(Yes, I know this is late… but I had to write up Gillis’s entry, and it took me awhile. But here’s the entry I meant to post way back on our anniversary.)
It’s June 24, 2010, and on June 22nd, Keith and I celebrated our 19th years of marriage to each other. Wow, an amazing accomplishment that. The way the world is going today, most people are divorced and onto their 2nd or third marriages. But, Keith and I came from a time where you married once and stayed married, and worked out your problems.
Do Keith and I have problems? Yes, but I love him with all my heart, and any problems we have are nothing we can’t work out.. we have been to counseling, and if need be, we’ll go in the future. Talking about your problems is always the best thing to do when you can’t seem to solve them on your own. Having a 3rd person listen to them and give you suggestions on how to deal with them, can only help you… kind of like having a 2nd opinion when you go to the doctor.
But, Keith and I love each other deeply. We were married on June 22, 1991, after almost 6 years of dating. We didn’t rush into marriage. Keith had to learn to deal with a person with a disability, and I had to learn to deal with a guy that wasn’t going to walk away because he couldn’t deal with my disability.
Keith and I have to laugh… because when he proposed, it wasn’t the normal, “Will you marry me?” and then my response. It was more like:
Keith: “Will you marry…”
I guess I was just a tad bit enthusiastic and impatient back then. Can’t accuse me of that now, tho. (Okay, guys stop laughing! (Yes, I”m talking to you, Keith and Robin! Sheesh!)
It was also VERY cold at the lake where Keith took me – what can I say, the guy is a closet romantic! It was also November, or something like that… I’m not sure what month Keith proposed… but like most of my friends know, the drugs I take for my pain and all that, mess with my memory and certain things have not ‘stuck’ in my memory… but the important stuff has…
We do not have children. It’s not for lack of trying. We did try, but due to my disability, sexual intercourse is difficult for me, and I have other issues. I was sexually molested when I was 9 years old and that has left scars that are barely healed. The neighbor that did that was never punished for it, I was just told by my parents to never go around the man again – alone. But that can still mess you up for life. Sexual activity is not comfortable for me physically and mentally, it is ‘interesting’, and that’s all I’m going to say, except that with the help of my husband and talking to various counselors, I no longer view sex as the dirty act I once did view it as.
And adoption, while friends meant well when they suggested it, they didn’t realize that adoption agencies take a dim view of the disabled as adoptive parents. The agencies would NEVER say this to anyone – that would be discrimination, but I knew it was happening, The ironic thing is, I am adopted as is my “brother”. No, we are not blood brother and sister, but we share a deeper bond. But, adoption agencies have waiting lists of YEARS of non-disabled (healthy) couples waiting to adopt.
And even if I didn’t have the mental block of having been molested when I was nine, or the fact that my parents never pushed to file charges against this individual, even after they found out he was a sexual predator, and had done this before… I don’t know what my parents were thinking… I can’t ask my mother, which is where I got all this information from. She died several years ago due to complications from Alzheimer’s, and my father never knew what was going on, as far as I know, and I am NOT going to ask him.
But, if I hear of my molester coming near this area of the Pacific Northwest, I will call the police. This is one of those times I wish I had a service dog. No, my dogs are not trained in protection… but there aren’t many people that are going to challenge a person with a barking, growling dog at the end of the leash. ALL my dogs are taught that much in personal protection, and no, it’s not going against the ADA…
A service dog is allowed to be trained in personal protection. I will be filling out some information for my service dog site in the next few weeks now that I again have access to an HTML program. One of the things will be a description of things you can train your dog to do for you… and personal protection is a valid task under the ADA. Please see this blog entry for the story of Gillis.
I’ll be adding more to a service dog blog entry… I love to teach in my blogs.