DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Say NO to physical abuse!

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Ari Pioquinto

This is my story

My name is Ariana (@ari_pioquinto). I am 30 years old and I’m Mexican. Four years ago, I had a toxic relationship with my boyfriend. I suffered physical and verbal abuse. Everybody said I must leave him but I didn’t. One night, during a discussion, he pushed me and I fell from the balcony. Due to the shock, I don’t remember what happened, but it happened and I can’t change the situation. I broke my spine and had two surgeries (3 weeks ago I had another one) and I have spinal cord injury. Doctors said they are not sure if I will walk again or not, but I never accepted to never walk again. I finished that relationship, and it was so hard to be alone, to not walk, to be in a bed for 4 months, to be in a chair… but the worst and most difficult part was to know and to understand, that if I had left my boyfriend, this would not have never happened. Not only was my spine broken, but so was my heart, life & dreams too.

my disability filters bad people

Nobody wanted to date me, and I was so sad because of that. I was going to a psychiatrist because I needed help. I took pills for depression and anxiety. During those 3 years, I was growing like never before, I learned to love myself, to respect myself, to enjoy my life, to stop giving to all the wrong people. I lost all my “friends,” I lost my work, and my life by the beach, but I gained so much more. I’m closer to my family, I met amazing people who I can call FRIENDS. I learned that my disability is a kind of filter for bad people, and only the good and intelligent people come close to me.

Hard work pays off

I went to physical therapy, gave it my best, did all I could and more. I started to use a wheelchair, and after hard work, I started to walk. Now I’m taking small steps, not long walks yet, but I’m on my feet! I know I have so much more to do to get back to walking again like before. I’m not sure how good I will be, but I’m sure I will go farther than before.

People with disabilities can have a beautiful life

I have an online shop and with the support of my family, I’m getting better every day. I love to travel and never stopped doing it. Last February I met a guy on the beach in Mexico. The most wonderful man. We are so in love and we want to get married! I want to tell to all the women in the world that they don’t deserve bad words, bad treatment or physical abuse from their boyfriend. We are more than a girlfriend, more than a “doll” to do whatever they want. We are humans, we have feelings, we must have the freedom to do whatever makes us happy. With respect, love, and communication we can have the best relationship in the world! But please girls, if you are suffering from abuse, go away! Don’t wait until something bad happens like what happened to me. Or worst, don’t wait until they kill you. I will never give up and I would like to help women to understand what “abuse” can do. I want to help all disabled people to see we are strong and help them to understand we can do whatever we want. We can have a beautiful life, full of happiness and love.

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