So, I think I’ve told you before that, thanks to a neurological flaw, my legs don’t work as they should. I can say this here, I can tell a select few, but my fear of being defined by one humiliating thing mostly stops me from revealing it. Which brings me to my dilemma. Every time I walk my son home from school, as I go up the continuous hill on the way back, I recognise that I need something to steady me. By the last hill, my right leg is shaking, and my back is tilting towards the ground. Yesterday, my compassionate wee boy offered me his hand, but as I watched his sister run on, I knew I was being selfish. I can’t run anymore, but he can.
To set him free, I need to use a stick. A stick has become a stumbling block for me, ironically. A stick shouts ‘There’s something wrong with me’, and ‘I’m disabled’ and all the things I’m terrified to say. But a stick would allow my son to run ahead. It’s for that reason, that I would put aside my fear and pride. You can’t hide a stick the way you can conceal a blue badge (which I do – always terrified that someone I know will see me using it). I think that maybe if I was more certain of who I was, and of the way people who love me see me, then telling one story about my life, broadcasting one element, wouldn’t be so bad.