Real Life KS-type Relationships

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Renkinjutsushi
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Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Renkinjutsushi » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:49 pm

At first I thought about calling this thread "Real life Dating/Relationships with the Disabled" but that sounded too limiting and inappropriate for what I actually wanted to ask about.

So the question is: Have you ever had a real life relationship (romantic or otherwise) that reminds you of KS in some way?

Should be common sense but please don't include any identifiable details/last names, etc. Don't want to violate anyone's privacy here.

Since I posed the question, I'll go first.

My Story:

In my first year of Undergrad I dated a girl "S" who had many, many issues. She suffered from neuralgia, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, and frequent debilitating migraines. She was also legally blind. A beautiful girl with platinum blonde hair and powder blue eyes, she hid herself behind thick glasses and hoodie sweaters, and had a way of pushing her hair across her face and looking down at the floor, a lot like Hanako. At first I thought this was because her fair skin burned so easily in the sun, but now I think this intense shyness was more about her internal demons and feelings of worthlessness.

Shortly after we started dating, I discovered she had been raped. I avoided the issue for quite a while, tried to act like everything was normal. But I couldn't keep it up, and one time when she was in the throes of horrible neuralgia pain (it struck her kind of like a seizure), she started crying inconsolably and I ended up staying with her in her dorm room all night to try to comfort her. In the middle of the night she picked up a razor blade (I think she thought I was asleep) and looked like she was going to start cutting her wrists. I freaked out, knocked the blade out of her hands and said "God dammit I won't let you do that! It doesn't matter if you were raped. None of it matters, you're beautiful and I love you!"

It was a kind of "breaking down the walls" moment, like in Hanako's "Good End." There was a lot of mutual tears, she apologized, and our relationship got a lot stronger. A few days later she said "I love you" to me for the first time. She said that she didn't know what would have happened had I not been there - that maybe she wouldn't have gone through with it but that "You should know I've been to the hospital before." That was so heart-wrenching to hear, I had no idea before that how deep her psychological problems really were. :cry:

If this was the end, it would be a "Good Feels" moment for the ages, but it wasn't. This is where KS as "fiction" breaks off and diverges from real life (at least for me).

Her problems didn't stop. There were a lot more nights like that - her wracked with pain; weeping, screaming even. I didn't sleep. I forgot to eat, caring for her. My grades suffered, I stopped seeing other friends because I was so tired and worn down. There were so many doctor visits; so many afternoons spent waiting in the health center wondering what she would say when she came out. "Is your condition getting any better....? What does the doctor say we should do differently...? Another medication? But you're taking so many already...." These were the things I thought about, and (rarely) talked to her about.

Looking back on it, I think maybe I was too young to properly help her. 18, 19 years old seems now so young to be struggling with these kind of deep-seated problems and trying to have a healthy, fulfilling relationship at the same time. Whenever we had a fight, I kept thinking "I helped you so much, why are you hurting me now?" Eventually, she cheated on me and we broke up. Looking back, maybe I didn't give her enough space. Maybe my concern for her was smothering. But I can't help but think that KS trivializes at least this issue:

Real people in these situations can lash out. Even against those they love. Sometimes, especially against those they love. They hit, they curse, they scream. They drink excessively, or OD on their medications. These are all (in my experience) normal human responses, when the pain you feel, inside and out, is so overwhelming.

I'll admit it freely, I cried for Hanako. And it felt like was I also crying for "S" and what I experienced with her. I wish there had been a "Good End" for that story, but perhaps it was impossible under the circumstances.

What about you? Do you have any similar stories? Good/Bad? Lessons learned? Did playing KS change the way you felt about it?

Guest

Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:32 pm

I realize it's probably bad form to reply to my own post, but it's so long I wanted to break it up a little.

One more question, since many probably have never had a deep relationship with a severely disabled person:

Do you think it is a good idea for a healthy person to have a romantic relationship with someone is severely disabled?

I ask this because I honestly am not sure. Before I met "S" I would have said, "Absolutely! People are people. If you love somebody, you should be with them, no matter what."

But now, years later, I don't know if it was such a good idea. Unlike Hisao, I had no scars to show her. When "S" sometimes yelled at me "You can't possibly understand my pain!" I had no good reply. Maybe "I love you" is enough - but for me it wasn't. It didn't feel satisfy in the face of such suffering.

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encrypted12345
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by encrypted12345 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:54 pm

Guest wrote:
Do you think it is a good idea for a healthy person to have a romantic relationship with someone is severely disabled?

I ask this because I honestly am not sure. Before I met "S" I would have said, "Absolutely! People are people. If you love somebody, you should be with them, no matter what."

But now, years later, I don't know if it was such a good idea. Unlike Hisao, I had no scars to show her. When "S" sometimes yelled at me "You can't possibly understand my pain!" I had no good reply. Maybe "I love you" is enough - but for me it wasn't. It didn't feel satisfy in the face of such suffering.
Hmm... The life-story evoking forum never ceases to stop intriguing me. Well, whatever. I'll take a shot at that question.

...... Relationships require wisdom and mutual understanding. And sometimes, the gap between a healthy person and a severely disabled person is just so large that it's just impossible for the people involved. It could work out if the people involved are highly emotionally developed, though. Because there are a lot of different types of people, they are a lot of different types of relationships. However, a long lasting relationship should be beneficial for both sides. Perhaps your relationship to S was just self-destructive and doomed to fail because of the mental exhaustion on the both of you that the relationship had. In circumstances like that, perhaps love isn't enough. I... honestly just don't know. I guess I'm just too young and naive to truly tell.

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ShadeHaven
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by ShadeHaven » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:01 pm

Guest wrote:I realize it's probably bad form to reply to my own post, but it's so long I wanted to break it up a little.

One more question, since many probably have never had a deep relationship with a severely disabled person:

Do you think it is a good idea for a healthy person to have a romantic relationship with someone is severely disabled?

I ask this because I honestly am not sure. Before I met "S" I would have said, "Absolutely! People are people. If you love somebody, you should be with them, no matter what."

But now, years later, I don't know if it was such a good idea. Unlike Hisao, I had no scars to show her. When "S" sometimes yelled at me "You can't possibly understand my pain!" I had no good reply. Maybe "I love you" is enough - but for me it wasn't. It didn't feel satisfy in the face of such suffering.
I've never had a relationship with someone who was disabled so I can't really respond to the first post, although it was quite touching. As for this question, i'm rather conflicted. In my mind, one side says 'Yes, there is nothing wrong with a healthy person and a disabled person dating. It would even give the disabled person a greater sense of normalcy in their life which would likely be healthy for them. But my other side says 'Maybe not. How would one comfort a person who is disabled if they don't have a disability themselves? They'd always get the "You don't know how i feel!" card thrown in their face, and would never be able to relate as hard as they tried.' Its really a complicated scenario, although I do believe it's certainly possible. Whether its right or not, i'm not quite sure. Maybe it depends on the disability? But that sound very selfish and indignant.

Renkinjutsushi
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Renkinjutsushi » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:19 pm

ShadeHaven wrote:I've never had a relationship with someone who was disabled so I can't really respond to the first post, although it was quite touching. As for this question, i'm rather conflicted. In my mind, one side says 'Yes, there is nothing wrong with a healthy person and a disabled person dating. It would even give the disabled person a greater sense of normalcy in their life which would likely be healthy for them. But my other side says 'Maybe not. How would one comfort a person who is disabled if they don't have a disability themselves? They'd always get the "You don't know how i feel!" card thrown in their face, and would never be able to relate as hard as they tried.' Its really a complicated scenario, although I do believe it's certainly possible. Whether its right or not, i'm not quite sure. Maybe it depends on the disability? But that sound very selfish and indignant.
No ShadeHaven, I don't think that's selfish and indignant. I think perhaps you are right; it really does depend on the nature of the disability. Maybe it also depends on the person(s). But yes, this was the difficulty I encountered - I couldn't truly comfort her. I couldn't honestly tell her "Yes I know just how bad your pain really is."

For her, at least, I think the mental issues were far worse than the physical disabilities. The pain of being raped. The feelings of helplessness and worthlessness that "I'm a weak person. I couldn't stop him, I didn't try hard enough." And the nightmares. She never actually reported the rape to the police, and I wasn't willing to try to convince her that decision was wrong. In retrospect, I think I wish I would have tried. Seeing him behind bars might have eased some of her pain.

In the context of the game, I found myself wondering what happens to Hanako on her next Birthday. What happens when the overwhelming pain and shame hits yet again? What happens if she has a fight with Hisao? What happens if Hisao has a heart attack and can't be there for her when she needs him most? These were issues that actually kept me awake for some nights after I finished Hanako's story, all the while chiding myself "It's just a game!!" But in real life, these are some of the problems facing somebody in a relationship with a disabled person. In a real relationship, there is no "End" and some problems you thought had been addressed long ago may keep cropping up again and again.

There are also the problems of equality and mutual respect. It's so easy to say in theory "Love conquers all" but putting it into practice is so difficult. Even where both people are healthy, there can be hang-ups about different ages (one person is a lot older), different levels of education, etc. This makes me question whether it is foolish to try and overcome such a huge gap. Maybe the solution is to respect the extreme differences (and difficulties) and just go with the flow, never "trying to solve" the issue which will only cause resentment.

I would say, in my opinion, real healing, especially of psychological issues, can't be forced. It usually takes years and years. Maybe that kind of patience is the kind that is best expressed by a friend, rather than a romantic interest.

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ShadeHaven
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by ShadeHaven » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:40 pm

Renkinjutsushi wrote:
ShadeHaven wrote:I've never had a relationship with someone who was disabled so I can't really respond to the first post, although it was quite touching. As for this question, i'm rather conflicted. In my mind, one side says 'Yes, there is nothing wrong with a healthy person and a disabled person dating. It would even give the disabled person a greater sense of normalcy in their life which would likely be healthy for them. But my other side says 'Maybe not. How would one comfort a person who is disabled if they don't have a disability themselves? They'd always get the "You don't know how i feel!" card thrown in their face, and would never be able to relate as hard as they tried.' Its really a complicated scenario, although I do believe it's certainly possible. Whether its right or not, i'm not quite sure. Maybe it depends on the disability? But that sound very selfish and indignant.
No ShadeHaven, I don't think that's selfish and indignant. I think perhaps you are right; it really does depend on the nature of the disability. Maybe it also depends on the person(s). But yes, this was the difficulty I encountered - I couldn't truly comfort her. I couldn't honestly tell her "Yes I know just how bad your pain really is."

For her, at least, I think the mental issues were far worse than the physical disabilities. The pain of being raped. The feelings of helplessness and worthlessness that "I'm a weak person. I couldn't stop him, I didn't try hard enough." And the nightmares. She never actually reported the rape to the police, and I wasn't willing to try to convince her that decision was wrong. In retrospect, I think I wish I would have tried. Seeing him behind bars might have eased some of her pain.

In the context of the game, I found myself wondering what happens to Hanako on her next Birthday. What happens when the overwhelming pain and shame hits yet again? What happens if she has a fight with Hisao? What happens if Hisao has a heart attack and can't be there for her when she needs him most? These were issues that actually kept me awake for some nights after I finished Hanako's story, all the while chiding myself "It's just a game!!" But in real life, these are some of the problems facing somebody in a relationship with a disabled person. In a real relationship, there is no "End" and some problems you thought had been addressed long ago may keep cropping up again and again.

There are also the problems of equality and mutual respect. It's so easy to say in theory "Love conquers all" but putting it into practice is so difficult. Even where both people are healthy, there can be hang-ups about different ages (one person is a lot older), different levels of education, etc. This makes me question whether it is foolish to try and overcome such a huge gap. Maybe the solution is to respect the extreme differences (and difficulties) and just go with the flow, never "trying to solve" the issue which will only cause resentment.

I would say, in my opinion, real healing, especially of psychological issues, can't be forced. It usually takes years and years. Maybe that kind of patience is the kind that is best expressed by a friend, rather than a romantic interest.
You bring up an interesting point that for some reason, I've never considered. Disabilities don't end. Promising to always be there for a disabled person would likely be much harder and require an entirely new level of commitment compared to a regular relationship. Also, after a certain point the person may become a responsibility rather than a partner. Some may likely enjoy that type of responsibility, but i'm sure it would be too much for others after a period of time.

Renkinjutsushi
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Renkinjutsushi » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:14 pm

ShadeHaven wrote: You bring up an interesting point that for some reason, I've never considered. Disabilities don't end. Promising to always be there for a disabled person would likely be much harder and require an entirely new level of commitment compared to a regular relationship. Also, after a certain point the person may become a responsibility rather than a partner. Some may likely enjoy that type of responsibility, but i'm sure it would be too much for others after a period of time.
You are absolutely right. It's a different level of responsibility and commitment. I didn't fully understand what I was getting into at 18 years old, and I'm not sure how I would handle it today at 26. Maybe someone who is healthy, unless they have a lot of experience caring for the disabled (say, as a nurse or from caring for a family member) wouldn't be able to truly appreciate what is involved. It is a huge burden; the hospital visits, the doubts, the feelings of failure when something goes wrong, asking yourself "was I to blame??" Some of this is addressed in KS, but it doesn't go away. It will probably continue for the duration of the relationship. If you are a strong enough person, I suppose you find ways to cope; ways to not to blame yourself.

I'm not trying to say that such relationships aren't possible. That would be patently false because there have clearly been successful marriages between healthy and severely disabled people. I guess I would like to hear from somebody who has had such a relationship - how do they cope, what is it like 5 years, 10 years later. Do the distinctions between husband/wife and caregiver eventually dissolve? Does that even matter? It might be that the demographic on the forums (and of people that play KS in general) is too young to answer such questions, however.

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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Alexbond45 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:32 pm

There is a Reason I am against other people in my High School Going out before Mid Junior Year, or even beyond, Maturity takes time, Women Mature faster than Men, yet both sides they think they can Handle it, I watch drama crush other people's lives, while all the time the Media poisons what a good relationship should be, the Bastards.

eh?
B.Deese wrote:There are two types of people, those who are ignorant, and those who are stupid, ignorant people do it wrong and don't know it's wrong, stupid people do it wrong and know it's wrong. Don't be Stupid!
Marching Band starts back up soon. HOO-AH!
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1-Every Day is a New Day! 2-Never Give Up 3-Never stop being Positive 4-Marching Band FTW! 5-Be Nice to everyone.

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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by DoppelGanger » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:34 pm

Katawa Shoujo really reminded me of my first relationship a couple of years ago.


My first girlfriend was really like Emi, always cheerful, funny, cute, very outgoing etc. There never was a boring moment with her, we always had something to do.

A couple of month before our relationship I was stuck with depression, I ''attempted'' suicide once. Even though I wasn't alone, I didn't talked much about what was wrong with me.
When I met her, I wasn't suicidal anymore (well, most of the time) but I was still depressed about my life. But I had so much fun with her, we became close friends very fast.

Remember the scene in Hanakos path when she lock herself in her room after her panic attack? Well something similar happened to me, I was so lost I didn't wanted to see anybody. I was supposed to met her but because I felt like crap, I called her to tell her I wasn't really the cheerful guy she thought I was. I had to tell her I wasn't alright. That night, I told her everything about my depression, my ''attempt'', my life. It was good to finally have an ear, someone to talk to. It wasn't long until we started seriously dating. I really loved her for who she was, always bright as the sunshine no matter the situation, even when I was really depressed. It was nearly as if Emi dated Hanako or something.

But our relationship didn't lasted long. The reason was because she never really loved me, she just wanted to protect me. In a way she pitied me. When she told me that she was just trying to protect me, I was really pissed because all I wanted was someone who could genuinely love me as much as I did.

I hated her for that since, but.. looking back now, I don't blame her.
Katawa Shoujo (especially the Hanakos path) made me realized that, if I was in her boots back then (my ex), I would have probably done the same (First time I played Hanako's path I had the neutral ending).


@Renkinjutsushi

I guess my story reflect well what you've been through but on the other side of the coins. All I can say to you is that you are amazing for what you did for her. Even though you felt like it didn't really helped her when you said that you loved her, I'm sure it did help her some way.

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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by RC626 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:12 pm

Emi's the much-cooler version of my first girlfriend- she was also petite, had intimacy issues, and had lost her father around the same age from cancer. Communication was a big problem for us, and as with Hisao and Emi, sometimes it was just easier to fall into bed. I think we both had notions going in to the relationship what we wanted the other to be, and tried to force the other into an idealized version of that, rather than accepting each other for who we were. Playing Emi's path reminded me a lot of dating her, though luckily I got the good end in-game. :)

Renkinjutsushi
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Renkinjutsushi » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:12 am

DoppelGanger wrote:I guess my story reflect well what you've been through but on the other side of the coins. All I can say to you is that you are amazing for what you did for her. Even though you felt like it didn't really helped her when you said that you loved her, I'm sure it did help her some way.
Thank you for saying that. I'm not certain that I helped her, but I would like to think that I did in some ways. Maybe we all need somebody to love us from time to time, for whatever reason, or even for no reason at all. In the end, we didn't part because of her disabilities, but I think the strain they put on our relationship was a least part of the cause.

I have wondered over the years why she cheated on me. Going back to some of the things she used to say, "I don't deserve you... Don't let me make you unhappy" I think there might have been some intent to drive me away, because she felt as if she was making me miserable. At the time, I thought no pain in the world could be worse.

Today, I am happy to say I'm engaged and we are expecting twins. My current relationship has its ups and downs, but I like to think I did learn a lot from my time with "S." It was my first relationship over 3 months and I gained a lot of insight into myself and what I wanted. One thing I know now is that it was very foolish of me not to consider how few fundamental interests S and I shared. The fact that she was legally blind made it very hard for her to appreciate Anime or video games, especially those with 3D graphics. I should have seen warning signs when she used to yell at me for playing PS2. :lol: By contrast, my fiancee loves to play all kinds of games with me, especially WoW and Magic: The Gathering. She also tolerates my Anime obsession, while perhaps not fully understanding it. I've come to see that tolerating one another, even if you don't always agree, is a wonderful thing indeed. :)

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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Tilting Clock » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:50 am

I raise my glass to you, sir. You relate this powerful tale with the kind of insight and wisdom not oft seen. I think, perhaps, that your experience with "S" had far more to do with who she was as a person rather than the scars that had been inflicted upon her. No doubt, that's the kind of trauma I can't fathom beyond earnest empathy, but there are many attitudes and behaviors you describe as pivotal to the destruction of the relationship that remind me much of a love that had cheated on me. I definitely know how it feels to think "Time and again, I've lifted you up out of this darkness and that my insight is what you ultimately believe to be right; why are you lashing out at me of all people? Haven't I proven worth listening to?"

That's where the limitation of KS as a story dissolve and the real work of finding not only meaningful love, but a functional relationship on top of it.

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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by micechasekittens » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:08 am

Well I am essentially Hanako in my relationships. I won't reiterate my whole life story, the broken-heart thread has that. Essentially, due to a lot of bullying from pretty much everyone in my family and inability to make friends, I was painfully shy to the point where I was terrified by people. I am too afraid to raise my voice for people to move. I view myself as hideous due to my prominent nose (Jewish family roots) so I avoid mirrors. I even had adults tell me as a little kid that I'd be cute if not for my hideous nose. I attempted to take my life at 7 and quite a few times after that, going so far as a hanging in my teens. So it isn't merely an issue of being shy.

Had a bad relationship with a white knight who'd let me know that only he saw me as something special. It was let known that no one else could love me save him.

In a relationship back in college, I was called another girl's name 'Katie' (it was to be my code name like a spy or something silly like that). Well I was called said name even in intimate situations and then later dumped due to my depression and another reason coming up. Amidst tears of just being dumped, I was asked if I could talk to the real Katie and tell her that my ex wanted to date her. He then moaned how he was shy and needed my help to set them up.

I am bit better than how I was, but still struggling day to day. I still worry no one could truly love me.

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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by themocaw » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:48 am

It's very possible for a disabled person and a healthy person to have a meaningful and lasting relationship. I see it all the time among adults.

It's much harder for teenagers and college-age kids to do the same.

Renkinjutsushi
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Re: Real Life KS-type Relationships

Post by Renkinjutsushi » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:23 pm

micechasekittens wrote:Well I am essentially Hanako in my relationships. I won't reiterate my whole life story, the broken-heart thread has that. Essentially, due to a lot of bullying from pretty much everyone in my family and inability to make friends, I was painfully shy to the point where I was terrified by people. I am too afraid to raise my voice for people to move. I view myself as hideous due to my prominent nose (Jewish family roots) so I avoid mirrors. I even had adults tell me as a little kid that I'd be cute if not for my hideous nose. I attempted to take my life at 7 and quite a few times after that, going so far as a hanging in my teens. So it isn't merely an issue of being shy.

Had a bad relationship with a white knight who'd let me know that only he saw me as something special. It was let known that no one else could love me save him.

In a relationship back in college, I was called another girl's name 'Katie' (it was to be my code name like a spy or something silly like that). Well I was called said name even in intimate situations and then later dumped due to my depression and another reason coming up. Amidst tears of just being dumped, I was asked if I could talk to the real Katie and tell her that my ex wanted to date her. He then moaned how he was shy and needed my help to set them up.

I am bit better than how I was, but still struggling day to day. I still worry no one could truly love me.
It sounds like you've had your heart stomped on by a bunch of jerks. :(

I will say, given that you like KS (and other anime I presume? maybe video games?) there is some lonely boy out there who would be absolutely thrilled to date you, and hopefully he would try to make you happy. From a male perspective, women who understand such nerdy pursuits are a rare and precious breed.

Whether or not such a relationship would make you happy, I can't say. A good way to get an understanding of people before you decide if they're worth trusting enough to date is to talk to some of their friends first.

But before you begin any relationship, I would highly suggest seeking some help for your feelings of worthlessness, that "no one could truly love you." I guarantee you that is actually false. True love, as I understand it, is when another person values your happiness at least as much as they value their own.

Anyways, make sure you are actually ready for somebody to love you before you seek it out. Sometimes, you will unconsciously hurt or drive away the very person you love because of past hurts and fears of intimacy with other people. Make sure you don't poison an otherwise successful romance with unreasonable fears such as "I can't let him in too close... I can't risk him hurting me."

That's all the advice I can honestly give. Really, seeking professional counseling wouldn't be a bad idea, but I can certainly understand it's not right for everyone.

themocaw wrote:It's very possible for a disabled person and a healthy person to have a meaningful and lasting relationship. I see it all the time among adults.

It's much harder for teenagers and college-age kids to do the same.
I know what you mean, and I think age and maturity help immensely. But usually what I see in such situations is a marriage/relationship that actually started with both people fairly healthy, and then one became disabled later on (accident, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, etc).

I think this is somewhat of a different situation than a healthy person purposely deciding to begin the relationship with somebody who is obviously very disabled from the start. Or maybe you have examples of that as well? I haven't seen that many personally, so I would be interested to hear about those situations you may have witnessed.

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