As today is Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write about romantic relationships as a person with Cerebral Palsy. It’s difficult for me to see myself as physically attractive. It has taken years for me to become comfortable with my disability. I think disabled people often don’t meet society’s traditional definition of beauty.
I require help with activities of daily living such as using the bathroom and bathing. Over the years, many people have helped me use the bathroom and bathe. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of being disabled.
It is frustrating when you feel like your body doesn’t belong to you. The idea of being intimate with someone is difficult to fathom. Figuring out intimacy has been challenging for me.
I don’t particularly enjoy the thought of having my partner help me use the bathroom or shower. More than anything, I wonder if my partner would see me as a burden. What if I needed to go to the hospital, fell ill, or had an incontinence accident? Would my partner be okay with it, or would they want to leave me?
If I were in a relationship, I would strive to be as supportive as possible. Going grocery shopping is something I enjoy doing. I’d go grocery shopping and look up recipes to try. I would help do chores and pay bills. Hopefully, in the future, this will be enough for my partner.
I want people to know that even though I have Cerebral Palsy and may not be able to contribute in traditional ways, I still care about them. Love comes in many forms. Disabled people are worthy of love and deserve to feel cherished and valued even if they can’t do everything a non-disabled partner can.