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'What if my kids are scared of me?': Alex Brooker on life as a disabled dad – The Guardian

Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
edited July 2020 in News and opportunities

'What if my kids are scared of me?': Alex Brooker on life as a disabled dad – The Guardian

Last year, Alex Brooker was swimming in the cold waters of Lake Windermere, struggling to reach the shore. 

The comic and TV presenter began to hyperventilate and cry behind his goggles. 

“I can’t do it,” he pleaded repeatedly as he thrashed around. 

“I felt extremely disabled for the first time in as long as I can remember because my body just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to,” he says over the phone from his home in London. 

As has become the norm for Brooker, the entire ordeal was captured on camera and televised as part of Channel 4’s charity reality show Sink Or Swim. 

Brooker was born with hand and arm deformities, and became a leg amputee at 13 months old. 

He rose to prominence with self-deprecating takes on his disability during the Friday night topical chatshow The Last Leg, which began as part of Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics in London. 

He is one of the few disabled faces regularly seen on British TV, but it has only been over the past year that he decided to confront his disability without the jokes, leading to a new documentary on BBC Two this Sunday.

Here is the full article: 'What if my kids are scared of me?': Alex Brooker on life as a disabled dad – The Guardian

Will you be watching Alex's documentary? How have you felt as a disabled parent? Let us know in the comments below!
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Replies

  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    My kids are scared of what is happening to me, I assume because they are worried it will happen to them. Unlike a visible disability and invisible one is more frightening especially as I had few problems at all until I was 50 years old and even now look healthy so long as I don't move about. The fear has built, year by year, until now I hardly ever see any of them any more and I feel embarrassed when people ask me if they help me because it's probably my fault they aren't dealing with it very well. Obviously I didn't bring them up in the right way and enable them to cope,

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • serenkserenk Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    I would love to watch this, but I'm so sensitive and not sure I could bear it. I struggle with any kind of video where a person with a disability is going through hardship. I cried my eyes out (I'm talking guttural sobbing!) at Me Before You and The Theory of Everything. Like, panic attack level of crying. 

    The weird thing is, I first watched The Theory of Everything before I became disabled. I cried a lot because I am a big crier, but I loved it and couldn't stop watching.

    But then I became chronically ill. And I couldn't watch it.

    I had a massive panic attack at the beginning of the film and couldn't continue; I still haven't been able to rewatch. I think seeing anyone with disability go through the lows and highs touches a raw nerve for me, and that's why I struggle. But I will certainly recommend it to loved ones.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    @serenk, everyone who goes from healthy to disabled has a lot of things to deal with and accept. Personally I still cannot watch a "happy ever after" ending film without being upset and / or crying. I guess it's because I will end up in what I feel to be the most miserable way possible. It took me years to accept that I was disabled and stop trying to be "normal" and even now, 15 years on, I still dream that I am healthy about 50% of the time. I say dreams but opiate driven dreams are almost always closer to nightmares than dreams.

    I think that simply dropping down to a "get through today" attitude helps the most and stop thinking of "what you might do when...." or "if....." for that matter. Try just to make the best of what you are and, in that respect, some of the processes taught by the Pain Clinic can be beneficial. I assume other agencies or groups also teach these things but I have no experience of them I'm afraid.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Some really great points, thanks everyone. :)
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  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,257 Disability Gamechanger
    I watched the programme, thought it was really interesting tbh.  We also got a sneak peak inside Scopes headquarters!  B)


  • serenkserenk Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    Topkitten said:
    @serenk, everyone who goes from healthy to disabled has a lot of things to deal with and accept. Personally I still cannot watch a "happy ever after" ending film without being upset and / or crying. I guess it's because I will end up in what I feel to be the most miserable way possible. It took me years to accept that I was disabled and stop trying to be "normal" and even now, 15 years on, I still dream that I am healthy about 50% of the time. I say dreams but opiate driven dreams are almost always closer to nightmares than dreams.

    I think that simply dropping down to a "get through today" attitude helps the most and stop thinking of "what you might do when...." or "if....." for that matter. Try just to make the best of what you are and, in that respect, some of the processes taught by the Pain Clinic can be beneficial. I assume other agencies or groups also teach these things but I have no experience of them I'm afraid.

    TK
    You sum it up perfectly @Topkitten. Disability is a lot to adjust to, and sometimes we really do just need to take one day at a time. I hope you are well :)

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    If someone already has a disability when they have children, surely the child will see their parents as normal...because they will be the people that child has primary contact with. So I cant imagine they would be scared of them.

    But if disability is acquired after children are in the picture, then there could be a fear and it needs to be lovingly explained by the parent.


  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I watched the programme, thought it was really interesting tbh.  We also got a sneak peak inside Scopes headquarters!  B)


    You did indeed! That was our Leeds office. :)
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