By Vicky Page
I admit that I never learned much about love. I mean the love of your family comes easy for some of us, they’ve known you since you were a little kid. Most have played with you, laughed with you changed your diapers and fought with you but still managed to adore you anyway.
Even some friendships come easily for me. I meet people and I just click with them so easily, it’s like we’ve shared bologna sandwiches and secrets all of our lives.
|Author, Vicky Page|
The one thing I never fully grasped the concept of is romantic love. I grew up with Cerebral Palsy causing tight muscles and without peripheral vision. (I can’t see out of the sides of my eyes.) I have been in a wheelchair since I was five years old. When I grew into that dating age, my former girlfriends wanted nothing to do with a girl who looked so different than them. I was the only female in a wheelchair in my grade.The boys never gave me a second glance.
So my loving parents and sister told me to be the best person that I could despite these setbacks. My father and teachers tutored me though high school, helping me to pass my classes. My mother and sister helped out with tutoring in college too. Mostly though, this life left little time for any foraying into the social world of dating. I’ve never even been around the bases. Most people have been to the kissing part or at least the hand holding part but I haven’t even been there,
Sometimes I’m scared. I think maybe it’s just too late for a woman like me. Then I see an older couple walking down the street and the man will grasp her arm in a gentle way and put it around his waist. I think to myself, I could be in love someday that way; if only I believe in myself enough to know that kind of love truly happen for girls who look like me. However, I have along way to go on the road to intimacy and true romantic love. I must learn to believe in my own abilities and myself before I can be led to the path of love. I know I’m not ready yet. I’m anxious for a lover but my life lesson of patience and perseverance and learning to wait for the right man hasn’t finished for me yet. However, someday I have to believe that love will find me when and where I least expect it. Until then there’s always homework to do. The one thing I can master completely. As long as it’s not a love lesson!
What prevents me from feeling close to other people?
This was a question that I was asked by a friend who noticed my noticeably loner lifestyle. I would often walk alone separate from a crowd lost in my own thoughts and my daily dose of mocha latte.
From an early age my parents taught me that just because I had to be physically dependent on them, didn’t mean I had to psychologically dependent on them. Of course their opinion influenced my decisions. However they always told me I had to learn to find things to do on my own, that they weren’t going entertain me all of time. So I set off on a journey often in my own head. I did this fantasizing often, because I couldn’t go outside without assistance. I read books that would be make me so absorbed in the characters that I forgot about my own somewhat isolated life. I read books by authors like JudyBlume and Anne M. Martin who wrote the Babysitters Club series. My favorite character was Stacy because she was a diabetic and “different” from the group, just like I felt I was. It was amazing and I wanted to fall into their worlds for a while. I wrote stories and told stories with my grandma, whom I called Amah. My grandparents would come to visit as often as possible. She would start a story with one line and I’d continue it with another and before you knew it we’d be laughing because we had no idea what our original plot line was even about! Those moments of creating those stories with my grandmother would often stop the pain of the loneliness I sometimes felt.
I’d look at pictures in bridal magazines as I got older and fantasized about how my wedding would be, right from the dress to the centerpieces but it was all the vision I created in my head, and still do. I’ve created dreams of my fantasy job as a Child Psychology professor while lecturing around the nation about disability related topics. However I understand that in these fantasies I’m always solo. The most honest answer I could give to my friend was that “I don’t know why I can’t get close to people.”
Perhaps it’s a lack of social opportunities but I am and always will be an independent woman. Nothing will ever change that and I know I will never change. I’m independent but also very stubborn! However, with time a trained professional. Love will find me when I least expect it to do so. Someday it will happen. Until then I will just enjoy my own passions for a while if that person doesn’t come along. I’ll be okay. I’m alone, not lonely. The world is waiting for me with or without a significant other. I’m ready and willing to conquer it.
1. Therapist Finder: www.TherapistFinder.com. This gem of a site is found on Psychology today’s web site. www.psychologytoday.com Just type in your zip/postal code and you find licensed Psychologists, social workers and counselors eager to help you locally all over the U.S. and Canada.
Reprinted with permission from Abilities.ca.