Should I offer my help?
Written by Daniel J Towsey
A lady I was recently having a discussion with asked me a very interesting question.
She asked me if I could help her with this question.
She has often wondered if it was alright to offer someone in a wheelchair if they needed or wanted help.
She wondered if it was appropriate or possibly offensive.
Will I said that it is much better to offer your kindness than not doing so.
I indicated to her that many disabled people in wheelchairs have psychological problems in dealing with their disabilities in relation to people who do not have disabilities.
Many disabled go through life with huge chips on their shoulders.
Many have negative resentments toward society.
I can tell you that I understand why.
I am now in a motorised wheel chair after having a relatively active and healthy life.
I recently survived having a car drive over me.
Which has left me with very serious permanent injuries that are not visible.
I now have the opportunity to see this issue from both sides.
I have decided to get involved.
I now do research and meet individuals in all walks of life and investigate accessibility issues .
I offer solutions and also I learn about the problems from all different people concerned.
I now write reports for the government and I have started two Wheelchair Rights Internet groups which you can find and join here.
So this will be my first blog article about wheelchairs.
So about the resentments that people in wheelchairs have.
These resentments are very negative and can be destructive to ones quality of life.
I can tell you from my experiences now that I can somewhat understand the complexities of the reasons why they maybe resentful.
I have only been in a wheelchair for a short time but many have been in wheelchairs for up to their whole lives.
So I will try and give you some perspectives as to why some my really appreciate your kind help and why many may really resent it.
About those who may resent it.
It is so unfortunate that some have coping issues.
These individuals are usually overwhelmed at their inability to do most things that other do very easily.
So lets say you ask whether or not if you can open a door for them.
The resenters may snap at you and say no I can do it myself.
The reason they would snap at you is that.
They believe that you are insulting them because they may actually be able to open the door themselves.
So their ability to do something for themselves gives them the feeling of dignity.
They think that by you asking, you are insulting their dignity.
Unfortunately some in wheelchairs think that society has no understanding as to the disabled situation.
They easily get mad and think that the able bodied should know better.
Those with the chip on their shoulders actually believe that society owes them something.
Those with the chip should consider that society can never understand until those in the wheelchair kindly explain it to society.
Please understand that nothing I am writing here is absolute.
The situations are different for every disabled person.
Life in a wheelchair is all about extremes when it comes to how the able bodied treat or mistreat those in wheelchairs.
It goes from extreme rudeness and disrespect to extreme kindness..
All that is needed is understanding from all involved.
No one will be able to understand until those involved start speaking to each other and expressing their views and questions.
Just a note..
Driving a wheelchair is extremely painful, difficult and dangerous.
It takes an amazing amount of concentration to drive a wheelchair.
It is much more difficult to drive one then driving any motor vehicle.
I speak from experience.
So please remember that wheelchairs are an experience in extremes..
Such as riding a wheelchair in cold weather or rain is like driving a car without windows.
Then you remove the car altogether.
Riding a wheelchair causes extreme windchill.
In a wheelchair one quickly freezes compared to a person walking.
For one in the chair is not physically moving and their body gets cold very quickly.
Also partly because wheelchairs move very quickly compared to walking.
So I ask you kind caring people to understand that being disabled and in a wheelchair is all about extremes..
Everything is extremely difficult., Everything takes allot of planning, effort and concentration.
Being disabled makes ones life extremely exhausting…
There is no relaxing or being comfortable when you are disabled..
So the question of if you can help is that yes you can..
Any help is always appreciated and makes ones burden of being disabled a bit more bearable.