0

Kat Lambert - My Story (Part1)

Kat and her boyfriend Todd

14 September 2015

This week, Queensland celebrates Disability Action Week — aiming to empower people with disability, raising awareness of disability issues, and improving access and inclusion throughout the wider community. Over two compelling blog posts, Kat Lambert discusses her relationship with her amazing partner, who just so happens to have a physical disability.

I see you staring at him, and judging him. I see you mentally giving him an IQ much lower than yours. I see you writing him off, without even talking to him. I hear you telling your children not to stare, yet clearly staring yourself. He’s not blind, he’s not deaf, everything I see, everything I hear, I know he can hear and see it too. It hurts, but I am not angry. I used to be just like you. I used to accept society’s pre-conceived perceptions as my own, without question. That is, until I met him.

Todd and I met on an internet dating site, which as much as I hate to admit it (because admitting it means I was once unnecessarily judgemental towards those with disabilities), this is the reason why our relationship flourished. When I received Todd’s initial email everything about him seemed perfect. We had so much in common, and not just the usual things everyone has in common. I was super excited and upon meeting my friend for dinner that evening, I expressed my enthusiasm for the potential that this random stranger had in a relationship sense.

Shortly after, I noticed the headrest of his wheelchair in the background of his profile picture. Automatically my thought processes went to “he’s disabled, we’ll never have a relationship, I could never be with someone in a wheelchair, it’s just too much work”. And yet, something about him made me want to keep writing and chatting to him. Something about him made me drawn to him. The more we corresponded, the more I could see how similar we were and how I had perhaps been a little hasty in writing him off upon immediate discovery of his disability.

Todd-and-Kat

After a short period corresponding with lengthy emails, and Facebook chats, Todd and I met in person. I was torn. He was hilarious, insightful, smart, caring and everything I’d been looking for. But he was in a wheelchair. It wouldn’t work. I saw the way people stared at us, I was scared that when I told people about him, they’d judge me and think that the only reason I was with him was because I was incapable of finding an able-bodied boyfriend to love me. Automatically I was putting him in a class less than my own, because he had a physically noticeable disability. Automatically, I was writing him off. Automatically, I was judging him, just as you’re doing.

That’s why I am not angry when I see you staring, when I hear your whispers. How can I be angry with you when you don’t understand? How can I be angry with you for having a reaction so similar to mine? How can I be angry with you when society has allowed and projected these beliefs for far too long?

By staring at him you can’t tell that his IQ is probably far higher than yours and mine (do you have two university degrees and are you currently completing your Thesis). You can’t tell that he is patient, he is understanding, that his sense of humour is powerful enough to move a room full of people to laughter, regardless of social stature. You can’t tell that despite the judgement he puts up with from people like you and me, he is well adjusted, mature, responsible, hard-working and amazing. Because all you see is what society wants you to see, and that hurts, because I know there is so much more.

To be continued …

SHARE THIS!
News you might like:
30 August 2016 National not-for-profit organisation Youngcare today announced the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan. Mr ...
Bernard Fanning is back and he can't wait for the Youngcare Benefit Concert 2015! Below he shares his fond memories of the past and some of his plans ...
7 November 2016 Share a slice of Youngcake this Christmas For a young person with high care needs, the loss of choice and independence is one of ...
We want you to be the first to know! Youngcare is thrilled to announce the return of one of Brisbane’s best nights of Australian music: the ...
2 August 2017 Youngcare explores options as NSW project ends Youngcare’s partnership with St. Vincent’s Australia to deliver high care housing ...
This article was originally published in The Australian Hospital and Healthcare Bulletin. 8 January 2016 Young people in aged care – an Australian ...
5 May 2016 WHAT’S ON!   28 APRIL - 8 MAY Simpson Desert Challenge Support the trekkers by donating and follow the trek with our regular ...
Dear Mr Scott Morrison, I’m writing to you as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia because I want to know how you’re planning on improving the ...
5 May 2016 CEO message The new season is an exciting time for Youngcare as we start to focus on bringing our latest apartments at Albany Creek, ...
24 July 2017 A message from our partners at Vincents At VINCENTS one of our core values is to actively build a company environment that contributes ...
Categories
Archives

Are you a young person seeking help?

What we do

GET INFO

Get Help

GET INFO

Contact Us

GET INFO

A huge thanks to our supporters 

Neals
CV Services
Keystone
Queensland Government
Birdsville Social Club
ALS Global
EY
Eureka Landscaping
ANZ
DAE
Knight Frank
MMO Interiors
KFC Youth Foundation
Care Tech
Morgans
Bunnamagoo
Spot Productinons
Select AV
Brighton Homes
Forte Catering
Betta Home Living
Queensland Rail
Triffid
Carbone
Savills
Motorola Solutions
Servcorp
Nova
Cutting Edge
Just Photography
McCabe Curwood
Rivergum Homes
Audio Visual Elements
Collins Food
Media Merchants
HSF
One Harvest - love beats
Birdsville Hotel
LAS logo
Vuly
CUB
GNK
Merlo
Aurora Adventures
Batercard
Thrifty
Tatts Group
Bruce Lynton
AWIC - Awesome Women In Construction
Network First
ALS
QIC
De Luca Corp
Taylor Byrne
Vantage Performance
Hand Heart Pocket
Pilot
Vertica Capital
MTAQ
Good2give
Flight Centre Foundation
Style
Braggs Signs
Sage
Birdsville Roadhouse
Channel Nine
Clark Real Estate
Hopgood Ganim
MGD Private
Just Cause Bunch
Wolff Group
MS Queensland
Shine Lawyers
Tattersalls Club
Coates
FKG
Vincents
Women's Weekly
Story Bride Hotel