Observations on the bus
Our Young People Ambassador, Karen, shares the thoughts she had on a recent bus journey.
I know this may seem a bit of an controversial thing to blog about but it has really got me thinking about how we view ourselves.
Myself personally, I won’t say I have hidden or wished that I wasn’t disabled but I suppose part of it makes me feel less confident at times.
Now I can hear you thinking: ok, why are you asking?
Today I witnessed something really strange. I was sitting on the bus and two men got on the bus and sat at the back and started signing to one another, they were pretty lively and laughing so it seemed clear that they were good friends.
A short while later two other men got on and sat at the back on the other side of the bus.
But I noticed one of the deaf men removed something from the side of his head, maybe a cochlear implant? Why would you do that?
The two men then didn’t sign about and looked pretty uncomfortable and didn’t talk to each other until the back of the bus was empty again.
This got me thinking has there ever been a time that you have wished not to be disabled or hidden your disability?
Strangely the type of wheelchair affects how I feel and sometimes I feel people treat me differently.
Having used a manual most of my life and through a period of deconditioning, I use a power one most of the time.
And whilst I find it helped let me do more and not leave me exhausted, I feel different when in a power chair to a manual and I feel people look at me differently. I feel more distance, less respect and yet somehow maybe they see me as more disabled.
Am I more disabled?
And then I ask myself more questions, can this piece of equipment really define me?
What message do I send out?
Can it change my identity?
The conflicts I feel, in one way, yes, I am more independent I can go more places with more ease and less stress; yet I feel more restricted and it reinforces that I have an illness and that I struggle more.
What do you think?
Please share your thoughts with us.