Yesterday was, well yesterday. I want to share a part of it with you because I find this motto one I have to live by: “End it on a good note.”
I went out on my daily wheelchair walk. It had just rained and I hesitated for a moment because I really don’t like to get my wheelchair tires covered in car yuck that accumulates in puddles after it rains. But I am bound and determined to every single day get out of the house. I have set up some daily routines for healing and the most important one for me is my wheelchair walk. During my walk a woman came up to me and gave me a good ole pat on the shoulder. Whether it was a kind gesture with good intention or not, it does not change the fact that she hurt my arm, and she stepped into my space. I have been working on boundaries. I cannot set up a boundary to protect myself if I am lower than everyone else and in a “pat” zone especially when I never know when it’s coming. I could just say to every person who passes by or stops to talk to my, ” Hey if you are thinking of patting me, please don’t,” but that would just get old! People have often caught me off guard while in my wheelchair and pat my arm or my shoulder. It is not a reflection on them per se as much as it is something I simply do not like. AND I am under the complete belief that if I were out for a jog, the same person would not stop me and pat my arm. Infact, I can’t think of one time when I WAS out for an actual “walk” or run that anyone felt the need to give me a pat. Like I said, good intention or not, I do not like being pat. My arm was hurt and my walk was ruined. I think you had to be there but I heard her friends say….oooooh look there is a girl in the road in a wheelchair. Like I am some freaking wild bird sighting. It just all did not set with my own daily walk intentions. I came home pissed off. But then no. I wanted to stick with the motto that my daughter’s old horse back riding instructor always said, ” Never end it on a bad note.” If she was jumping a horse and they had a bad jump, that couldn’t be the end. They needed a good jump to finish up on so they both felt satisfied with the day’s work. I guess the same applies to the theory that you shouldn’t go to bed angry. End it on a good note. So I came home, pissed off, made a sign, and taped it to my tank top!
I went back out on my walk and stayed out until I felt the calm I had originally set out to achieve. One jogger passed by and laughed while he shook his head understandably as if to say, ” That is so sad that you had to do that to get respect.” Another girl stopped to say hello and we had a chat, never did she mention the note taped to my chest. But I didn’t have to worry she’d touch me, now did I! And I have to say there was a great calm in that. I didn’t have to say the words. My intentions were taped to my chest. My walk was a success.
Today I went to therapy and taped the same sign on the back of my scooter. It felt very empowering. I didn’t have to be hypervigilant that someone would come up from behind me and pat me or grab my shoulders. Really, most people have no idea the amount of unwanted touches I get in my scooter. And some truly are just passerby individuals that want to give me a pat of encouragement. I know that. But I am out to be normal. And you don’t normally pat strangers.
Tomorrow my husband is going to make me a more proper laminated sign that says “Please don’t touch me.” I will put one on my wheelchair and one on my scooter. I can then feel a little safer. That is what I am always MOST trying to achieve. To feel safe. It is hard to do when you are in a scooter or wheelchair even if you have had no past trauma or triggers.
Today, my day ended with my frequent bloomer that always makes me smile. I had this “grass” for 11 years. This is the first year it has bloomed. Out of nowhere it just pops out a flower. I love this flower! It is like an angel’s yellow arms are open and right in the middle is a purple cross. I mean come on. That is a cool flower!I like to end my day on a good note too.