Love, dating and relationships are hot topics in and outside the disability community. There are many questions, concerns and emotions conveyed, but the bottom line is that people with disabilities are worthy of love just like anyone else.
I met my fiancé while in high school. Before him, I never wanted to date another disabled person. Growing up, I did not really know anyone else like me, as all of my friends and classmates were non-disabled. I spent most of my childhood convincing myself and everyone that I was just like everyone else and not one of “those people.” I tried my hardest to separate myself from my disability.
Falling in Love and Finding Acceptance
When I started high school and the senior boy who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair liked me, I was not interested. I convinced myself that being with another disabled person would be too hard and that it would never work. I told David we should just remain friends. We continued texting every day for months.
Throughout our conversations we shared things with each other that we never told anyone else, connecting on things that made us often feel alone. We found full acceptance in one another. Together, we both agree that being in a relationship with another disabled person is the hardest thing we both have done.
Dealing with Barriers
We have to consider our personal barriers, as well as other person’s personal barriers, which may be different from our own. Our date nights are not as intimate as we wish. We lack the privacy or even respect other couples receive. Some people viewing our relationship as childlike or insignificant. Yet, I would not change our love for the world. We fully accept one another, seeing every side of the other person and choosing to love regardless. There have been many awkward and embarrassing moments that turned into private jokes. We celebrate our accomplishments, whether big or small. Helping each other is a team building exercise and we can have our bad days with no explanation. Most importantly, our love for one another taught us to love ourselves.
About Isabella Bullock: Isabella, or Izzie for short, is an employment specialist for the Center of Independent Living. She is an iced coffee enthusiast who enjoys getting lost in a good book. Click here to learn more about Isabella.
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