During last week's Women Tell All episode of The Bachelor, there was a scene where limb-different contestant Sarah Herron spills all about the pain she felt after Sean Lowe told her she was not the one for him. ”It’s the worst to be told ‘you’re great, but you’re not good enough for me,’” she says. “I always fall back on, ‘Oh well, it must be because I have one arm.’” It’s a heartbreaking moment as the audience sees Sarah fighting back tears. And it brought me back to the times when no boys wanted to dance with me at parties and my 6th-grade crush told me my shorter arm was ugly. So for the sake of honesty here, I’ll confess this: I cried after watching the show. I know exactly how Sarah felt, and I cried for her and for myself and for any girl living with a physical difference in a superficial world.
But here’s the thing that may just shed a little light on this sort of situation: We’ve all been there. Turn on the TV or pick up a book or magazine, and I doubt you’ll have too much trouble finding a scene where a beautiful and seemingly perfect girl with two arms faces rejection from the guy she wants. Rejection is not a phenomenon exclusive to women with disabilities. Dating isn’t easy for anyone. And when it comes down to it, a disability isn’t an automatic deal-breaker for most people. Just because you’re missing a limb or use a wheelchair doesn’t mean that all guys are going to reject you.
I know I’ve been very insecure about my arm throughout my life, but I feel comfortable knowing that my boyfriend loves all of me as I am. He’s there for me, and he’s happy with the way I look, even with messy hair and 1.5 arms. And through his eyes, I’ve learned to see that I’m not alone and that I’m worth loving.
Rejection just plain sucks sometimes. But when you do find someone who really loves you and who you can connect with and be vulnerable with, you’ll realize that all the hurts and heartbreaks kind of just fade away.
--By Caitlin from Stream of Caitlinness