From Stairs To Ramps: Love, Loss And Trying To Maintain Relationships

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My name is Brian and I had an accident in 2014 that changed my life. It shattered my dreams and left me with bits and pieces that I had to put back together. I woke up after the accident to find that because of one bad decision by a trailer, my life had changed and I had lost some of my friends.  Find part one of my story here.

I have always been a shy guy; my adolescent years made sure of that. Puberty not only left me with a face as rough as avocado peels, but it also made me very self-conscious about how I looked and felt about myself. Shy, self-conscious boys don’t have too many tales to tell about girls. So I would sit back and watch from a far with my equally socially awkward friends. The concept of a romantic relationship only existed in romantic comedies. At that age, all we wanted was what our peers were doing; touching girls, kissing them and being afraid to do more.

Once the fear lifted we beat our chests and called ourselves men. The truth though, is that we knew nothing. In my mind at the time, the physical and emotional aspect of a relationship were inseparable. You couldn’t have one without the other. I stood by this misled notion that society had planted in my curious hormonal mind.

Many months later as I lay in my hospital bed paralyzed from my chest downwards, my life flashed before my eyes and I made peace with the fact that I would be alone for the rest of my life. I wish I could say that being a quadriplegic didn’t bring back all those undesirable feelings from my puberty years… If I could, I would be lying. I did not like myself so I didn’t expect anyone to like me.

Then came this girl to my Facebook wall who said that she liked how I wrote and felt inspired by my story. Facebook and movies were the anchors to my sanity. Through movies, I fantasized about being the strongest and fastest characters and then Facebook was my journal. Using sarcasm to voice my frustrations and typing happy emojis to hide my denial. She was lovely and she spoke so warmly to me. It is corny but she made me forget about my problems… Of which I had in abundance.

 

 

In my good days, I was all a good boyfriend should be. I called her, texted till late… We did most things that lovers do. In my bad days, however, I was something different altogether. She was a stubborn girl, I liked that about her. Her stubbornness meant she didn’t scare easy when I told her about all the things that were wrong with me. She never gave up on me but it didn’t matter because, in many ways, I had already given up on myself.

I often wondered what she saw in me and if her feelings for me were driven more by pity than they were by affection. At this point, it was routine for me to expect disappointment. I had been hurt so many times by people who had pushed their way into my life only to flee once they saw me for what I really was. But here she was, standing by my side trying to bring light into my life. Since she was the only one really interested in me, I grew needy and clingy with her. When I wasn’t being clingy, I was insecure. A man sitting on a wheelchair with no use of his limbs is hard enough to like, add being needy and insecure, he becomes impossible to even look at.

Going back to before when I believed that a relationship was dependent on sex, I was convinced that every woman would dump me because I couldn’t have sex anymore. My shortcomings with self-esteem drove away any girl who ever had even a tiny bit of affection for me. There is a lot of talk about inter abled relationships and how it is the able one who bails out, well… Sometimes it is us who are the problem.

Things didn’t get easy for me, every time  I got a good thing going I messed it up because I was too worried about not being enough. In my attempt to prove myself a complete man I would embarrass myself by asking too much of my unresponsive body. I decided to give up on the entire thing altogether, “nobody ever died from being alone”  I would tell myself.

I have found love. But it has not been easy. From Stairs To Ramps: Finding Love And Men Who Tell My Girlfriend She Should Get A Real Man

Speaking of love and disability, check out this singlehood series story – Getting A Date While Having A Disability Has Not Been Easy: I Hope One Day I Will Find True Love

 

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