I recently did a shout out for guest posts and this wonderful person called Bec wanted to share this piece with us all. It talks about rope work and living with disability.
Thank you so much for writing this.
Things are pretty shit. 4 months ago I had a stroke. I’m paralysed down my right side. Apparently I’m supposed to feel lucky as 3/4 of my brain died and I should have been a quadriplegic. I don’t feel lucky. I’m grateful that I’m starting to move (although I look like I’m in monty pythons ministry of funny walks) but I’m still confined to my wheelchair and can’t do anything without help. I was doing ok, sucking it up and getting on with it, but now annoyingly were being evicted and trying to do anything this house needs seems impossible. There have been times when I’ve broken down crying because I’ve spilt a drink, because it wouldn’t have happened with both hands. People often say that I’m unlucky and I was so young, but it happens and why not to me. It had to be someone. Bastard. My partner has been amazing. He kept me even though I told him to go. He became my carer. He takes me out. He helps bring up my son. He does rope with me. Rope has probably been the most frustrating outcome. We asked so many doctors if rope caused it and we got a resounding no (thank god as there would have been hell of a fight to do it anyway!) I have lost all my pain tolerance and flexibility and I felt like it was something I was actually good at and came naturally and now I’m starting from scratch with lots of limitations. My partner has been working hard for me, adapting ties, getting my stretch better, getting my ability back. And we’ve done lots. We went to a rope convention recently and I think I wanted to go so much last time that’s all I had stuck in my head. I was so glad we’d bit the bullet and gone. Scratched that itch. But being there was so hard. Learning new things meant they couldn’t be adapted. I couldn’t do most. And constantly failing in front of everyone was so hard. No one made me feel bad, but I felt that people were questioning my ability and if it was right for me to come. I broke a few times, so aware of how abnormal I was. It was important to me to be seen to be trying though, that this limitation didn’t have to stand in our way, that being me, expressing my sexuality was still important. Limitation never have stood in my way. I’ve always been proud to be a fatter bunny and let people see rope was for anyone and the disability has just taken that further. I won’t let get in the way. We actually use the wheelchair during rope when we perform as an extra fuck you! 🙂 we’ve been lucky enough to be invited all over the world to show that disability needn’t stand in the way of what you’re passionate about and that disabled people can have a sexuality too! We’ve been to Russia, Copenhagen, the fringe in Edinburgh, Berlin, London, Glasgow and more! Things are hard, sometimes really hard, but there is a light way back at the end of this very long tunnel. I can’t be more grateful for my partner. He’s amazing.