I took the initiative.

I’ve copied a conversation I had yesterday with a close friend:



Very sad to read your latest post. Don’t know how you are dealing with all this, seriously.
As for the idiot asking how you are, can’t imagine a more stupid question!



I get those kinds of daft questions all the time, normally followed up with the details of the awful day they’ve had ( weather / traffic jam / painful little finger / hangover/ school run )

It’s what people do, and the more they’ve got, the more they complain about.
When someone comes back from a dream holiday, the first thing they mention is the half hour that the flight was delayed on the way back.

I’ve had a good day if I don’t shit myself…in public, and people actually acknowledge me instead of the person that is giving me a push.

We have Amber’s class parents party here tomorrow- I’ll send you the email that I sent to all the parents – I’ve not met any of them.

Dear all,

Amber’s Dad, Russ here, joint host with Danielle on Thursday night, at the class party.

I don’t think that I’ve met many of you, due to my imposed lack of mobility, but I think I’ve met a few of your daughters ( at my flat )

Thursday should be a good night, and please don’t dress up to come ( unless you really want to, that is ! )

Most of you probably don’t know that I had a terrible accident 3 years ago that changed me from ‘super athletic type’ to ‘paralysed from the chest down type’.
I have a completely severed spinal cord that means I have zero feeling or control below my chest.
As I really wasn’t expected to even live, I suppose that makes me lucky?

I often find that people don’t really know what to say when they see the wheelchair, so I thought I’d bring up the topic first.
It’s not a topic that you ‘ have to avoid ‘ or pretend that you haven’t noticed. It’s not awkward for me to talk about, it’s just how it now is, for me.
In fact, its actually more awkward if people don’t mention it…. after all, if I had my arm in a sling, or a bandage around my head, I think everyone would enquire as to why?

Another thing that can happen is that I’m not acknowledged, as if invisible, so please don’t do that either. I’m actually very engaging, if you talk to me.

I’m not mobile enough to serve drinks, or pass round the canapés, so please forgive me in advance, and help yourselves to drinks all night long.

I do have a blog, started shortly after my crash, by my sister in law. I was in a deep coma at the time, but have since August 2013, written it all by myself.
Please feel very welcome to read it, if you’re stuck for something more fun to do, obviously.

Here’s a link to it : http://www.russelldawkinsbackontrack.co.uk/blog/

I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday!


Sent from my iPhone


I’ve had so, so many lovely and sensitive replies ( obviously many more from the ladies than the guys )

I wasn’t at all sure whether to send that email, and was prepared to get no replies at all, and half expected none of the parents to turn up on Thursday ( tomorrow night ) having scared them all off….. with my ‘ direct approach ‘.

Thankfully, my intent to break the ice has seemed to work, and I’ll not spend the evening feeling like a misfit/ twat  in my own home.

2 thoughts on “I took the initiative.

  1. What a good idea, that letter! Hopefully now lots of people will come and talk to you and not find it awkward to get started. Since you mentioned you were previously super-sporty, hopefully the men will also have something to talk to you about. You can give them tips on improving their skiing, canoeing and running!

  2. It takes a powerful person to cry out despite those who’d prefer the convenience of silence. It takes a fearless person to allow their sadness to come out from the tight box of cultural expectations to be expressed and processed.

    And it takes a world of strength for that same person to be true to their feelings, own their emotional territory— to walk into the very chaos of its outright messiness— and uncover the paragons of victory and joy that were held by them, for such an aching long time, so quietly within.

    Susan Frybort, author of ‘Hope is a Traveler’,

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