“What happened to you?”
It’s a question I get asked frequently. I use a power chair and have used mobility aids all my life. My response is always “I was born early.” However, this response never sits well with me.
Recently, when I was at Target, this conversation played out with a stranger. He added, “Oh I see, so that’s why you use a chair… you’re still as beautiful as ever though. God Bless.” I then said, “Well, thank you. God bless you too. Have a nice day.”
Don’t Focus on the Negative
I know the person meant well when he said, “You’re still as beautiful as ever,” but when people make comments like this, I wish they understood that
With that being said, I’ve also come to realize this question doesn’t even require an answer relating to my disability. Therefore, instead of putting the focus on it right away, I could first tell those who abruptly
Creating Positive Changes in Perceptions and Attitudes
It can sometimes seem as though the only thing people want to know about me is why I use a power wheelchair. Curiosity is natural, and my chair can be something to notice, but it is just the way I’m used to living. I do not wish to deny my disability. However, I do wish for society to see me, and not just my power chair. There is so much more to a person than the way that they navigate their surroundings. To me this is my normal, so please treat it that way.
I know positive changes in perceptions and attitudes can begin to take place with even the smallest interactions. So I hope the next time I am abruptly asked: “What happened to you?” I remember to take my own advice — even when I’m just shopping at my favorite store.