Around the first of December in 1991 I was chosen to talk on a morning show in Oklahoma and represent us folks with Muscular Dystrophy. A highly respected gentleman who owned a car dealership in Oklahoma (Crown Auto World) was doing a fundraiser where the proceeds went to MDA. He came to promote that and I was there to represent. He was a very nice guy with a big heart. We became good friends. It was very early in the morning, and I am sure I had bags under my eyes to prove it! The owner spoke about making an appearance in the ballet performance of the Nutcracker in several weeks. At that time I had seen the Nutcracker a couple of times and loved it! I told him to break a leg for his debut!! He told me he would love it if I could come. He gave me three tickets. I was very excited about going.
My mom, my friend from school Maria, and I went to the show. I brought my wheelchair with me. It would be easier for me, and for those helping me as I was dressed up in a dress and had dress shoes on. My balance is worse when I am in dark places such as the theater, or outdoors and night. My night vision leaves something to be desired as well. You thought I was drunk in the light just wait for it to get dark!! There was a big group of folks that were there to see the owner. Some of them I knew from MDA while some I didn't. We went into the theater together as a group. As we went to our assigned seats we realized it was near the front, and in the center. And of course there were not accessible seats nearby. I did not want to stay in my wheelchair during the play anyway so it was okay with me. One of the guys was going to help me to seat. Just as we were to my seat an usher came over to say that due to fire laws I would need to stay in the wheelchair, and sat in the wheelchair section. It devastated me to not get to sit with my group. My mom and my friend got to sit with me, but I still felt alienated. I threw myself my own little pity party on the inside. It was all my fault, and if it wasn't for my stupid disability we wouldn’t be subjected to sitting in tin buck two away from my peeps! Not only was I sad, but also embarrassed. I cried all during the first act. I tried to not let it show though, and keep a smile on my face. My peeps did come to chill with me at intermission. This did make me feel better, and tried to change my mindset and enjoy the rest of the play.
On the way home after we dropped Maria off at home I broke down and began to cry. I told my mom how I felt. She said "Look Stephanie, if you did not have this disability you would not know any of these people or be able to have the opportunities that you have had." It made me think. She is right. Something good always comes out of something bad. It put a new perspective for me on how I think about and deal with things.
This is something I still struggle with for as you know the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side. Having this happen though did make me think a lot about how I deal with certain issues. Sometimes it feels easier just to give up and be depressed, but who wants to hang out with someone like that. Have you ever had a situation like this that you would like to share?
Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S