Hello blogger friends and welcome. Here is another post for the redfng-disblty2Redefining Disability Challenge started by Rose B. Fischer. If you click on the image to the left, you can see exactly what it’s all about and feel free to join. Answer as many of the 52 questions as you like, or the ones that pertain to you. There is no time limit. Answer them in one post, one a day, a week, or whatever fits your needs.

I’m going to spread the questions out over the remainder of the year since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer question(s) 18 and 19.

18.   Have you experienced preferential treatment because of disabilities? — By preferential treatment, I mean situations where you were treated better or differently from your peers even though there was no valid reason.  I have to answer this question with a yes because I do get preferential treatment from time to time. Although my gait has greatly improved with physical therapy, I still have people jumping out of their way to open doors for me and offer to help me find things, reach for items, etc., particularly in stores. This rarely happened before my illness.

I know the intentions are good, but unless I specifically ask, I’d prefer trying to do things myself. It’s the only way I know how to find my independence again.

19.   In what other ways are your interpersonal relationships affected by disabilities? — Examples might be that it’s harder for you to form or maintain relationships or that people treat you differently once they realize you have a disability. This is a tough one because there are so many ways that relationships, the way people treat me, and my attitude towards them have changed.

While I was critical in ICU, my ex prayed in chapel day in and day out for my recovery and posted all over to cherish what you have because you never know what tomorrow can bring. We were basically over before the bleed; my understanding is that my illness was the ‘epiphany’ needed to get us back on track. While I’m forever thankful for the prayers, my ex wasn’t strong enough to handle my recovery.

The first two months out of inpatient rehab were fine, but then I was basically on my own. I had no friends in PA, and no support system. My friends were there for a while, but slowly went back to living their own lives (except for a special two or three).

I huddled more and more into myself, until I thought I would implode. Four months out of rehab, my ex started behaving as if I were ‘cured’. The attitudes came, the arguments, the belittling, and I couldn’t handle it. I became a yelling, screaming, stuttering mess of my former self. I couldn’t string a coherent sentence together without going into a rage; a rage that was aimed more at myself and my brain than anyone else.

My only solace was online. I began blogging in February 2013. I joined stroke groups and vented there. I wrote to other survivors and we shared stories, because people in life didn’t understand me or what I was going through.

I’ve been told that I’m too trusting, and I’ve learned the hard way that I am. I’ve always thought it’s better to give than to receive. I don’t treat myself to much, but I love giving gifts to people I care about. Sometimes the people you care about aren’t the people you thought they were. Once you have a disability, particularly a brain injury, some people take that as an opportunity to take advantage. Yes, it happened to me. I’ve been stolen from by someone I thought was a friend. Of course, I’ve since written him out of my life.

People sometimes ask me if I ever plan on having a relationship again. I’d like to say I would, but I can’t say. I have too much on my plate. I’ve been hurt too many times and I’m still recovering. I ask myself, who would want to be bothered with a recovering strokee? Seriously.

I don’t want to be treated with kid gloves. I want to be treated with the same respect I try to give others. Yes, sometimes shit comes out of my mouth unexpectedly. My brain wires still cross and thoughts to mouth sometimes don’t connect properly. What I think and what I say aren’t always the same. That’s frustrating as hell.

Things have gotten better in the years since the hemorrhage, but I still have work to do. This is a never-ending fight for wellness. But as one of my fellow physical therapy cohorts said:

‘As long as we’re vertical, we’re good’.





About My Miracle Life

I'm a writer, blogger, avid reader, book reviewer, sub-arachnoid hemorrhage and stroke survivor, moving forward in my recovery and trying to advocate for stroke and brain hemorrhage awareness and prevention. I'm also slowly working towards independence, driving, my first novel, a memoir and a series of short stories. I've been lucky to have a very small network of close friends to guide me; I've been even luckier to have found an online 'family' of sorts to help me through the rough times.
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6 Responses to Redefining Disability Challenge – PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT- RELATIONSHIPS

  1. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne says:

    I hope that people treat you with the respect you deserve, Eva. You are the same special person you always have been, but now you were tested and you became a champion,.


    • Thanks, Deanie. You always know how to make me feel good. 🙂 I don’t know about a champion yet, but I’m striving to get there; I think I’m still being tested. Love you. Hugs.


  2. jabrush1213 says:

    A very true post about how people treat those with disabilities through words. I hope these words are read by many and they learn from what you say.


    • Thanks. I had a lot more to say, but I tried to keep the post within reason. 🙂 I appreciate the visit and your comment means the world. I can’t put into words how much. Have a great day. Hugs. Eva

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jo Wake says:

    At least you are “the right side of the grass” Eva. It is very difficult to see people struggling with things and not to offer to help. Very difficult to know whether to help because the person may not always ask for it when they need it. Luv ya girl.


    • Haha, GMD! I love that line better than the being vertical one! Mind if I borrow it? 😀

      Obviously if I’m struggling, I don’t mind an offer of help, but if I know if something will be difficult or a struggle for me, then I ask for assistance.

      The point I was trying to make is that sometimes people just assume I can’t do simple things on my own because they’ll notice the slight ‘way of my walk’ (especially on a bad pain day). Love you more!!! Xoxoxo.


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