Everyone has their pet peeves no matter who they are or whether they have a disability. We all have things that get on our nerves. As a person with cerebral palsy, I have my pet peeves. Let’s see if you can relate to my list.
Marriage and relationships
I’m married to someone without a disability. I’ve also been in a relationship with someone with a disability. People often ask me about my husband. When they learn that he doesn’t have a disability they are shocked. Their reaction is one of incredulity that anyone would want to be with a person who has a disability. But they should know a relationship is between two people who love each other. The heart doesn’t care about physical challenges.
When I mention that my husband doesn’t have a disability, people often say, “I think he is amazing!” Or I hear, “He is such an inspiration!” I’m caught off guard because at first, I think that perhaps they know him. But then I realize that they are referring to the fact that he married me, a woman with cerebral palsy. I find that a little offensive. My husband did not seek to marry a woman with a disability because he wanted sainthood. He married me because we have things in common and enjoy fun times together. He fell in love with me.
Is it so difficult to believe that someone would want to marry me? Does he have to be an amazing, inspirational person to choose me? I love my husband but he is normal, and he has his faults. He considers himself lucky to have married me. I think most people think that my husband takes over my care after he returns from work. But I have personal care workers and can take care of some of my own needs. Cerebral palsy has some impact on our marriage — but it’s not the main focus. We have children, bills, housework, jobs, hobbies, and pets that we manage together. My disability is the least of our concerns.
I wish people who don’t have disabilities or the need for an accessible parking spot wouldn’t use them. Those of us who use a wheelchair van need the additional space to lower the wheelchair ramp or lift. I have trouble finding a space to park several times a week. I don’t think people realize how important it is to leave these van spaces available. When we explain why we need the spot, some people are nice about it while others are rude and disrespectful.
Parenting with a disability
As a parent with a disability, people tend to make assumptions about my children and me. The most common misconception is that my children are my siblings. It’s hard for people to accept that people who have disabilities can have sex or adopt children. It’s refreshing when I meet someone who supposes that my children are mine. Another misconception I encounter is that my children are big helpers to me. While they do assist me with some tasks, I don’t think their efforts are out of the ordinary.
I could continue with other pet peeves, but I guess my main point is to try not to make assumptions. People with disabilities are much like anyone else. We have jobs or seek employment. We have families, relationships, and friendships. Try to keep a positive outlook and be kind to others no matter what their abilities are.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.