Conversations with Perspectives of DisabilityDecember 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | Leave a comment
Tags: daily living, disability, disability and marriage, disability and relationships, disability self advocacy, interability marriage, Megan Cutter
When I first had a chance to work with Barton, I was at a Camp in Arizona. We were both working in the kitchen washing dishes and cleaning. In my sweet Southern Alabama slow voice, I asked Barton if he needed any help. One of our close friends took me aside and asked me point blank if I had a problem with Barton. At first I didn’t get it, and responded no. Yet my vocal inflections were telling a different story. It was clear that I was uncomfortable and wasn’t sure how to relate to him. She spent a few minutes explaining that Barton had been through all of the same training. She pointed out how I was patronizing Barton in the way I was speaking.
Recently, I have had a few discussions with someone who is working different issues around the disability of their partner. The easy route is to peg everything on disability. Yet by doing this, we don’t see the fullness of the person inside.
What are the issues between Barton and I as a husband and wife- what are the issues between Barton and I- someone with a disability and someone without? As much as we can, Barton and I work toward a perspective that we are two whole people coming together in our marriage. Of course things are going to come up that incorporate his disability. And- things will come up in my own abilities as well. But that’s not the core of who we are or how we relate to one another.
Recognizing that we all have strengths and faults, no matter what our ability or inability is important, not only in our relationships with others, but how we identify ourselves. In many ways we become the labels we name ourselves to be.
What are the labels you write on your skin, and are there any you need to erase?