My boyfriend, Simon wrote a guest post on my blog a while all about living with cerebral palsy. It gave me the time and ideas to really think about how my life has changed now that I’m with Simon.
Before I met Simon, I didn’t ever think that I would date someone with cerebral palsy. It’s not because I was discriminating but simply because I had no idea what it was.
I have mentioned before that Simon and I met on a dating app, Tinder. When we were chatting there, Simon told me that he has cerebral palsy and I thought nothing of it. I didn’t know what it was so I forgot about it instantly. It’s kind of shallow, I know..
When Simon and I met for the first time, I noticed that he was walking a little bit differently. I thought nothing of that also because I know that everyone walks differently. My dad, for example walks with his feet turned out. He doesn’t have a read for this other than the fact that he likes to walk that way. So, when I noticed that Simon was walking only on his toes with one foot, I thought that it was just his thing.
I was very aware of how Simon was walking and at first, I noticed all the people who were looking at him. They were looking at him funnily as if he was different and odd. To me, he was just Simon, a boy who I enjoyed spending time with. It didn’t matter that he walked differently. What did matter was that people were staring.
It was only after a few hours together that I remembered him telling me that he has cerebral palsy. I asked him about it and ended up learning so much.
Over time, i got used to the way that Simon walked and I stopped noticing it. I even stopped noticing the staring.
A month or so ago, a man shouted through his car window “you need to be in a wheelchair, you do, mate”. I remember the exact words because the hit me right in my feelings. I could only imagine how that had impacted Simon. I looked over to him to see what he was doing but he was laughing.
Over time, Simon had got used to people saying things about his disability and they no longer upset him. This really broke my heart. No one should be used to people saying horrible things about them.
What I learnt from dating Simon is that as long as you and the people who you care about are happy, then nothing else really matters. Simon doesn’t care about the insults because he is content. I wish that we could all be as brave as Simon and be content in who we are.