Early last week Wednesday whilst walking to the bus stop, I slipped and fell face down. The ground was wet because it had been raining for a number of days. I then missed the bus and had to catch another one which made me late for class. aarrgggh!!! When I fell, I hurt my left arm which took about a week to heal. Later that day when I was Skyping (if that’s a word) with one of my uncles, he asked me how my day was and I told him about the fall. He was surprised and asked “how do you fall, don’t you like walk at zero kilometers an hour?” I laughed at his question then I went on to explain to him that the ground was wet which makes it difficult for me to walk when it rains because i use crutches, he still didn’t understand. It’s in that moment i realized they will never know nor will they ever understand what it’s like to walk in these shoes, my shoes. They being family, friends, acquaintances, strangers. They will never know nor understand what it feels like to have a disability.
They will never know nor understand how each time you leave the house you wonder to yourself if anyone will be mean to you on that day because of your disability.
They will know nor understand how much of a burden it is to go to the supermarket because some products are placed on high shelves and you have figure out how to get them down, or how you have to literally drag the shopping basket cause it’s too heavy to carry and pushing a trolley is out of the question.
They will never know nor understand how a simple thing such as shoe shopping takes at least half an hour to an hour not because you can’t find a shoe you like but you have to find one that does not damage your feet.
They will never know nor understand how going shopping can be such a tedious task as most times it is quite difficult to find a perfect size.
They will never know nor understand how some nights you hardly get any sleep at all because you are going to the bathroom every hour (one of the physical complications of Spina Bifida).
They will never know nor understand how annoying it is to do laundry because you can’t reach the washing line to hang your clothes.
They will never know nor understand how frustrating the rainy season is because you can’t use an umbrella and you literally want to cry when each time it starts raining before you reach your destination.
They will never know the frustrations of shopping and not finding clothes that fit your small frame.
They will never know nor understand how difficult it is to ask for help say ask someone to drive you to the shops to do grocery shopping because you wish you could do such a simple task on your own.
They will never know nor understand the frustrations of trying to live in a world that does not accommodate you.
I could go on and on but truth is people will just never know nor understand what it means to have a disability and the sad part about it all is that most people won’t even hear you out when you try to explain certain things, they just label you as having a bad attitude.
Before you tell me how I should feel or view my disability, please walk a mile in my shoes because you have no idea how it feels to walk in these my disability shoes.