Secret Asian Man (grandmapa) wrote in sokabubble,
Secret Asian Man
grandmapa
sokabubble

could use some editing

Being disabled these past few weeks has made me view this
school in a whole new perspective and also made me realize a few things about
life in general. Growing up, I’ve always been dependent on my mom but that
changed as I got older and got a car. I can take myself to school, to practice,
pick up my sister, go grocery shopping, run errands, etc and that
independent-ness of mine has carried over to this day. During that time I
developed this attitude that if I wanted anything done right I would need to do
it myself or if I didn’t do it myself I’d have to watch over it. I guess you
could say that I developed into a control freak. If there was something I could
do myself I would do it.



             However, with a broken foot my mobility has
greatly suffered. Crutches took away the use of my arms and the ability to
travel long distances, however, it gave people the impression that I was ok.
When I got the wheelchair from the nurse, things kind of changed. This school,
I’ve realized, is not ideal for the handicapped. With all the hills and slopes
moving around can be strenuous. Ramps make my traveling distances nearly double
in length and takes up so much time. If I didn’t have the use of my other foot
I don’t think I would be able to open the doors to the dorm. You try swiping
your key and then making it to the handle and opening the door before it locks.
It took me several tries before I was finally able to do it the first time—but
I had to use my foot so I kind of cheated. Also, I am limited to some of my
favorite places on campus. Whenever I have a class in Gandhi, I love to go down
the steps and walk by the lotus ponds. However, in a wheelchair I am forced to
go around and admire the ponds from a distance. Such a small pleasure, yet I
never noticed it until it was taken away from me. Going up down the grand
stairway at the Ikeda Library was always a powerful experience for me. It is
the place of one of my first memories of SUA. When I walked by the stairs the
first time I would just look up and be in awe at the sight of something so
large and grand. It brought me back to the first time I visited the ruins of
Angkor Wat and looked up at the tallest tower with the clouds passing by. I
felt like I could touch the heavens. But now, I have to take the elevator and
stare at a grey, metal door. The people make it much easier, always so eager to
help.



But people think I am helpless. I
don’t blame them; a person in a wheelchair is a pitiful sight. Everywhere I
went people wanted to help me and make sure I was ok. This kind of attention
was one that I hadn’t received since graduated from kindergarten. All of a
sudden I could no longer open doors by myself, check my mail, or even use the
bathroom in the eyes of everyone else. When they saw me stand on my other
(good) leg the general reaction was pure shock. I guess it must be easy to
forget that I only had one bad foot. Sometimes, people wouldn’t even ask to
help me—they just would. People on their way to class would go out of their way
to open a door or walk me back to my room. The first week I was so appreciative
of everyone’s caring nature but as the weeks went on it started to get on my
nerves. This must what so many disabled people feel to have the world pity them
so much. I had heard stories of disabled people reacting violently to those
that tried to help them and at the time I thought. “They’re only trying to
help. How ungrateful can a person be?” But now I think I can understand what it
must be like; to be a grown adult and still be treated like a child. Children
tell us all the time, “No, I can do it myself” yet we keep insisting that they
can’t do it themselves, they’re still just children. We don’t take them
seriously because they’re so much younger than us. I wonder how much of that
attitude doesn’t change with someone our own age.



             

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