It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Found a Guy and I Lost Him. Or, It isn't a Big Deal.

So a long time ago I put my best friend's boyfriend on the task of finding me a date. 23 and I've never been on a date before. PATHETIC.

Fast forward to Sept, one weekend night. I get a call from a bar. A friend was out with a friend and his friend's friend. Was I interested in a hook up or a relationship? I replied that I wanted A DATE. I would never hook up and how do I know if I want a relationship with someone I'd never met? He knew I had CP and he knew of my limited dating experience before I got that call from the bar. So that took some of it off of me, which was good. BUT he wasn't told that I'm bipolar, cause you can't see that. That made me nervous. I imagine that to be a more likely deal breaker. People think of people with BP as crazy, as drug addicts, as having sex with little boys (Remember Mary Kay Letourneau? That was her defense...). I'm diagnosed with BP II and I take my meds for the most part. Not only is BP II a more moderate form of BP, but I would say I'm in the mildly moderate area of that. I'm not crazy, just a bit of a mess.

I had his # for a month or so maybe. I don't think I ever would have called him. I was out for a friend's 25th birthday. One of our friends (who had gone to high school with him) happened to be glancing way across the bar. He was there. It was his friend's 25th birthday. He ditched his friend for 45mins to hang out with me. He called me the next day and picked me up and we went to the local diner. The next weekend was a horrible rainstorm so our plans got canceled. But the next weekend we went out and the weekend after that. We talked on the phone for an hr 2-3X/week and texted. Then it was my other friend's 27th birthday, thanksgiving the following week (still calling & texting), he went away, finals for me, that brings us to Christmas where I thought we had plans. We're Jewish. Christmas is National Chinese Food & Movies day for us. I texted him. He texted back 'who's this?' He took my # out of his phone. Didn't even have the decency to text me and tell me things weren't working out. I had an inkling. I hadn't heard from him in a week. But I thought he was a better guy then that.

For all these years (like 6) I wanted a 'nice Jewish boy.' And that's what I got. I knew I trusted my friend. But I learned something. I don't want a nice Jewish boy anymore. I want an ultra liberal Jewish boy. I've joined the local ADAPT. I have an ultimate goal of getting arrested by the time I'm 30. This guy was too conservative for that. I knew that from the start. It didn't mean that he couldn't be OK with me being ultra liberal. I gather that he wasn't and that's what it was. I'll take a crip and I'll take an AB. I'll take someone who's into save the whales. It doesn't have to be disability issues. Whatever. Just as long as they're passionate.

I'd like to share a word of wisdom (yes just one). Something that I learned over those 6 weeks. If something isn't a big deal, don't make it seem like it is. I never found out what he knew about what CP is. My friend didn't remember what he had told him, and like maybe he googled it. I don't know. But I could tell he didn't know a whole lot. So how do you bring it up? There were certain things he needed to know if he was sticking around for a bit. Not only how, but when? On the 3rd date, the 4th, the 5th, the 10th? I was kind of agonizing over that. I wanted to blog about it, but I decided that it isn't always good to blog about other people who might read it at a later date. He won't now...

2 people told me to take him out to eat and just come out with it. I could tell he had questions he was afraid to ask. I'm very open about discussing my disabilities with most people. Sit him down, tell him that, have a conversation. If something isn't a big deal, don't make it seem like it is. That would certainly make it seem like it is. I decided that I should just let things come out in regular conversation. That worked well. For example, one time I called him and he asked what I was doing. I said I was lying in bed. It was cold that day and that aggravates my spasticity. Lying on my stomach helps to stretch out my whole entire body. The downside of that? What came up in normal conversation was about ADAPT and how I want to get arrested. I hadn't planned on telling him so early, but it just came up. I know I scared the crap out of him. Back to the good side of it. I got rid of him early and didn't waste my time with someone who won't embrace my ultra liberalness. I still think I approached the subject of that disability in the right way.

What I didn't do right was tell him about my BP. I never did tell him. People who should know what they're talking about told me not to. I wish I had. People told me to let him get comfortable with the CP first and then ease him into the BP. I'm not sure if that was good advice or not. Someone told me that you don't have to tell someone everything about you on the first date. That was good advice. Someone simply said DON'T tell him. That only made me want to tell him even more. Except I never talked to him after that.

Why was that exceptionally bad advice? Because hiding it like that, that only makes it seem like a big deal. It makes it feel like a big deal to me. It makes it seem like I'm ashamed to be BP. AND I'M NOT. That person was basically telling me I should be. In many senses I'm proud of my BP. In others I'm very frustrated by it, but that's another post entirely.

I wish he knew I was BP before he met me. I wish he had been told in whatever way he was told I have CP. I don't see a difference between the 2 and it certainly would have made things easier for me. Back to 'people think of people with BP as crazy, as drug addicts, as having sex with little boys' and 'if something isn't a big deal, don't make it seem like it is.' I wanted to just tell him in normal conversation, just like I did with CP things. But I couldn't. How do you tell someone that hey, I have this thing, but I'm not crazy? Maybe just like that? Except where does the natural conversation starter come in? I say to my friends, 'I'm sorry if I'm snappy today or talking too much, or whatever. It's not anything to do with you. I'm manic today.' That's ok. They know me and I'm not the only BP in the group. But I don't think it's the greatest thing to say when someone who doesn't know picks up the phone.

Should I have told him on the first 'real' date (not at the bar)? The 2nd? The 3rd? Over the phone on purpose? Over the phone but wait for an 'in'? Not in a text. I know that much. I want to learn from this for next time. I think I'm going to the ADAPT youth summit in Chicago this June (crossing my fingers). Maybe I'll meet someone there. I can be out and proud there, not a problem. But maybe I won't...


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