Time to kiss your modesty goodbyeJul 31 08:23
Have a disability? Need help with daily living activities? Then you know all too well how modesty is a luxury you cannot afford. You can attempt to cling to it, cover yourself up whenever you can, keep a mysterious veil between you and the world, but if you need help with showering and dressing on a daily basis, you are destined to fail.
I think my modesty lasted about two weeks after my injury. Not long at all. How many times can you let yourself get in a tiz whenever someone sees you naked? Especially when you have someone seeing you in the buff, and in some pretty personal situations, two times a day? Keeping the modesty-fire going is pointless when you live that life, my life, but its not a sad thing, folks. I’m glad it forced me to be this way; sans-modesty. There are tons of reasons its awesome to say goodbye to the big M.
Probably the most important of these is the load it takes off your shoulders. People with disabilities who have their heads on straight quickly realize the mental health benefits of throwing their modesty out the window. You can get so epically worn out from it all, especially when you know your injury isn’t going to get better, and if you keep being modest, you'll a hit a wall. If you're lucky, that's when the epiphany happens; when you realize life is too short to be cluttered with modesty-induced stress. Its like jumping out of an airplane - you feel energized once you do it. You just need to let go, and jump the Hell out.
Two weeks of being prodded and poked like a lab rat multiple times a day was how my modesty went vamoose. And the transition was definitely weird. I didn’t even notice it was gone until my Mom yelled at me for forgetting to put a shirt on when the doctor came in.
I’ll sometimes miss my Victorian brimming-with-modesty sensibilities, just because I think it’s a posh, ladylike thing to possess, but after about five seconds I'll think....nah. The pang is replaced with more important thoughts.
How do you deal with lingering modesty issues?
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1. JeffH | Jul 31 09:06
My friends say I'm like the honey badger ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg )'cause when it comes to modesty I just don't give a shit. Running errands yesterday, after about three transfers in and out of the car I realized my shorts were halfway down. I just didn't care.
2. Al towndrow-Berwick | Aug 02 03:08
Modesty .. I forgot what it was like to be "prim & propper".. I can recall the first 30mins coming out of anasthetic....aparently I threw back my bed covers happy to reveal all to family and some dear friends and create a sceen declaring. " Look here.....Someone has stollen my knickers !! ". Not just the one but several times, getting louder as I yelled..! Since then, 29 June 2001, I flash, reveal, expose, get poked & prodded, & under go a manual bowel evacuation on a daily basis....! Life is far to short and unpredictable, we all urinate and deficate in some form or another. I follow a simple mantra sent to me by a ddear friend in the early days of being QQuadriplegic..."Enjoy your life. Live for today, Hope for tomorrow" So that's what I do. If people choose to stare, give them a wave, a smile & a wink of your eye, they'll be the ones that blush with embarasment! I dare you, give it ago next time you undercarriage is having an airing, hanging free below a hoist sling !!
3. captcrunch | Aug 02 05:55
Modesty? Oh my modesty! At first it was grin and bear it, followed by "I really don't care" within reason, of course. At home or in a clinical setting it should be natural and comfortable--we've seen it all before. Go to a nudist park and get over it. -captcrunch
4. Gary Presley | Aug 03 11:33
It's gotta be a little rougher for a female, but I've been a crip since the bad ol' days, and the one thing that always was difficult was finding a place to use the urinal. I still have a habit of using it in the van before going in to any place. Luckily my current oldie-but-goodie van has dark tinted windows.
5. seeandbesafe.com | Aug 04 01:32
At 19 years post injury I am still insanely private. There is no greater daily frustration than trying tame that seemingly uncooperative leg bag strap that continuously wants to hang out from under my pant leg. And God forbid that I should raise up to do a pressure relief and my pant leg should rise above my ankle thereby exposing my bag. Awe......It's going down like four flat tires family. Nobody gets to see my leg bag or the contents thereof. lol
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.