Don’t do this!

    I’m on vacation and can’t really afford to travel right now so I sit at home and sort of wait for things to fall on my lap.
    I should really be drawing and painting or doing some other important things but I don’t.
     I’ve gotten into the habit of journaling my thoughts; may be even writing a story or two.What matters to me right now is getting stuff out of my system; but I digress.
     I started writing. I’ve been writing in my apt. but sometimes it feels lonely and alienating. I started going to the local music/book store/coffee shop franchise that’s across the street from where I live. Well, it’s not really across the street. I have to go across a street, cross a shopping center parking lot and then cross another main street to get to my destination.
     Yesterday I suffered a “traumatic” experience.
I’m in a wheelchair but that doesn’t keep me from living life. When people see a wheelchair they automatically assume the person in the chair needs help.
I was “walking” over to the coffee shop and I reach a traffic light to cross the street. I waited for it to change when I noticed another person also waiting for it. He was coming and I was going. As we crossed the street at the same time he panicked, I did not. I was waiting for him to start crossing the street so I too may be able to cross safely. He wanted to stop traffic and help me cross the street while I was already in motion. He came at me from behind and tried to grab on to my chair at full speed. In his attempt to help me; we almost caused an accident. I yelled at him to “get away from me” because, One; I have a social – anxiety disorder if you come up behind me it will trigger a panic attack and two; I have excellent upper body strength. I “run” everyday to keep myself going. I really didn’t need help; especially on a very busy main road.
    When I reached my destination. I was shaking and crying. I contacted my brother because he’s the one that usually calms me down when things like this happen.
    We spoke for a while. He told me to take deep breathes and to be more vigilant next time.
We “hung up” and I felt a lot better.
    I’m sure that man was calling me every name in the book because I did what I did. But let me tell you the only ones allowed to grab my wheelchair, to even touch my chair, especially at full speed, are my family and my best friends and  that’s because they know me already and they’ve done it before. They know how to safely stop my chair without throwing me out it. The way that man had grabbed on to my chair he would’ve thrown me out as soon as he got me across. When total strangers try to push me;it slows me down and throws my rhythm off. That’s why I rather not take the help
    It makes me happy and proud to know that I can control my own wheelchair. I’ve been able to do it since I was a child.
    I will always appreciate help especially when I actually need it. But please, please don’t try to help without permission. It could be intrusive or possibly turn into a dangerous situation. One never knows if assistance is actually required or if one is just being nice.


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