I debated submitting this story because it’s not really “traumatic” per se, but it is something that has stuck with me throughout my fifteen years since high school. But after some encouragement from a friend I think this is a story that needs to be told so here it goes.
First a little history.
I was born disabled. My disability has had me being a wheelchair user since I was four.
As far back as I can remember everyone I’ve ever encountered has always talked about how “pretty” I am as if being disabled can not happen to physically attractive people.
One day, my freshman year of high school, the star quarterback of the football team cornered me in the hallway between classes. He was a senior, I was a freshman. He had absolutely no reason to acknowledge my existence.
The conversation went something like this:
Him: “Hi!” (Big smile)
Me: “Um…hi?” (Looking around because WTF)
Him: “I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you are. It’s really a shame you’re disabled. I would have loved to have taken you out some time.”
My face probably looked something between just been slapped and totally astonished. His tone and his smile said he thought he was complimenting me. I was offended but mostly hurt. This guy was cute and he obviously knew it. So to seek me out just to say something like that and to be proud of it. I was in total shock at what an asshole he was.
As an adult I realize he probably had no idea how rude and offensive he was being. We were both kids, but that still doesn’t make it hurt less.
After being surrounded by comments like that my entire life you would think I would be used to it, but I’m not. I don’t understand how to so many people I’m just the pretty little girl in the wheelchair, even as an adult I’m still referred to as ‘the little girl’. But that’s society I guess, everyone who’s ablebodied looks at a disabled person and sees the disability before the person.
Hopefully one day that will change, for now I just learn to live with it I guess.
Submitted by: the pretty little girl in the wheelchair