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Body Integrity Identity Disorder

July 17, 2013

Readers, it was very difficult for me, as a lifelong physically disabled person, to read this.

Chloe Jennings is 58, physically healthy, intelligent, educated from one of the best universities in the world, and has a good career. Yet she’s desperate to be a wheelchair user.

Readers, I am not a permanent wheelchair user. However, I can tell you that when I do use my wheelchair, I very often feel that I am invisible to everyone but the people with me. That is not a pleasant feeling.

I know and love many permanent wheelchair users and I am pretty sure that all of them would give absolutely anything to be able to get up and walk normally at will.

I don’t want anyone to get me wrong- I have learnt to be very happy with my life as a physically disabled person. I do not wish for a miraculous cure for myself. However, nor do I wish for my situation to get any worse.

Reaching the point I have reached today, the point at which I am happy and proud to be who I am, disability and all, has taken me a very long time. There are still things I wish I could do. There are still things I wish I didn’t have to do. There are things I have seen and been through that I wish every day had not happened. But I have no choice. There are times when knowing that hurts like Hell, but I know it now and I have learnt to live with it.

So why anyone lucky enough not to be physically disabled and reliant on a wheelchair for movement would want to pretend to need one is something I will never understand.

Chloe Jennings and anyone else who thinks this way clearly has a mental disorder. But based purely on my own life experiences, it is very hard for me to feel sympathetic towards anyone who thinks in this way.

You may, or may not, feel differently. Your comments, as always, are very welcome below.

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