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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Monday, October 09, 2006

THE QUEST FOR LOVE

I am not about to embark on a sentimental journey opening the doors to my past or anything that is of no concern to the general public. Instead, I’m going to make a point here that might come as a surprise to some people. The fact is that like any other human being, I sometimes wonder about love and whether I’ll find someone that shares this love. It doesn’t really deserve the title of ‘revelation’ but it’s surprising how many people who have never met disabled people regard us as beings that are almost outside the realm of humankind.

I may blame the many fairytales here which have helped to propagate the myth of our ‘alien’ or fairy-like qualities. Elves, dwarves, creatures with weird bodies, blind seers, mutants, evil witches, hunchbacks, goblins, etc. etc.

I can go on and on. But never do we really encounter a person who has an impairment becoming the main protagonist. The hero… or even the Prince or princess in any fairytale or story. And when there is hope for the ‘beast’ to marry his ‘beauty’… what? Yes, magic! The beast cannot remain a beastly creature but is redeemed and now can become a beautiful prince. Very moving, but it doesn’t help my quest for love a single bit. (No I won’t consider major surgery thanks very much!)

I’m tempted to write a story in which it wouldn’t really matter if you were just different from the rest. In which the heroes and heroines do not come out of a dreamlike world that does not really exist but are ordinary decent folk. In which the evil may or may not be beautiful and charming. In which having an impairment didn’t mean that a spell has been cast on you and once you prove yourself (usually you’re rewarded for being a good boy or girl) you become well, perfect …

… And I’d call it a happy ending if it weren’t for the fact that year after year the story inadvertently repeats itself. The image of evil and wickedness is the ‘deformed crippled’ creature who spends his or her time planning the destruction of the beautiful world of the others. And aside from sexist tendencies in these fairytales, I can only cringe when and if a 4 year old asks me whether an evil witch cast me a spell.

Perhaps a witch did cast that spell, but not on me on the world around me. But that’s another matter. Quite spooky but too real I’m afraid! But to back my attempt at finding well, love …

The verses I write in the privacy of my own home … my essential feelings of attraction and of fondness … and my quest for love that has been at the core of human passion for centuries … all this means something for sure doesn’t it? And yet the myth persists that if you’re a wheelchair user you shouldn’t think of such things or I’ve even heard people say that blind people cannot love because they cannot see. Or that when there are differences in communication love is not possible. And perhaps most shocking … that love requires a degree of intelligence. So people with intellectual impairments are cast off as angels or eternal children.

These all myths and dangerous spells that are not the creation of a wicked witch residing in an inaccessible abode (unless she’s not society living in the world). These spells are the thoughts and prejudices that kill the very heart of our humanity by denying us one of the greatest rights of being. The right to be considered loving human beings. Not shadows of our friends, or burdens to our families. Not even puppets that need cheering up. But social beings who amongst other things have the need for love and companionship.

Now I vanish till we meet next time.

2 comments:

Deanne said...

Hi Gordon,

What about Shrek? That turns the fairytale ending on its head - in her 'true form' Princess Fiona is green, and she marries an ogre. Ogre-ness is not a disability but Shrek believes he cannot and should not have friends, let alone a lover, because he identifies himself as an ogre. Shrek is wrong (and kinda sexy for a big green bloke - maybe it's the faux-Scottish accent) and he learns to let love in. Maybe some people - with and without disabilities - need to learn to do the same.

Good luck,

Dee

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon,

This is the first of your blog entries that I've read; perhaps in other you reveal the nature of your disability, or perhaps you deliberately hide it, I don't know.

I am blind, and I obviously share your feelings that disabled people need love at least as much as the rest of the world. I'd argue we need it more actually.

I wonder if some disabilities find it even harder to find love than others? Does society reject those in wheel-chairs even more than someone who is blind? How about someone who is deaf, or who has CP, and so would have difficulty in communicating with a potential lover?

Do disabled people end up loving other disabled people? If so, because we understand one another better or because we're abandoned by the rest of society?

I've been very very lucky in love; with a wife, and three other women who have told me that I'm the love of their lives, and who would all have married me (so they said).

My wife is not disabled, but all of the three other women are.

Instead of asking questions, I can answer that yes, I felt the disabled women understood disability better, but that did not seem to make us love each other more or less.

It's my opinion that disabled people often end up loving one another because as you write, society (non disabled people) has abandoned us.

This means our marriages to one another are more difficult, but perhaps no less fullfilling because of this.


It is harder for us though to get out and about, meet one another, and date and so on., so I also think a higher proportion of us end up single.