetic leg off in front of my partner for the first time but it just felt totally natural and he didn’t even look twice.. It just does not bother him in any way at all.
My cousin, Me, and my other cousin!
I really hope this is the type of positive experience that other disabled people have had in their own personal relationships, I know that I’m very lucky to have the amazing partner that I do but I truly can’t imagine anyone on earth mean enough to judge someone because of their disability at all. Either way – I’m sure those types of people exist and they are truly not worth our time.
If I’ve learned anything it’s that the best kinds of people will love you no matter what difficulties or disabilities you have; It’s such a ridiculous worry to have looking back now that I’m quite confident.. I can’t believe I ever thought my partner or my friends would care about my leg or missing fingers at all – I feel so silly for feeling that way in the past. The people that deserve to be around us will know that our disabilities are just a natural part of who we are.
Just like I have brown hair and blue eyes, I also have 8 fingers and 1 leg. It’s just ME! everyone who loves me and cares for me knows that and doesn’t care in the slightest. I know this because I’ve been told many a time by my beautiful family, friends and partner that they wouldn’t change me for anything – and I believe them.