Forum 2.0


  • Working as a walmart greeter, I get this all the time! The ones that just stare are the bad ones, but most will come up to me and just ask "What happened to your legs?" so I tell them. I've made lots of little friends this way, and when the parents tell them not to ask or not to stare or something I tell them how important it is that the kids DO ask! I tell them I'm not easily offended and that I would rather answer their questions and tell them what happened so that they understand everyone is different and thats ok! I mean, honestly, one day something might happen to that kid and they may lose a limb or become disabled and I don't want them to feel like a freak or like they don't fit in, I want them to know its absolutely fine to be different! I love when we are swimming and you see that one kid that is scared to death of the water and I tell them I will jump in with no legs if they will just walk down the steps. They don't think I will so we make the deal and I dive out of the chair and they're like "WOAH! Well, I guess if this guy can swim with no legs then maybe I can too" and they slowly ease in. Parents thank me a lot for this kind of stuff, because I'm not scared of anything and I think they need this positive encouragement.

  • I feel people staring all the time. Yes, I know people can't help it, but it is still unnerving. What gets me is having to answer the same questions over and over again. After a while your answers just become generic, so you can distance yourself from all of the emotion involved. You have a script that you just follow because you get the same questions over and over, and your answers become completely scientific (or maybe it’s just me).I find it easy to answer people when they are genuinely curious, but it gets predictable answering the same questions: What happened? What is wrong with you? Why do you walk so funny?

    When people decide to mix their questions with profanity, snide remarks, and hateful comments it gets really hard to bite your tongue. Sometimes I just want to yell back that nothing happened, nothing is wrong, and that I walk just fine, but I know it won't help anything, so I just keep my mouth shut. Then there are those times that people add their hateful comments, and the day has been just too hard, too bad, and you can no longer hold your head. This is where you tell unbelievable stories just to get a laugh and control the anger that is building inside your gut.

    One day after school I had to go grocery shopping, and while walking this guy chased me down just to tell me that, "God will fix your limp if you just believe," and he just stood there waiting for me to reply. What am I supposed to say to that? Isn't it God that made everyone in his image? Does that not include me as well? I have never really been a fan of organized religion because I would get tired of hearing things such as: God's mold had a crack in it when he made you, and that I was never God's plan, when I have clearly read and discovered different. All I could reply to this man is "Yes sir," and walk away because I had no reason to say anything else to the man in front of me because it is not my place to show my anger.

    I have no problem telling children though because they don't know any better, and you can help them understand now that there are different people in the world, so as they get older there will be more open-minded to the different people in the world. I even find it kind of fun because they have the wildest imagination. They ask different questions that make you laugh and have an easier time answering all these questions.

    The hardest thing though was answering my little sisters questions about the way I am. I just always thought my dad had sat her down and explained why I was the way I was, but I guess he never did. I was putting on my shoes one day, while at my dad's house and my little sister walked into the room, " Sissy, Why do you walk so funny?"

    Man let me tell you that caught off guard. I picked her up and answered all of her questions. I showed her that I could jump, run, touch my toes, and I even took her out to play basketball. The day went by like normal after that and I put her to bed, but as I got up to leave she grabbed my sleeve and said," Sissy you aren't any different, but you are special... Special to me." I walked out of her room crying that night because I knew there was hope for the world, and her saying that has made it easier to answer the questions that get asked of me day after day.

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