A Shared Post and a Lesson Remembered

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This morning, I did something relatively unusual for me. I shared a link on Facebook. It came up on my news feed, I read it, thought about it and then decided to share. It felt a risky share for me, because I could have been this woman…

http://sobadass.me/2015/02/17/to-the-woman-who-tutted-at-me-using-the-disabled-toilets/

but it took me a while to realise that I was this woman!

As I was reading it initially I was thinking, “how awful for her… must have been embarrassing… she must be really uncomfortable… I bet that hurts…” and then I had that moment of thinking, flaming nora Hepzibah- YOU HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME CONDITION!!!!! I honestly, didn’t equate the two things initially!!! How strange is that!

I too have no large intestine. It was surgically removed 12 years ago. I too have a J-Pouch (I think technically mine is an ileo-anal pouch but I’m pretty certain they are the same thing). I too have ‘accidents’. I too make the most horrendous noise in the bathroom! I too, create absolutely awful smells. I too, am usually too embarrassed to use the disabled toilet even though I have a key. I too have had groups of people laughing at me in the toilets. I too, have skin burns from the acid.

And I choose to show myself the same compassion that I felt for this woman. Yes, it is awful. Really embarrassing. Painful. Just terrible when I mess myself.

I don’t deny the condition and of course, people who know me and have to share a bathroom with me unfortunately know it very well 😦 But equally, many people I work with or spend time with would have no idea I have this adaptation. As with many things I tend to laugh about it and shrug it off. But actually, sometimes it isn’t always so funny. So I decided to make my voice heard this morning. I shared her post.

Penelope sometimes remarks to me, that she ‘forgets’ how poorly I can be (or is it ‘am’, or is it ‘has’…) not a grammatical or existential question- but a question of identity for me. The issue is, I am fine on the whole with people forgetting my physical struggles, but I must not forget them. I must not forget that on the whole I do my best within the limits I have. The gift I can give myself is to remember that for myself.

Thank you to that lady for sharing.

Thanks for listening.

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