I’m Disabled But I’m Faking Like I’m Not

  • Published on:  12/24/2018
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    This is Katie, and her story is about telling lies.

    Unfortunately, because of a disease she’d had since she was a child, Katie uses a wheelchair. But she’s not interested in telling you too much about her condition. She stays at home most of the time – her physical state doesn’t allow her to leave her house for too long. But inside of her disabled body she has the sharp mind and energetic spirit of a young girl who wants to see the world, have hobbies, and go out with friends. However, she never managed to make any friends – she was homeschooled most of the time, and when she did go to an ordinary school, the kids seemed pretty embarrassed to even approach her.

    That’s why Katie has been lonely for most of her life. She doesn’t complain though – she’s thankful for the life that she has. And above all, she’s thankful to the people who invented the internet – for people like her it’s a blessing. It was through the internet that she finally found friends – mostly, people in the same situation, who couldn’t move around too much. Strangely, when she started chatting online with non-disabled people, and then after some time told them about her condition, they would get embarrassed and end the conversation. Katie doesn’t feel that she can blame these people – in fact she understands them. You never know how to treat people like her without offending them.

    Nevertheless, she felt that she was missing a very important element of her social life, which was sharing experiences. What experience could she share, having spent most of her time in hospitals or at home? This is when she had the idea of making a fake social media account of an alternative “Katie,” who was a regular teenage girl with an interesting life. She did it more for herself – to create the girl whom she might be in a parallel universe, and to feel as if she was living her life! She never planned to promote her account and get lots of subscribers. The idea was that she would be able to post pictures of herself, but in situations she would never really find herself in – out with friends, somewhere on a trip to Europe or Asia, skydiving, or whatever else came to mind.

    You can imagine how this became a full-time hobby for her. She can’t explain really to you how exciting it was for her – to plan an alternative Katie’s life so that everything looked coherent. Her mom even became a little worried when she saw that she was completely lost in her new hobby. But she assured her that it was just a way to entertain herself. In the meantime, Katie was becoming pretty popular. She started getting more and more subscribers, and had to invent ways not to be caught. She created fake accounts of her friends and made them all private. She improved her Photoshop skills and even finished an online course on retouching.

    At one point, she got more subscribers than she actually needed – it was becoming dangerous; someone could find out it was fake. But she still liked the people who commented on her pictures – they were always nice, asked lots of things, and no one seemed embarrassed. In her head, she was leading the full life of a healthy person and enjoyed it 100%. But this story had to end one day. Once, her imaginary Katie was staying at a famous hotel in Dubai and doing some shopping (sure, it was a bit of an exaggeration, but you can afford anything when you don’t have to pay for it). Then suddenly one of her most devoted subscribers saw her tag and wrote a message to her publicly: “Oh Katie, I’m in the same hotel right now! Let’s meet!” She responded weakly by just saying, “Sorry, I can’t, maybe next time.”

    This was enough to irritate her subscribers. They were asking if she was too arrogant or just ashamed to meet them. She came out with lame excuses, telling them that she had got sick, that she was going home the next day, and whatever else she could come up with. But after all that, they started to insist that she at least greeted the girl so that they knew she was real. She probably shouldn’t have answered them at all, but she liked to chat with them and the whole thing escalated so quickly she just couldn’t control it anymore. That blog had become her whole life, and she was about to lose it. But she couldn’t go on – people from that moment on would ask for proof of her existence whatever she did.

    She took a selfie of herself in her wheelchair and posted it on her blog. She explained how things really were, what that blog was for and who she really was. She apologized for telling lies and said that she wouldn’t be posting anything anymore. She was about to close the page when she started receiving private messages. Katie’s now closed that blog, but she’s kept in touch with lots of her ex-subscribers, many of whom have become good friends. This is how she lost her fake life but got real friends instead, and she now thinks it was worth it.

    Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com