Whether they be strangers or my best friends, people everywhere are offering me help with everyday tasks. The help is always much appreciated, but I rarely accept. Some things, well just about everything, is much harder than it used to be. But the truth is, I hate receiving help with anything. My parents are the only ones so far that know that, get that, and understand that. If someone just starts assisting me with something and my mom is near, she’ll say, “No no, he’s got it,” because she knows how much it aggravates me.
I had a summer internship in Cleveland over the summer, which was a 4 hour drive from home. I would make the drive once a week and stay in a hotel for three nights before making the return trip. The first couple of weeks I would tip a bell hop boy to one, park my car, two, carry my bags in, and three, carry my bags back out before leaving — that’s a lot of commas, is that right? –The third week when it was time for me to check out, I asked the bell hop to come help me with my bags in about five minutes because I was finishing packing up. About 12 minutes had passed and I realized he wasn’t coming. He must have forgotten, but I sure as hell wasn’t about to ask again. Most men probably feel me on that. “Fuck it, I don’t need help anyway,” I thought, although unsure at the time. I had three book bags, one regular bag, and my dress clothes on hangers (three shirts and two pants). The three doors before getting to my car were making me a little uneasy. I loaded two of the book bags on the back of my chair, and balanced the remaining bags and clothes on my lap as I pushed myself to my car. The bags and arms of my shirts were getting caught in my wheels, it was pretty sloppy, plus the things from my lap fell and hit the ground more than once while getting through the exit doors. It took me a little more time, but hey, I made it. I was pretty impressed with myself, and it gave me a bigger head than I already had. From that point on, I no longer wasted my tip money on the bell hop boys, and I was determined that I could live my life just fine without receiving any help.
I have more stories relating to this, maybe I’ll turn one into a post in the future. Most of the para’s I have met seem to share very similar feelings when it comes to striving to be independent. We have this sense of pride and believe we can still do (virtually) everything we used to be able to before our “accidents”. That’s how I feel at least. I guess the moral of the story is, if you know someone in a wheelchair, whether it be me or someone else, don’t start giving them a hand with something without asking. Asking if they need, or would like help with something is fine. In fact it is almost always much appreciated.
My next post will tie into this a little. It will be on a similar subject, but will show more of the opposite side of the spectrum. That post will be coming sometime during the week.