Welcome To The Bitchery

I Have a Question About Disabilities

I have a good friend who is, at the core, part of a work-relationship. To simplify the relationship, I'm a rep who she works with to better serve her own clients. Over the last two years we've really clicked to the point where I often make social calls disguised as "work calls" so I can get paid to have a nice lunch with someone awesome and the like. We work immensely closely, professionally, and personally we always find the time to lay into a little gossip and more personal topics.

She also has a physical disability that, I'm nearly absolutely certain, requires her to use a prosthetic (it's 100% under clothing). I've felt somewhat poorly when we're in a group or just us and she has struggled to climb endless stairs or similar, and I'm genuinely curious to ask her about her disability so I have a better understanding of what is or is not comfortable for the sake of simply being informed and clued into her own perspective. It's also the sort of thing that I'm sure we could both never talk about and it would be fine because she really had never, ever even come anywhere close to addressing it, herself.

So, GT, I'm somewhat split between desiring to ask her about her life and feeling like it's making a big deal of something that isn't a big deal to her. My worst fear is that I'd be seen as invasive, but I also just desire to get a basic understanding of her life as a person because we've become rather close.


I guess, if any GTers have experience with this sort of "should I? should I not?" situation that I'd love to hear some feedback. I know that there's no concrete answer, but considering it has never been even close to addressed in two years I worry that I may be bringing up a subject that doesn't require any special attention. Is there a good, general, way to ask politely and without stress? I see no reason why, if it were brought up, that she would avoid the conversation but I also don't want to overstep myself and bring attention to something that is perceived as a "disability" but in practice seems to not impede her at all.

Any suggestions (including "shut the fuck up, Danni, it's none of your business")? Is there any guidance I can receive from people who may have a more concrete understanding of the general experience? Would it be generally okay to just ask (in private and with a lot of dignity) if she would feel comfortable in talking a little about it? or does that all just bring attention and division to something that she may have struggled with to come to a place of acceptance?

Again, any advice or sharing of stories would probably be helpful. I'm totally cool with the idea of not saying anything (because she's fucking awesome and wonderful) but I'm also humanly curious. This is all going rattle in my brain, so please excuse my totally one-sided conversations.

Thanks well in advance.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter