« Modern Love

Finding My Own Rescuer | With Mandy Moore

2018-06-13 | 🔗

Mandy Moore ("This Is Us") reads Anna March's essay about disability, ability, and the misconceptions surrounding both.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love. The podcast is supported by produced by the island a W B war, Boston. Oh the from the New York Times and WB. You are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnetron puberty, the when Anna March started dating her boyfriend, Adam people, a lot of assumptions about their relationship because Adam is paraplegic, but as an array In her piece finding my own rescuer, most of those assumptions didn't looks reality. Her essay
red by Mandy Moore who stars in NBC's. This is us, I'm alive, that's what Adam kept with, and as he waited for the ambulance at sixteen, he was trapped in a mangled minivan. His spine twisted at the seventh classic vertebrae. He was in so much pain. He knew he couldn't be dead. I am alive. He repeated both to stay that way and to count his blessings I met him twenty four years later, when we were both in our forties by then He was zipping around in a sporty wheelchair asked him how he had become a paraplegic. He told me about the accident his friend driving sober, but going too fast
about his weeks in the hospital and months in rehab, the agonizing surgery to fuse his spine and then counseling he was encouraged to mourn his old life and accept his new one and incomplete paraplegic. He still has some feeling and motion below his injury, meaning, yes, he could have sex, which was good to know after we started seeing each other. That was the first question my friends asked. I was crazy about Adam. I told him everything about my life, my abusive father, complicated mother, failed relationships
professional crises and successes. He told me of his post college depression of working in gay intervention programs and litigation of his relationships with women, which had been good but complicated. Soon we were living together and my tiny beach cottage with my timid rescue, Labrador and his aggressive rescue pug. laughing so hard, the dogs barked. It was joyous, joyous and steamy. I cited that, however good the sex was or wasn't, we would be okay, but when we crossed that threshold it was better than either of us had imagined,
it'd be a year later we got engaged and bought a neglected, but beautiful house three blocks from the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Boardwalk. I imagined having sex in the private outdoor shower in our vintage bed lemony sheets we moved in and for two weeks, despite the exhaustion of unpacking, we floated on a cloud of love and new beginnings. Then something changed and we stopped having sex completely. Here's the thing Adam and me, despite all appearances with him being disabled, I really consider myself to be the less able person in the relationship people may assume that Adam is dependent on me, but I
it's the other way around. he's the stronger one. And I rely more on him at first seems like he could do almost everything on his own. Balancing against his Subaru and Todd The wheelchair into the hatchback, then varying in and driving off using hand controls in the morning. He would walk the dogs. While I slept he handled most of the grocery shopping and he had his emotional house in order as for me, although I liked Joke about my crazy childhood in school until three, a screaming
There until evening and an abusive father into the night, it was no laughing matter, I'm ok now, but for a long time I wasn't after two failed marriages, decades of messages and finally self forgiveness. I was still trying to extricate myself from that emotional seller. When I met Adam before him, I had never felt love security and happiness with a good man. I adored. That's why people who think Adam would be lost without me, have it backward after his world fell apart at sixteen. He rebuilt it year after year, and now he is
fortress. My world was also blasted apart when I was a child, but I'm just getting a handle on it. Now. In many ways, it's as, if I'm trying to escape from a crushed minivan of my own And having to remind myself, just as he once did, that, I'm okay, but I'm alive. In my one story, Cottage Adams using a wheelchair, didn't affect us much, but in the house we had bought the entrance, ramp wasn't finished and it had three floors so until it was fixed He had to depend on me to get him in out and around. In addition to my full time work. I. The one now running the errands and walking the dogs. I was
one hauling, moldy beach, umbrellas, worked books and broken coolers to the growing pile of trash in the backyard. to get those ramps and grab bars installed. Was also the one supervising carpenters, painters and stonemasons. one evening after the contractors left Adam to help picked up a heavy box of discarded, bathroom tiles and other trash and headed for the pile outside As he rolled toward our mud room, the box slipped off his lap, sending dozens of filthy tiles crashing to the floor along with some ones: leftover, big gulp cup, which splash soda over freshly painted walls, didn't know whether to scream cry or run away.
Ed, I said, leave me alone. I don't need your help. Adam disappeared and I cleaned up alone crying. I can do this. I whispered as I swept and scrubbed, not this house or this man. Afterward too, worked up to sleep. I leashed Fred, my dog from Pre Adam days and headed into the night. Soon I stood at my old cottage just blocks away. I admired the striped,
in the window window inside. I could see my gorgeous old bookcase, which I had carded with me through six moves having to finally abandon it because it didn't fit the airy coastal cottage feeling we wanted. Now I missed it and Fred was staring with longing. I thought that his former backyard do you wish we were still here just us. I asked
Immediately. I wanted to reel back my words. I didn't want to return to that life any more than I wanted Adam to leave me alone. I thought of how he tried to help, even though he too was exhausted. I thought of the time he drove for two hours, so I could run into stores to find the caramels my grandmother likes for her birthday of how he stopped ice cream sandwiches for me and quiets the dogs every morning when he rises with them. So I can sleep. I felt overcome with love for him.
How could I have been so awful earlier back home? He was asleep in our bed. I crawled quietly into my side feeling love for him, but still not wanting to touch. I hated the distance between us, but I couldn't overcome it. sex, had always been a positive and passionate thing for us. Now I not only didn't want to have sex. I also couldn't even get close. One night, I went online and looked up spinal cord injuries and premature death. Then
I read for hours confirming what I had always suspected, but hadn't contemplated how susceptible he is to blood clots infections and gangrene the summer For Adam had fallen asleep on a heating pad, never feeling it cooking his skin the burn took months to heal, leaving a postcard size scar. It made me crazy with fear. I can't take it if you die from something we could have controlled. I told him he kissed my head. We don't control anything. I snapped at him to stop the Zen stuff reading online. That night I knew I was right his injury had.
Stated him long ago and he had recovered. He was strong, but he was not as strong as I needed To be, he was not strong enough to keep me from losing him. We went about our days fixing up the house. We bought a couch and cushions for a rocker from a vintage fabric book. I chose a pattern to repulsed an arm chair, faded roses on faded, blue, I loved it Adam hated. It I knew he would. This is what I do. A few died. I said, tapping the fabric sample feeling the tears coming.
I would do the whole house in faded flowers and turn it into a home for troubled Ladys, because I'd want to help people, and I don't really think I could go on without you. Would there be a portrait of me over the fireplace he asked? I laughed you fine love again. He said or you'd have a home for Ladys are both I'm terrified of losing you. I finally said- and sometimes I hate you for it- He nodded as if he had been waiting for me to figure that out all along okay, he said but I'm not going anywhere at least not this week
I had a yard full of trash, a house in disarray and if charming in a wheelchair, but he was my love, and this was my life and that night we pulled our bodies close hope, press ourselves together for as long as we both shall live. That's Mandy Moore reading Anna Marches essay, finding
my own rescuer will catch up with Anna after the break. I love felling, my boyfriend and I often play stalling me together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee, I see that you have completed a few words on your own. I feel a little betrayed in ferry,
it may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my dad. It was the first time together and I was out- I think I got to see it J c K, P, o g Jackpot panic yeah nice,
I'm same as earth's sky, the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com. Slash Games Anna March wrote this piece in part to confront people's misconceptions about what it's like to date. Someone in a wheelchair. She says that she doesn't want to minimize the trauma that paraplegics go through, but Adam's disability was never a big deal to her. People. Had this role tendency to act like I was doing some wonderful thing like you know they would touch my arm. It's worth act like bless you in her peanut, her relationship with someone who has a pair of logic, and it was incredibly gross and condescending. You know Levitin about bodies and able bodied ness or disability. It's just not it's about commitment and honoring one another and caring for one another and those things it's not about the walking Allen. I always used to say it's not about the walking and I want people to think and understand about what they're saying about ability and disability when they say something like someone who is able Bodied
somehow doing something noble by dating someone with a disability, we're all doing something noble when we openly and honestly try to love someone else, but Anna and Adam's relationship eventually deteriorated about a year after my disappeared in modern love, Adam and I split up, which was very sad in which remains very sad even though I can't speak for Adam, but I believe that's what was best for both of us, although I certainly didn't think that at the time that I didn't love Adam, has generously and openly as I could have- and I learned a lot about myself and how to do better and be better from our relationship after Anna and Adam broke up Anna and her dog Fred, moved a few doors down from the old cottage where she used to live. I came back to them
Erie Street with Fred and Fred, and I I've started living there again. I needed to go back and learn how to be a little bit of a better person and a more generous person in a more put together person in some ways. So I did I went back and how to do your taught myself or learned help a lot Poles were how to do those very things, however, not long after that move and as grandmother and Fred both died. I feel like I lost everything in the year between two thousand and fifteen and two thousand and sixteen Adam. My grandmother and Fred were the three most important relationships in my life actually and in a one year period. I lost all three and the anode today. It feels like a girl has.
drive to the fire. You know. Anna has one central thing: she's learned from her experience, be brave, be brave and in loving someone be brave and taking risks about who to love, be brave, about being generous, be brave. But being willing to get hurt, so we asked Anna if she's dating now now I'm I'm single and I'm I'm available. If you want to drop by with them peach pie, Anna March she's, forty nine now and a writer living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware more after the break the.
I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry, it may have happened again. Today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my dad. It was the first time together and I was out. I think I got to see it J C k P, o Jack Jackpot panic, yeah nice, I'm same as ascii. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, flash games. Here's day
Jones Editor of the modern love column for the New York Times. What I really liked about Anna's essay was the way that she turns typical ideas like about. this ability and vulnerability around, we all bring our disabilities to our relationship and some of them are on the surface and some of them are buried deep within us and who's to say, who's carrying the bigger burden, and here's Mandy Moore. I love that her perspective and acknowledgement where she sort of was in her life and how He was so steadfast and strong and helped her sort of overcome her own. Emotional lack of growth to have this beautiful story together. I really just thought it was something I you don't hear
too often in isn't represented properly, and I just I thought it was beautiful thanks again to merely for reading this week's essay. She stars in the. PC show. This is us. Jason Alexander is one of our favorite readers for modern love and he's back next week with a new S apart, Space was not some gift from the gods. Not in any way dependent on personal good luck. Rather, it was the direct result of hard work carefully honed skills and yes, raw talent. My dad didn't look for parking spaces. He hunted them down the ability to find one was to him the measure of a man the
of the production of the New York Times and W B. You are Boston, NPR station, its produced, directed and edited by Jessica, Albert Caitlin, O Keefe John Parodi and Emory Seabirds original scoring and sound design by Matt read the eye Yeah for the modern love. Podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin. Adler's or executive producer Daniel Jones, the editor of modern love for the New York Times, an adviser to the show music for the podcast, courtesy of a p p m. I magneto see you next week, The.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.