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  • J: Hi Everyone! C: Hi!

  • J: Recently Scope, the disability charity, have started a campaign called #EndTheAwkward

  • which is supposed to end the awkwardness around talking about disability.

  • We are going to talk about what it's like to be in a relationship when one of you has a disability and one of you doesn't.

  • And various people have asked us various questions about what it's like, so we thought we would answer some of them.

  • So one of the questions that I get asked quite a lot actually is

  • did I hide my disability from Claudia? and I think I'm pretty open about it.

  • I'm very open about having a disability, but obviously I've had it for such a long time.

  • C: Well we met online, so actually I only saw photos and

  • if I'd maybe really looked I maybe would have seen your hearing aids, but I wasn't looking out for like

  • does she wear hearing aids? Does she have a walking stick? Is she in a wheelchair?

  • You know, I wasn't searching for those, and then when we met up for our first date,

  • you were like typing away on your little laptop and you had that little thing in your ear,

  • and I thought, I immediately just thought it was one of those like really sort of Noughties kind of

  • erm, bluetooth handsfree kits. And then we started chatting and then I think

  • I then did notice that they were actually hearing aids.

  • J: There were two of them, and they were still in my head.

  • C: Yeah, so then I was like 'ok', but I didn't think anything of it,

  • and then as the date went on you were just kind of quite open and like 'yeah, did you know, erm,

  • I'm actually I'm completely deaf and I lipread'

  • and so I was like 'but how do you sound so like, how do you have such good pronunciation' and she said

  • 'Oh, well I only lost my hearing when I was twelve and I taught myself how to pronounce before I lost

  • my hearing completely' and I thought 'Oh, that makes sense'.

  • And then she said 'Oh and also did you know I'm blind in one eye?' and I was like 'No. How would I know that?'

  • You can't tell. I don't know what they think is going to happen. They're gonna 'really, can you see?

  • how many fingers?' and you're like 'Oh my god! Two! I can suddenly see with that eye'.

  • Yeah, and then I was like 'How come you're blind in one eye and you're deaf?' and she was like

  • "Oh, I've got a rare condition' and then we just carried on our date

  • and I had a really nice time, and yeah, I did go home and google those conditions

  • because I was like, well what are they? As I'd never heard of those things before.

  • You know just the same reason you would... J: You googled other things about me.

  • C: Oh yeah, the thing that I was worried about more from your big reveal was that you were a quaker.

  • I was like ok, is she some weird like, is this some weird like cult where they like don't drink alcohol

  • Do they believe in sex before marriage?

  • Because that would be a kind of... J: That was the main concern.

  • C: That was the main concern of what i googled actually, that night. J: Yup.

  • C: Physical attraction was there, despite her physical disabilities. J: Aww.

  • C: So she wasn't lacking in any way, to me. J: Aww, that's so sweet.

  • J: Our meeting, obviously, there weren't many things that actually seemed to faze you at all,

  • but then when we actually started to date and you were staying at mine more,

  • I think it kind of brought home to you that things were a bit...

  • C: Yeah, I think the main thing was, erm, that you had like a carer, that would come in

  • erm, everyday, it was then.

  • J: All the help that you do now.

  • C: Yeah. So um, so you had this carer who was a lovely little Irish lady,

  • but quite like...

  • J: As someone with a disability, you're so used to not having...

  • erm, any issues with your personal space, there is no privacy, there was no such thing.

  • Because if you need someone to come and help you in the shower, you can't then be like,

  • 'Oh no, but don't look, I'm so embarassed. But please wash me'.

  • C: So one example of this particularly was

  • I was round at Jessica's house and we were in her bedroom in her bed,

  • and it was like early morning and we'd woken up and we were like, you know...

  • expressing our attraction to one another, and um, suddenly a knock on the door and it was like,

  • J: 'Helloo' C: Yeah, 'Helloo'. And um and you were like 'one minute, we'll be out in a minute'

  • and she just didn't really listen to that and she came straight in

  • and I was like 'Bloody hell' and like pulled the duvet right up over my naked body.

  • She was just like 'Oh, sorry about that, yeah'. And then like,

  • J: And then she sat on the bed! C: And then she was like 'Oh, don't worry about me, I've seen it all before'.

  • J: 'Don't worry about me!' C: Is that Irish? I don't know.

  • C: Yeah, anyway, then she just sat on the bed as I was just sitting here like 'Errr'

  • and then she was like 'Ok', so she just stood up

  • completely stark naked and walked around while this little old lady was just like

  • 'Oh, what are you guys doing today?' and I was just like 'Erm,

  • is anyone else finding this whole situation a little bit, like, unusual?

  • This is not normal. Erm. In the end I was just, 'Oh, sod it' and got my tits out in front of her as well,

  • because I had to get up to get changed.

  • And then you chucked me a nightie, didn't you. You were like 'put that on'.

  • J: Yeah and then when we moved into the new house obviously we had to trial lots of different carers,

  • and see who worked and who didn't, and you were much more open to having people.

  • C: Yeah so when I first started telling people about Jessica i was like ' Yeah, like, this is her'.

  • She had a photo and everyone was like 'Wow, she's so hot, she's really nice'.

  • I was like 'Yeah, so also she has this really rare condition...' J: two of them.

  • C: 'which makes her erm, you know, a nerve condition, which makes her blah blah blah'

  • because that sounds like a lot of things to get used to.

  • It's like...' J: yeah C: It's almost like they were suspicious of you because you didn't drink.

  • And then they were like 'Why can't you eat sugar though? What actually happens?'

  • They were a bit like, are you just one of those like health conscious control freaks.

  • J: Yeah, this is too many medical issues here.

  • You must be a freak. C: Yeah. You must be a fake.

  • J: But then I'd just, you know, be open with my story. Here you go.

  • Here's what I've got, here's what it does to me.

  • C: To be honest at the end of the day, it doesn't like effect them, so why should they be bothered by it?

  • Like, why should it bother them that you don't eat certain food and don't drink alcohol.

  • C: Well, I think your chronic fatigue effects it quite a bit. Sometimes you just crash.

  • Yeah, which is fine. Normally we manage it fine, I'm like 'ok'. You know, I help you to bed or you lie down.

  • I mean, to be honest you manage it pretty well. But when it goes wrong is when I'm also feeling pretty tired,

  • and I'm in a bad mood. J: Yeah. C: And I feel a bit like, well I can be tired... like...

  • it's so unfair that you get to be tired all the time, what about me? I want to be tired today.

  • J: I do this thing called 'ragdoll' where I just get beyond the limit

  • of tiredness, and my body just stops.

  • C: You always say that the thing you like about me is that I just kind of carry on.

  • J: Oh yeah, I know. The thing I absolutely love is that you just carry on,

  • is that you're just like... C: Like just now, she just fell up the stairs onto her head.

  • Not fell up like dramatically, but just like a slow motion like....

  • J: I just faint every now and then.

  • C: And I just carried on drinking my tea and then turned around and then saw her like,

  • faceplanted on the stairs and I was just like 'Are you ok darling?' "Yeah'

  • J: My favourite part of that though is that when I'm all floppy and tired and useless and ill

  • and you're helping me up the stairs, you still squeeze my bum.

  • C: It doesn't sound that good. J: No, it's so important, it really is,

  • because I think when you're a disabled person and you're dating there are these two camps

  • that people fall in. Either where they're like 'Oh my god, no, I can't cope with that. Please leave'.

  • And the other camp where they're like 'Yes, let me mother you'.

  • And they turn you into this weird, non-sexual object that they are going to look after forever.

  • C: It's just like anything. It's just the way life is and that's just what you get used to.

  • J: Human being. C: As I said at the beginning, it's what you have, it's not what you lack,

  • or what you're... it's not your flaws is it. It's what you give and have. And then that overrides any negatives.

  • They shouldn't even be seen as negatives. They're just things you just deal with.

J: Hi Everyone! C: Hi!

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A2 UK erm disability tired hearing date bed

Answering Questions: Dating A Disabled Lesbian...! #EndTheAwkward [CC]

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    MouseP posted on 2018/09/23
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