I finally received my peer mentor package! I can't believe I'm actually a certified peer mentor for the Christopher Reeves Foundation! I can't wait to see where this new adventure takes me. I'm ready to help others with a spinal cord injury get their lives back.
So when my accident happened I was in a relationship with a young man that's a little under a year younger than me. We were children at fourteen and didn't really know what dating meant besides kissing and being intimate with each other. His name was Matt, and I'm still friends with him despite the way things ended with us. He was really there for me when the accident happened when he didn't have to be. He would make sure I ate, made sure I never hurt myself or just watching out for me. I ended the relationship because I fell for someone that was all talk and no action. It is one mistake I regret but he's happy with a brand new baby boy that was born shortly after my mom left this world. In the seven years since the accident that left me completely dependent upon someone I have not been in a serious relationship. I have always seen my wheelchair as ugly, unloveable, strange, or just not something that I could see someone else wanting to be with me because of it. I don't know why I felt this way, maybe it's the way I get stared down every place I go. So I never really put myself out there in the dating world. When I moved back to Louisiana to live with Jessica I got into contact with a guy that I went to school with when I lived here. We got to talking to each other and I feel like I could trust him with just about any kind of secret and I'm very comfortable talking to him. As these last four months went on we started to like each other more and more. One day he came over to watch a movie with me and he kissed me. It was the first time I've been kissed in quite some time. When he left that night we kinda drifted. I asked questions and he said that he couldn't be the man that I deserved right now and not to wait for him. So I didn't.
I created a Tinder account to try to at least meet new people whether or not anything would actually come from it. After a few days I started to get matches, which just shook me up, there's guys out there that think I'm pretty enough to give a relationship a try. Wow. I wasn't sure what to do or say really. All I could do is watch out in case all they wanted was to have sex with me. I obviously cannot defend myself if I decided to change my mind and he wouldn't listen. All I could do was wait and see what came of it.
I started talking with a guy named Tyler and the first thing I had to ask is if he read the profile that I put up about being a quadriplegic? He said yes, but the wheelchair isn't what I'm interested in. It's the person. I have to say I was just a tad bit shocked. We talk just about all day and he will call me just to listen to me breathe. He lives about an hour from me. I have to say I like him a lot so far but only time will tell if we can truly be in a relationship.
Saturday, June 4, he came down to meet me and my family. It's just the safest way to meet someone new since I'm not able to defend myself alone. We had a fish fry with a few other people besides the normal household. He and I are shy people so the first time I saw we both stayed quiet. I felt awkward because that's just how I am. Later I asked him if I was awkward and he said no he was just shy. Thank goodness! We all sat outside on the porch as Derek fried the fish talking about fishing. We all had a nice time. Jessica wasn't able to sit and talk with him very much because she was busy making sides for the fish. So when he left I figured that he would not come back and stop texting me. That was surely not the case. We made plans to see each other the very next weekend!
Saturday, June 11, today was my family reunion for my mom's side of the family. I honestly wasn't really looking forward to going until Tyler said that he would tag along if I didn't care. Whoa. I was so not expecting that. There were just a million things running through my head. How do I introduce him to my family? "Hey this is my boyfriend?" "Hey this is my gay guy friend?" (Inside joke I'll explain later) I was just like okay I'll let him introduce himself. Best bet of all. So we are on our way and Tyler has us both cracking up with stupid little shit that only we would laugh at. He's very one of a kind. He's sweet, an asshole and funny all at the same time. As we sit down waiting for the reunion to actually start so we could eat take pictures and go home everyone I see I don't have a clue who they are. I know that somehow we are related obviously but I don't know anyone. Joy we sat and talked some and finally the family started and blessed the food so we can eat. I get very nervous about eating in front of him because I'm not the graceful eater and usually I ended up wearing most of my food instead of eating it. So you know I'm trying to be careful with my plate when I think he wasn't watching and swing my fork into my mouth but missed it totally. I look up and he's giggling and I'm like "Oh shut up." I started giggling with him. When it was finally time for us to go we laughed our ass off the ride home. We stopped by Momma's grave to just see how the diets settling since we don't get out that way much. I immediately start crying and regretting my decision. I ask that neither of them turn back and look at me since I'm crying. It's just hard to see my mom in the grave. So I kinda cry almost half way home and thank goodness he tried to make me laugh. When we got home he got in the recliner and we watched part of a movie together before he needed to leave. I was kinda stretched out some when he leans in to hug me and I am like crap lol. I thought he was going to kiss me but it was just a hug. I enjoy his company.
Sunday, June 12, today Tyler came over and we snuggled up together on the couch. We watched Netflix for two whole movies. I enjoy his company very much but I don't want to rush into anything and he feels the same way. I done somethings today that I'm not proud of but I done them so I can't change it now. I won't say the details but anyway.
It's been weird to get to know this young man because I have never been given the chance to to see the opposite sex. We will see where this journey takes me.
So I have been thinking a lot lately about who I am and what I want other people see me as. It's been a difficult passed five months with everything I have been through and I can see some things about myself I want to change. So I need to make the effort to change them instead of just thinking about them forever. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but sometimes you have to feel beautiful to show others that you're beautiful. Do you think of your own self as beautiful? I have to start in the beginning in order for everyone to know what I'm talking about so here it is: As most of you know that I was paralyzed when I was only 14, I was only a child that thought she knew everything. I had not been able to drive prior or had the freedom of my teen years like many others get to do. I was to busy trying to get movement back in my arms and legs and focusing on my grades in school. The classmates that watched me go from a normal person to someone needing someone to do everything for them wouldn't really interact with me anymore. I don't blame them, what do you say to someone that lost everything? So I only had my two or three friends that would still speak to me. I turned to the Internet to become what I was before my accident. I started using my computer to write out the adventures that I could no longer do because of the injury.
The Internet freed me from the restraints of my broken body and for a while it was okay. As time went by I started to have feelings for a man that was a good amount of years older than me and when my mom found out his real age she freaked. Now that I'm older I see why she freaked out and how stupid I was to fall for him. I ended the relationship with the best guy I've ever been with to be with someone that was all talk and no action. I regret that decision to this very day but there's nothing I can do about it now. I felt heartbroken when I was forced to bring that Illegal relationship to an end. Again instead a of facing my mom with my feelings I turned to the Internet. It once more led to a illegal relationship and like before I had to bring that relationship to an end too. This time it was very different because I was actually physically in love with him and he was in love with me. He wanted to move me up with him when I turned eighteen. Somewhere in the mix we drifted apart and I seen the relationship was over, whether or not I wanted it to be or not.
My mom was always there for me for every second of the day. I'm grateful for that time with her now but then I felt like I was being smothered because I'm paralyzed. Why can't I do normal things that my friends are doing? Dating, get drives license, getting cars, and even getting job. Why should I be so sheltered because of my injury? I'm still the person that I was before my accident with all the same desires and dreams. I didn't understand it.
Most of my readers know that my momma passed away in January after shooting herself to escape a mental illness. Now that my mom is gone I feel free to grow into this person that I should have been able to mold myself into throughout my teen years. I guess you could say I'm going through my wild and rebellious stage now. I want to find out who I want to be now that I'm able to spread my wings and fly. Is that so wrong? I now have freedom and I want to be able to be that person I missed out on in my teenage years. I'm now I'm an actual adult that has responsibilities, struggles, bills to pay, and do everything for myself.
I have a general idea of what I want to be and how to get there but the other paths are very tempting to me. I know I should stay away from them and stay on the path to become that person. This earthly body has many temptations that are hard to ignore. In order for me to be the person I want to be it will take a lot of hard work. I guess it's a good place to start if I start now. So I have a plan that I want to stick too.
Paralyzed from the neck down after an ATV rollover at 14, April Otwell is beating the odds the doctors gave her. She's a blogger, fantasy writer, college student, sugar glider guardian and spinal cord injury survivor. She's even writing her first fiction novel!