Clothes shopping with a disability- May 31, 2019
For as long as I can remember, shopping always was stressful and a meltdown for me. As a girl, I loved the idea of new clothes and shoes, but a lot of times, the stuff I like a lot, don’t fit the way I like or at all, and I end up having to compromise on an item I wasn’t as crazy about but fit better.
As a female, especially around the teen years, you would probably be shocked to know that I did not enjoy shopping. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I loved getting new clothes, but when you are a preteen/teenager, who is the only one her age still shopping in children’s department, it gets to be a little flustering.
It wasn’t just the fact that I wasn’t in the “correct” size clothing/ department for my age, it was also the trying on process. I’d grab tons of styles I thought were “cool” and “normal teen girl” fashions that were in children’s size department, but half of the time, maybe only 1 thing I had brought into the fitting room, actually fit and looked good on me, due to my posture and body due to the curve of my Scoliosis/Kyphosis at the time.
If something I really liked/picked out, didn’t fit, my whole world would shatter. I’d lose the joy of shopping for new clothes and have a tantrum in the store; having a “pity-party” and just give up looking, saying I wanted to go home. Thank God, Mom never gave into that, or I’d have gotten nothing. She would pull me aside, and we’d settle on whatever did fit, even if I wasn’t as crazy about that choice, as I was for the thing that I picked out, but didn’t fit. I wasn’t 100% happy about the choices during that time, but it was about 70%, so it was a compromise.
Another thing that was a pain to shop for was shoes! Due to my Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome(Actually, Marfans Syndrome), I have weak ankles, so I could never wear heels for dress shoes, only flats; but also, I had to have “high Top” sneakers for ankle support. Do you know how hard it is to find “high top” sneakers nowadays? If we got them the same day we went looking for them, we were lucky, after having to search several shoe stores of course. I remember one time, we searched all over Lafayette and Opelousas for high top sneakers and ended up having to wait because we couldn’t find any, thankfully my old ones weren’t so tight that I couldn’t wear them anymore. Shoe shopping was another meltdown. For formal/special occasions, I loved to dress up, and I’d see these lovely heels, but, no, I couldn’t get them because of my weak ankles; I didn’t cry about that, because I knew “can’t wear them,” but I would say “Man, I wish I didn’t have weak ankles, Those heels are so pretty. I’d look so hot in them!” I always had to go with flats, usually, I got ballet slippers, which were easy to slip on and off, so I didn’t mind. The real struggle was for sneakers, because at the time Converse shoes were getting really popular and I wanted what everyone else got, or some really girly shoes; considering the only place we’d usually find high-tops were in boys/men/ or athletic shoes; Half the time, I was wearing boy shoes, and I got teased “Jamie’s wearing boy shoes, Jamie’s wearing boy shoes. She wants to be a boy.” When I couldn’t find shoes that I liked, that were also high tops, I’d have a meltdown like I would when clothes shopping; pitching a fit in the store, and giving up.
Eventually, I gave up trying to fit in, gave up trying to avoid the teasing, because it was something I couldn’t change. It wasn’t like anyone from school would see me in the clothes anyway since uniforms were mandatory. It was just the shoes they’d see, and I couldn’t help that I had to have ankle support, so anytime someone would start to tease me, I’d stop them and say “You know what? Yes, I am in boy’s shoes, but I have weak ankles and need the support for my feet. It’s something I cannot help, but you know what? I got a great personality and don’t deserve this teasing. I have people who love me, and I am going to start loving who I am and things that make me different. Yes, I will have bad days and feel bad about myself and my differences, but I will get over them; whereas you will always be an insecure jerk-off who teases others because you have nothing better to do with your sad pathetic life, so I suggest that you shut up and get a life,” and I’d walk away, or once I got in Jr high school and my “dynamite temper fuse” blew up, I’d start fighting, hitting, and kicking; but I always stood up for myself and never backed down. You know what they say, Dynamite comes in tiny packages, and I am a prime example of that phrase when it comes to people teasing me, teasing or discrimination against special needs individuals, or anyone giving my friends/family problems; I am there, ready to fight, take names, and kick butt. Dynamite Jamie! HAHA!
However, After my 2012 surgery, shopping had gotten a lot easier to find nice clothes that also fit great; but like all good things, it came to an end over the years, and now I have the answer of why: My spinal fusion rods are broken, and my Kyphosis started to get worse again- so that poor posture in my body was back, especially my hips/waist area making my belly protrude out like I am fat or something, when in fact, I am at the perfect weight for my size. Then almost all dresses are fitted nowadays in the waist area; So annoying!
Any other #disabled especially those with #physicalDisabilities have troubles with clothes shopping? Especially #girls #women? I have a wedding tomorrow and had to go to several goodwill shops before I found something not #fitted and #tight and actually looked good on me. Times likes these make me wanna make #clothesLines for people with #physicalDisabilities. But I’m not good at drawing. I have the ideas in my head, but when I try to put to paper, never looks right. Ugghhh.