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wheelchair confidence

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gh0sth0rses
gh0sth0rses Community member Posts: 10 Listener
im so scared to be seen in a wheelchair, i couldnt even get myself into college on crutches because i was scared of the questions, how am i supposed to get over the fear of being seen in a wheelchair? i obviously need to tryu and get myself out the house but i dont really want to be seen. i always tried to be the quiet and invisible one and things are gonna be different when i go back in september. im so scred.

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  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,729 Scope online community team
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    Hey @gh0sth0rses Sorry to hear you're scared. Is it the questioning you're mostly worried about? 
     
     When I had to spend two years on crutches, I was petrified of going out, but eventually overcame that by easing myself out of the house gently. I ended up coming up with silly reasons for when people asked why I was on crutches (attacked by a velociraptor, had a fight with a mimic etc) I find joking always breaks the ice. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 2,546 Scope online community team
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    Hi @gh0sth0rses, welcome to the community!

    I'm not so young any more, but I was a wheelchair and mobility scooter user when I first started college and I remember how daunting it was to be seen using my mobility aid for the first time. It can be really scary so I can understand a little bit of how you're feeling. 

    While there were a couple of stares at first, it was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be. After just a few days, people just got used to me being around and I was just another student. People were generally too busy doing their own thing to think about what I was doing.

    But if questions do happen, just remember that you don't have to justify to strangers why you're using your wheelchair, it's none of their business. Like Albus, I started coming up with silly answers in the end to break the ice, but I know that it's not always that easy to say that kind of thing if you're feeling vulnerable. 

    Is there anyone who could be with you to support you on your first few days to help you feel more comfortable? Perhaps you could try doing some trips out to different places to slowly build your confidence?

    Whatever you do, just remember to be really kind to yourself along the way. It can be worrying to think about at first, but if you take it easy and go at a pace that feels comfortable to you, it'll feel much better with time :)
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • gh0sth0rses
    gh0sth0rses Community member Posts: 10 Listener
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    Hey @gh0sth0rses Sorry to hear you're scared. Is it the questioning you're mostly worried about? 
     
     When I had to spend two years on crutches, I was petrified of going out, but eventually overcame that by easing myself out of the house gently. I ended up coming up with silly reasons for when people asked why I was on crutches (attacked by a velociraptor, had a fight with a mimic etc) I find joking always breaks the ice. 
    i dont know i think i just feel embarassed. i had a big argument with my best friend when i started using a wheelchair because he felt like i didnt "deserve" a wheelchair and hes more understanding now and regrets what he says but it still hurts because i dont want people to have such strong, vile opinions on me that they feel so strongly about. i try ro joke about it with strangers, my usual line is "i fell off a camel in tunisia" and that usually gets a few laughs. idk, just like before i was stared at because of my hair or my clothes because i prided myself on standing out, it feels different now.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,729 Scope online community team
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    It's ok, I totally get that embarrassment. It happens with any big change and it's a very valid feeling. Unfortunately, people can seem like they're voicing their unwanted opinions on literally anything when out and about, but I found those people are very few and far between. As the saying goes "The people who care don't matter and the people who matter don't care" ;) 
    As Rosie said, if you've got someone with you for support, that can be huge for your confidence. 
    I ended up working my crutches into my Halloween outfit and went as a scary nurse on crutches, much to everyone's amusement. I just think sometimes 'owning it' can be the best thing, just like before with your hair and clothes. But that comes in time, but it'll come, don't worry. :)
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • gh0sth0rses
    gh0sth0rses Community member Posts: 10 Listener
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    It's ok, I totally get that embarrassment. It happens with any big change and it's a very valid feeling. Unfortunately, people can seem like they're voicing their unwanted opinions on literally anything when out and about, but I found those people are very few and far between. As the saying goes "The people who care don't matter and the people who matter don't care" ;) 
    As Rosie said, if you've got someone with you for support, that can be huge for your confidence. 
    I ended up working my crutches into my Halloween outfit and went as a scary nurse on crutches, much to everyone's amusement. I just think sometimes 'owning it' can be the best thing, just like before with your hair and clothes. But that comes in time, but it'll come, don't worry. :)
    yeah i suppose halloween is definitely a fun part of this, i love when i can do creative costumes so thats fun i guess. i just need to actually be out in my chair. im using a temporary one now but im getting fitted for a custom chair in a couple weeks, so excited!! i think ill have more confidence then because ill be able to get around easily so i hopefully feel less vulnerable
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,729 Scope online community team
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    Totally get that @gh0sth0rses you can't pimp that temporary ride! I'm sure once you get that custom chair, it'll make a huge difference. :) 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
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