My name is Brian and I had an accident in 2014 that changed my life. I became disabled because of the accident and this comes with its challenges. One of the challenges of being disabled has been finding love. Here is part one of my struggle finding love – Love, Loss And Trying To Maintain Relationships. If you haven’t read the beginning part of my story you can find it here.
Today I will begin with my favourite cliché; one that never lost its truth despite how many times it was uttered. “You cannot love others if you don’t love yourself”. I will go further and say that no single person has the power to walk in your life and build your self-esteem or self-belief. They can inspire that change but the crucial decision lies within one’s self. Lately, I have found myself talking more and more about love. I’d like to assume that this is a good thing since the world has generally turned into a pit of darkness and depression. Being depressed really sucks, I’d rather talk about love.
I am a disabled young male and thoughts about love come very interestingly to me. This is because, over time, I have learnt to sit comfortably in my own skin. The simple acceptance of self has freed my mind in so many ways. I have learnt to love myself and importantly, I know how to be loved. Though it has been a gruesome journey, the moment I embraced my shortcomings was the day of my breakthrough. I understood that life wasn’t going to be easy just because I was sickly and wistful. If anything, life got harder and the heartbreaks more brutal. I believe it is that reality check that lit up my desire to live and love again.
A relationship between an able and disabled person will always be met with some level of prejudice. The masses will talk behind your backs, they will question the genuineness and longevity of your union. This is what I said to my girlfriend in the first months of our relationship.
Like many couples these days, we had met through friends online. Since I am quite active on Facebook, I noticed how invested she was in my postings. I did the sensible thing and went through all her pictures like any young man named Brian ought to. I saw a cute adorable girl with a wayward sense of humour… She thinks she is hilarious but she really isn’t. Shortly after not being impressed by her dry jokes I slid my way through to her DM. We hit it off immediately and we haven’t stopped connecting ever since.
I have written before about how Facebook has become my journal in the last few years. A place where I have written intricate details about my life and the struggles I’ve encountered with spinal injury. My girlfriend is a part of my life so I had no reservations writing about her. Though I don’t boast of a huge following, I knew people would be curious to know her and most importantly, to stalk her. I knew this because people don’t just simply accept that a cripple can find pure companionship and mutual love.
They couldn’t understand how a beautiful woman like her could find me; a quadriplegic man even remotely attractive. It is a stereotypical, predictable line of thinking. One night during our conversations I asked her what she expected from me. She said that she expected a lot. To be truly honest, not many people have expected a lot from me since I sat on this chair. It’s not their fault and neither do I blame them. It felt good to know that someone wanted something from me. Especially when that someone is a beautiful African woman by whom you are smitten by, you do all you can to make her happy. I was inspired.
When I told my peers I was finally ready to try my luck on a relationship, they said I was very lucky. I agree. Most disabled young males around the world go through their days and nights lonely and overwhelmed by feelings of not being enough. I feared that these feelings would catch up to me and ruin this beautiful thing I had just stumbled upon.
It was different with her. She always knew the right things to say. The things she’d say never made me feel like I was not enough. Now it’s almost one year and I still want her to want more from me. Disabled or not there is no denying that finding compatibility in mutual love is a gift we are desire. Its gets a bit complicated when you add four wheels to the equation but last I checked, complicated can be quite interesting.
Sadly, it is not as interesting as her inbox; where confident young males are presenting themselves to her and promising to excel in the areas that I lack. The phrase “….you need a real man” comes up quite a lot in the sometimes graphic messages. This always reminds me of a cartoon I watched as a little boy. A mystical egg was discovered in a small village and everyone was mesmerized by its sheer size and strange markings. The villagers believed that the egg belonged to a huge snake. Once the egg hatched, it was a baby dinosaur; It always knew what it was, a thousand men thought it was a snake but their opinions couldn’t change the truth of the egg.
I don’t allude to being a wise man but I am not foolish either. I know how the world works; there are people that are disgusted by the sight of a disabled person. Put a fine young lady by the disabled person’s side and there will be more disgust coupled with disbelief. All I and my lady can do is water our love and continue making the non-believers uncomfortable. Find the next part here – From Stairs To Ramps: Access Is Important For Inclusion Otherwise Society Excludes The Disabled
Brian Muchiri is a passionate writer who draws his inspiration from the experiences in his own life and of those around him. He is candid and he seeks to inspire society to be more pro active and vocal about the social issues that affect us. Brian is also actively involved in pushing for awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities through his foundation; Strong Spine.