Anonymous said: I was just wondering if you ever get tired of being known as "the girl in the wheel chair" because I was temporarily in a wheel chair and there was nothing that ticked me off more than the fact that nobody even bothered to ask for my name they just called me "that girl in a wheel chair"
I mean, yes, of course. It is incredibly frustrating for your entire identity to be subsumed by a piece of assistive technology. When I was younger, the worst part of that was my inability to blend in— ever. There was one girl in a wheelchair in my neighbourhood. There was one girl in a wheelchair in my school. There was one girl in a wheelchair in my church, etc., etc.
This makes it very difficult to hide or blend in! You can’t skip class or Mass, because people notice if you’re not there. You can’t go to the grocery store feelings terrible and wearing sweatpants, because everyone recognises you and the next day you’ll hear that the hot gossip in the neighbourhood is that you aren’t ‘looking well’.
One of my best friends in high school was the only Black girl in town (my town was 90% Native and Native-mixed, with the remaining 10% being White people and Asians.) and we were the least subtle people in the school. We skipped Mass once- once- and 6 different teachers came up to us afterwards.
But yeah, it sucks, especially when you’re a kid. I was a quiet loner, but I didn’t want to be. It’s just that the chair scares people, it makes them assume you are cognitively impaired, it makes them think you might be contagious, etc., etc.— so they don’t even try to get to know you.
I mean, it’s tough when more people know you as ‘the girl in the wheelchair’ than know your name.