This last weekend marked a first for me in a very long time. I went camping with my trainers. They were kind enough to invite my youngest daughter, Lakota, and I. What an experience it was to be able to leave my wheelchair at home and only take my walker with me! I felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted just because I wasn’t tied to that chair. I’m still not as mobile as I would like so I can’t do a lot of walking. Still I was able to get up and walk in the woods to use the restroom and walk around the campsite a bit. That’s a big change for me, heck, three months ago I was pretty much wheelchair bound. I could hardly get up out of my wheelchair at all. Forget walking around.
Not only did I go with Breeze and his family, I was able to go with some of Breeze’s other clients and some of their friends. It was incredible for me to get out and be able to interact with adults! It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve gotten out of my house and enjoyed adult company. I almost didn’t know how to react. In reality it’s hard to put myself out there and just talk to someone. I was raised by pretty abusive parents and I was taught at a young age that I didn’t talk unless spoken to. Couple that with my physical limitations and there wasn’t a whole lot of talking going on. On my part at least.
Our first evening there we all sat around the campfire and enjoyed some stories. Afterwards it seemed like everyone separated into their own groups and my daughter, who is mentally challenged, and I were left by ourselves. Looking back I don’t think it was an intentional slight but at the time I really felt rejected, abandoned, and like I had no business being there. My entire life I’ve had family and acquaintances constantly telling me that I’m not good enough or intelligent enough to be around people. All these feelings came back up when everyone was talking to each other and all I could do was sit there. I now realize that this feeling of inadequacy is not the people around me but my own perception of myself. I’m working on changing that.
I felt a little badly for my daughter Lakota. The friends that we camped with were outfitters and had brought rafts to float part of the Boise river. Lakota wanted to go so badly but I knew before she asked that she wouldn’t be able to. The part of the river they were rafting had some pretty intense rapids and with her disabilities it wasn’t going to be safe for her. She got upset and I got a bit frustrated. Neither she nor I could go because of our disabilities. I’m frustrated that I can’t move the way I want to NOW or that I’m not healthy and thin NOW. I’m frustrated that my daughter will never be able to do things like rafting down rapids. Sometimes I feel that she and I get slighted because of our disabilities. I sometimes forget that I’ve made incredible progress and that this change isn’t going to happen overnight.
I did have a good time this last weekend and I’m proud of myself that I was able to accomplish that. I’m more determined than ever to go back and make a better effort to interact with the people we camp with. I’ve made it a goal at the end of August to be out of my wheelchair and when I do it, I’m going to celebrate with a camping trip. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of last weekend.
It was the most beautiful view.
I got to hang out with these cute little guys.
Part of the canyon we stayed in.
Our yummy breakfast which included bear meat!
Trainer Rebecca and John and his wife.
My daughter, Lakota & Aiden
Ugh, I don’t even think I’m awake.