Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paralyzed Diaries: 002: Relationships

 I know I've talked about dating before as a general topic on my blog ( here's an example) but I get lots of questions about relationships while being in a wheelchair. I thought it would be something I could touch base on in this series because I know a lot of people want to have advice on such things.

I've been in a wheelchair for 9 months + relationships have been the hardest part for me. Not just with boys I fancy, but people in general. I hate to admit it but I am kind of insecure about my chair. It's been part of me for 9 months but it's still something I get really insecure about. Naturally when it came to relationships, I had the mindset of "Nobody wants to date/ be friends with a girl who is in a wheelchair" + maybe there are guys out there who won't date a girl in a wheelchair (just like I won't date a mister who smokes.) or people who don't wanna be my friend because I can't walk but there are people out there who could give no cares about my chair. I know it's so cliche to say that, but it's true. It seems like a big deal to me because I am insecure about it but it's not really a big deal to others.

 I've been with my current boyfriend for a little over a month. I know that's not long at all but every since we started talking, I have felt so comfortable with him. The one thing I've learned since I started dating him is that you have to be honest with your partner. I had to tell Mikal all the things I was worried about (like trying to transfer from my chair to the couch in front of him) + he either had to be able to accept them and work through them with me or he could leave. Mikal NEVER made me feel uncomfortable about not being able to walk or the fact that I come with a little more baggage. He is super supportive in everything I do. I got really lucky and I thank God for Mikal daily.

There's much more that goes into a spinal cord injury and that's honestly the scariest part for me about trying to form relationships with people. I get so worried about others judging me for something I cannot control. I don't typically get into super personal things on my blog but since I'm talking about my injury, I might as well be honest. (you can google my injury + read about it anyway) I have to stick to a certain pee schedule or I will pee my pants and trust me as embarrassing as it is to say it- I've peed my pants in front of Mikal PLENTY of times. Did he make me feel like I was worthless because of it? No. Of course, we both make jokes about it from time to time because that's how I deal with things that I'm insecure about. I've even peed in front of friends + none of them made me feel like I was less than they were. Some of them may not always know what to say or how to react but they don't make me feel awful for it. Of course, I had to be open with them about it too. People don't think about all the things that go into a spinal cord injury, they just see I can't walk + that's it. It's hard having to admit to people I can't control my body but I have to in order to be comfortable with people. It's a part of my life now and the people who really care about me will accept it and understand.

I also notice myself being kind of jealous that I can't do things like I used to. I hate feeling like I'm missing out on being a 20 year old. I am kind of forced to grow up before I was really ready too. ( Remember this post about that?) I have to think about what's best for my progress before I think about what I want + I get jealous that my friends can just do whatever they want. I've never been one to answer to others. I have always had freedom to do what I want, when I want and now that I can't walk, I have to depend on others. I hate it so much + I notice myself taking this out on people I care about because I'm upset with myself. It's not anyone's fault really, I just take it out on others because it's easier for me to be mad at someone else than it is to be mad at myself for the situation I put myself in. 

I asked Mikal to join me in writing this post since he sees things from another point of view + this is what he wrote:


Well hello, my name's Mikal I'm sure if you haven't caught on by now, but im Sabrina's boyfriend. Haha, im not very good with talking in the open, on the internet or in person, but i'll try to be to the point . I came across a friend request from Sabrina in December, seeing she had some friends in common with me, i accepted, basically untill she told me, i didnt really know that she he ever had an accident. We didnt talk instantly like we were going to date or anything i just shared a lot of things about my life, as she did with me. Personally i didnt think i was a person that exactly could look past a wheelchair when i had thought about it in the past, but meeting sabrina, i totally felt like i was comfortable with her, and i have to say she's completely right when she says you have to be honest.

There's obviously things that are different in the relationship, from needing to make sure when you're going on dates that the place is handicapped accessible to the fact that one of my personal things, is that i like to put my hand on her leg if she's busy, but then i have to remember that she cant feel my hand there if im trying to get her attention. Also allowing time to take breaks for the bathroom or time to get ready, or do things.

(always putting his hand on my leg)
The other side of it though is, though trusting this lovely lady and giving it a chance, I've found a awesome relationship that i can have complete trust in, even when my jealousy gets the best of me, i know everything's gonna be alright, not because she's in a wheelchair, but because i finally found someone i could trust.

Personally, being patient and understanding, are what i think makes us work so well, we dont have a lot of things that are in common, so when im wanting to play computer games, or poke'mon, (yeah im that guy... haha) she's okay with it, and its the same for me to her when she wants to do something im not exactly interested in, all i can say, is the only thing i know is i wouldn't be nearly as happy as i am at this moment if it wasn't for her.


As you can see, he's obv. super sweet (reading that for the first time made me tear up a bit) + He said himself that he never really saw himself as someone who could date a girl in a wheelchair, but he got to know ME..not my chair and that's why our relationship works so well. He doesn't make a big stink about it + I don't feel worried about him judging me because of it.

I guess my best advice is that you have to find someone you're comfortable with. Someone you can tell all your fears too + have them support you no matter. You're going to have to find someone who is willing to help you fight the battle, both mentally + physically. There's things about having a spinal cord injury that people don't want to talk about but in order to make a relationship work (with anyone) you have to be open with others in order to maintain a relationship with them.Yeah, they are people out there who won't understand or accept things for what they are but if you honestly think about it, do you want to be a part of those peoples lives? Probably not. It's hard knowing that people can't see past the chair but it's something that happens + you just have to look past it.

If there's something you want me to talk about that deals with my spinal cord injury/ life in a wheelchair, please let me know in a comment below or send me an email at sabrinatakespicturesATgmailDOTcom. Nothing super personal though, please.


  1. I just need to say that, I am so happy for you and that God brought this man into your life. This quote of his, "i wouldn't be nearly as happy as i am at this moment if it wasn't for her." literally gave me chills, so I'm quite sure it means EVERYTHING to you. xo

    1. Thanks Cara.
      It does mean the world to me to have such a supportive man that stands behind me + loves me for me. I thank God daily for him.
      thanks for reading. xox


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