Just because a person has a disability doesn’t mean that they are a saint. Often the need for constant help can lead to immense selfishness or being very demanding. If people feel sorry for you they would often tip toe around your stubbornness instead of confronting you as they would with an able bodied person.
Just because I struggle doesn’t mean that I am a hero. I can get so determined that I refuse the help of loved ones. In some ways it is good because I keep independence, but it can also be hurtful in refusing genuine help. I have learned that my disability is not all about me . As family we have struck a deal. I am more open to ask for help and they let me struggle until I ask for it.
Hence the fine tightrope ……saint or sinner. It is a balance between keeping self reliance and yet being receptive of the love offered by others.
I have found that being teachable and knowing that every emotional gridlock is an opportunity to choose a peaceful outcome. For example, I have to choose to not stress when in a busy shopping centre. The sensory overload of lights, music, people and patterned flooring can be so confusing that I can easily become the wound-up women from hell. We plan that if it becomes too much, then I will ask a family member for their arm and I close my eyes and follow them. They them drop me off at a coffee shop to preserve their own sanity
So the answer to the question, ‘Saint or sinner?’ is neither…..it’s HUMAN.