Interesting thing I have run into: all because I am in a wheelchair, I must know Jim who is ALSO in a wheelchair!
Well, yes, I do know Jim.
That information does not negate the fact that all because I have an association with that Jim that I will with every Jim.
Yes: people put into wheelchairs instead of being born into needing one seem to have a sick fascination with war stories. Maybe it is a kind of therapy? Maybe the only source of pride? I do not know what the reason is, but holy FUCK: I am very guilty of that.
I know that, from where I was, it was a way to make sure everyone knew there was something different about me but I am still me. When dealing with other people in wheelchairs, it was a new audience: someone I could express anger, disappointment and hate towards able-bodied-people and they would get it.
No one realizes just how different the world is when you are viewing it from a chair. People speak to you as if you are made of glass. Even sharing a just-off-opinion is followed by the people around you asking a million times if it is okay to think that way.
It is a bit of a joke in its naïveté. The best part, for me, is saying something horribly offensive towards people in wheelchairs and then watching everyone cringe.
There is a difference between saying something out of ignorance or jest and saying something out of malice. Someone making an off colour joke hoping you will appreciate there stance? Fine.
Saying something expecting or demanding recognition? Not fine. It does not matter if you are a friend. If you are saying something with even a hint of aggression, it is not fine. If you are saying something definitive but it is wrong, it is not fine. If you are attacking someone, it is not fine.
The rules around humour and jest are the same with someone in a wheelchair as they are with someone not. If they seem fine with it, joke on. If they get uncomfortable, stop. It’s simple! I promise.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to continue hiding the bodies.