Like everyone, I am a Jekyll and Hyde. I can be sensitive, empathetic, attentive, a good listener. And I can be arrogant, domineering, aggressive and thoughtless.
Since my accident, some of my darker qualities reveal themselves more. I've noticed (and have been told) that I've become harder, angrier. I find that I move more swiftly to complaint.
I think this has something to do with a sense of entitlement. Now that I'm disabled (god, I hate that word) I think I ought to be able to push to the front of the check-in queue. People ought to get out of my way when I wheel through a crowded room. If I ask for help, I expect it to be given quickly.
My mother would call this a "hardening of the oughteries". I'm not sure I like this hardening. Why should I be treated differently? Isn't equality what I (all disabled people) want? To be treated the same as everyone else? To be honest, I selfishly like to be treated differently when it's to my benefit. That said, to accept preferential treatment is reasonable when it's widely available - the cheap car, the free cinema tickets. I'm just not so sure I like my attitude of expectation and impatience.
Yes, these qualities of course have their benefits. I get what I want. Hopefully my complaints about access, for example, might improve the lives of others with limited mobility who don't shout as loudly.
But I wonder at what cost. Well, the first step toward change is to recognise the behaviour. Now I need to become softer. Come back, Dr Jekyll.