I’ve niver thought o’ masel as bein any kind o’ rebel an I canny mind o’ a time when I rebelled against anythin. Mibbee I’m a wee bit “thrawn” as ma mither used tae say but then she always hud a front fur folk. Dinny be yoursel, behave, dinny show me up! Repression wis her byword. Like when I wanted ma ears pierced when I was forteen an ma mither prattled on aboot “if the Lord meant you tae huv holes in your ears you’d be born wi them” and mair nonsense aboot it makin you look cheap. I wis thrawn aboot it an borrowed some studs fae a pal, raided mithers sewin box fur a darnin needle an did it masel. The blood runnin doon ma neck an tears an snot fae greetin wi the pain daein the first wan made me stop fur a minit though. Dae I carry on? Mibbees Naw! It’s sair, ma mither will kill me, it’s sair, I’ll be in the bad books fur years, it’s sair, I’ll huv tae get earrings o’ ma ain, it’s sair! Mibbees Aye? I’ll huv pierced ears. Aye won.
This thrawn bit o’ me wis missin when I married ma first man, though. I wis sixteen and thought it wis a good idea but once it wis a’ booked I jist kent it wisny right. I tried to call it off but ma mither went daft! So dae I call it off? Mibbees Aye, an heave a huge sigh o’ relief but huv ma mither oan ma back again. She’d be black affronted an I’d niver live it doon. Ma life widny be worth living, everybuddy wud be talkin aboot me. Mibbees naw, and dae what she wants, go wi the flow, dinny rock the boat, what canny be cured must be endured, you’ve made your bed, lie in it, dinny get above yoursel, dinny let folk doon. A’ that burled roon in ma heid an I ended up goin wi Naw.
Thirteen miserable years later I hud the same thoughts. Dae I run fur the hills?? Mibbees Aye, freedom, a life, the start o’ somethin good. Mibbees Naw, an stay in the rut o’ my life. Mibbees Aye won, so I went tae College, found stuff I wis good at, found folk I liked, found ma voice, an found me. Then I ran fur the hills, an freedom. Well, as free as you can be wi two weans, two dugs, a horse, a wreck o’ a car an nae money.
That same streak got me through gettin a cooncil flat, startin fae scratch wi furniture, gettin a job, gettin anither horse, carryin on studyin tae get a better job, gettin thegither wi sumbuddy I’d been pals wi fur years, movin in thegither, buyin a hoose thegither, gettin married and huvin a great job, great life, holidays abroad, the weans growin up an leavin hame.
I’d found mysel an ma future then M.S. found me...
It barged intae ma life an changed everthin I knew aboot me. Wis I gonny huv tae reinvent masel as bein a “disabled person”? A puir wee soul that folk looked at wi' their pityin expressions, rubbed your arm an spoke at you loud an slow. “Are you a’ right there?” feelin smug that they’re daeing a good thing. Was that ma future?
Mibbees Aye, an I’d turn intae this helpless person that folk expected, an be grateful for them even spendin a bit o’ their day tae chat tae me. I’d huv nae expectations o’ achievin anythin in the future, just become what folk’s perceptions of a wee disabled person shud be an dae. I’d huv tae be grateful fur what I’ve got an no push against it as I “shudny be daein stuff wi my condition.”
Well if that wis the deal then I didny huv a choice MIBBEES NAW it wis, wherever that took me.
When I hud tae gie up work it took me tae studyin nutrition, gettin a fitness regime an fightin tae be the best I can be.
Wis that bein thrawn, or rebelling against a label an a shrinkin world? I dinny ken but it’s got me oan the back o’ a horse an, after years o’ workin at it, a’ the way tae RDA National Championships daein dressage where I wis 4th in ma class. I’ve jumped oot a plane, twice did a firewalk, got ma erse tattooed wi the RDA’s slogan (it’s what you CAN do that counts) an volunteered tae keep me sane an productive. This year I hud a BIG Birthday an I’m still semi upright so I decided tae spend it huvin fun and raise money fur charity. I’ve been white water raftin, hud 13 inches of my hair cut off, did a Vaultin routine (gymnastic moves oan the back o’ a movin horse), went tae Wales tae ride the fastest Zipwire in the world wi pals. Five o’ us, two broken auld women an three fit, gay men, whit a road trip that wis! An there’s still mair planned.
I dinny ken whit a’ this says aboot me except I’ve decided that I huv MS but it disny huv me or define who or what I am. So does that make me a bit o’ a rebel efter a’? Mibbees Aye.