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?
Disabilities aren't something one should seek out in a relationship; that's either fetishizing or white-knighting, and neither possibility is a good one. You should love people, not their problems. However, if the person you love happens to have a disability and you think you can handle it, then sure, go ahead.
But be very
careful about the "if you think you can handle it" part. For a healthy person, a relationship with someone who has a disability presents unique challenges, and often severe ones. Many people just can't handle it; that's so common, in fact, that most cultures don't even see any shame in not being able to do so. If you listen to people talk about those who can
handle it, you'll often hear them use words like "saint" or even "angel." It's that
My wife sounds much like your "S", though without the traumatic past. As the word I used for her implies, though, I got my good ending (in whatever way it can be called an ending, since as others have already pointed out, this is real life, not a game). It didn't come without hard work and a considerable amount of pain on both our parts, and there are still challenges to overcome sometimes. Neither of us is the easiest person in the world to live with, albeit for very different reasons. But it's a path that has rewards of its own, if you can deal with the challenges.
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 don't know if I have the
answer, but I do have an answer: to accept non-understanding. It's true that I don't understand my wife's pain, and I can't
understand: not without getting into a situation that she wouldn't wish on me. I'm there anyway. It hurts me to see her in pain: not as much as her own pain hurts her, of course, but it's just as real, and so whatever way I can help make her pain a little less, that's enough for me. Yeah, my motives aren't entirely altruistic, and I hope they never are, but the fact remains that I love her. That's why I can stay even though I do not understand.
That's my answer, anyway. Yours may be different.
Falling in love is a volcano. Being in love is a kotatsu.