Anne Thomas " data-medium-file="https://tbmwomenintheworld2016.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/alexander-photo-2-131.jpg? w=300" data-large-file="https://tbmwomenintheworld2016.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/alexander-photo-2-131.jpg? w=1024" / Recently a friend asked me how my love life was going and I drew a blank. In 1976, at the age of 18, I dropped out of college after three semesters and went hitchhiking alone in Europe—to find myself.
It’s not just that I’m 57: I also live with a disability.
When Brad * became paralyzed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident in 1991, he went in an instant from being "close to 6 foot 4 and 215 4 feet 5 inches( in a wheelchair)." After leaving the hospital, he worried about what people saw when they looked at him and what assumptions they might be making about him-did they see him, or did they see a disabled person?
"I didn't know how to react to myself, let alone how to react to somebody who was reacting to me," he remembered.
"On our first date I knew instantly she was the one I wanted to be with," he recalled.
As questions came up about what the future together might look like, Brad found that communicating openly about all the fears and questions they both had was the only way to make it work.
We really ARE NOT inherently bitchy people with “chips on our shoulders.” Well some are, but nobody pays any attention to them anyway.
We felt it important to offer some insight into “women in wheelchairs” for future features, which we hope you will continue!
Fact is, disabled sex can be both a healthy and rewarding experiencefor those living with a disability.However, if you are keen to listen, there are a few glaring ways this feature could have applied to a majority of chair users instead of a minority.We don’t want to come off as whiney or angry crips who can never be happy and find offense in every possible way we are portrayed.Getting comfortable with himself was an important step in being able to feel confident about dating.Brad's wife of seven years, Amy, had never met anybody in a wheelchair before him.But in the climate that prevailed at the time, people were shocked that I dared to hope for romance and physical intimacy. I was taught all of societies’ biases: that people with disabilities are different, sub-human, to be avoided (which is why we segregated them).