Disability and life: should you date your PA?

Disability and life: should you date your PA?

Rupy Kaur is a young, British Asian, disabled woman, who is very independent and can be feisty when needed (so she says!). She is writing for DH on some of the experiences that happen to her on a day-to-day basis, focussing on relationships with PAs.

#DHgurus

Hi everybody, my last blog revolved around the issue as to whether it is possible to form a friendship with your PA. Today I am stepping this up a notch and exploring whether you should date your PA…

Interestingly, BBC Three are currently running a disability season and one of their dramas, which was based on a true story, was on last week called “Don’t Take My Baby.” As the title suggests, the programme was about a disabled couple who had a baby and had to prove to social services that they were capable of looking after it. It was quite hard hitting but one of the issues that caught my attention was how the husband in this drama was a PA for his wife. His wife was in a wheelchair and he was visually impaired. It looked as though they had no hoisting facilities and the husband catered for all of his wife’s personal care needs. When the baby came along, you could see that it was taking its strain on their relationship and I suppose that’s the issue that triggered me writing this blog.

Personally, as a heterosexual woman, I have never had a male PA as I would find it uncomfortable and I don’t feel as though I could share certain feelings with them regarding issues surrounding my personal care needs, as they probably have not had similar experiences to me, for example, having a period. So in that case, I suppose I have never had the opportunity for a bond to develop with a male PA. However, from watching this programme I would not want to put the pressure on my partner to provide me with my intimate care needs. I don’t think it would be sustainable long term and if a baby was added into the mix, then I definitely don’t think it’s fair. I would also feel uncomfortable knowing that I was the employer of my partner as I believe that that would upset the balance in the relationship. I know that some people will read this blog and say something like “love conquers all” and I don’t dispute this, but for me I also think that the sexual element of a relationship is equally as important and I’m not sure whether there would be the same spark if my husband was my PA.

On the other hand, perhaps it depends on when you meet your partner/PA? I know of plenty of disabled people who have employed somebody as a PA first and then their relationship has developed into something more. Maybe this is a more natural way of this occurring because that PA has been working with that individual from the start and the romance has just developed naturally. Some of the people that I know are even getting married. However, I have only known of this working with my male disabled friends so it would be interesting to know whether there are any disabled females where this has been successful. It would also be interesting to know how these successful relationships maintain a good balance.

I know that this might be a controversial topic and everybody will have their own opinions. I also want to express that these are my own personal opinions and in no way judgemental of others. Having said this, for the foreseeable future I am happy for my partner to cut up my food and place a straw in my wine glass.

Until next time,

R x

By Rupy Kaur

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