Hi. My daughter is paralyzed--incomplete from the waist down. She is now 17, but her accident happened at 13.5 years old. She has pushed all her old local friends away, but for one, for many reasons that I can understand. She was a cheerleader and wanted to play varsity football, which sign ups were 2 days after her accident.
She has isolated herself so completely, that her best friend is on the Internet and lives clear across the US in Florida. For a long time, most Internet buddies didn't even know she was in a wheelchair until I asked one day becasue she wanted to go visit her firend in Florida. I asked her: " How do you think she'll react when you see her for the first time?" "What if she's planning beach trips or DisneyWorld or trips that aren't wheelchair friendly?" "How do you plan to get up/down to her second story bedroom?" " What if they come to pick you up in a car, that you can't fit your chair into?" Well she finally told her, the girl is still her best friend.
I can't get her to try new things with me and she continues to be content in her bedroom...her comfort zone. I vacation with her for a week every year and I vacation with my husband--separately. I tell her to just try everything possible just once and if she doesn't like it then she doesn't have to do it again or will never see thse people again. She did some cutting on her leg and sides of abdomin, so now she has scars to deal with (we've taken care of the self injury situation) and embarrassed about, so swimming is usually out unless I rent a house with a private pool.
Her paralysis is different in some ways becasue she can stand and walk in a bent knee position with supports, she doesn't cath, so we make many stops along a deserted road to pee on a road trip, but anytime it involves people and especially kids (becasue they stare at her cool wheelchair), then most of the time, she avoids the adventure. I'm trying to get her to go on a big camping trip I take with a large group of family friends that she's known since she was a baby enticing her with a private potty room since when she has to go she has to go now, a comfy mattress, her one friend can tag along. Its a real good time and every year she asks me all about it. I know she wants to go--who doesn't want to go on a houseboat, ride quads and seadoos and play party bingo with us, but then there's the scars on her legs and wheeling her down to the lake, and all else that can be troublesome with a wheelchair and she doesn't want to deal with it all.
Talking about negativity...I've often tried to get her to think positive and say positive things for just 1 day...even if its fake. Its a hard one to turn around, though. Dealing with depression myself because of all this and more, I did the negative to positive change for the day and it was amazing how uplifted I felt. I did this same expereiment in college with smiling and saying hello to people you passed--it's definately a feel good.
I just wanted to say that I understand the isolation, because I witness it myself daily and I experience it myself. I wish I had a housefull of teenagers every weekend excited about whatever was going on, I wish my daughter called me late at night to tell me she got a flat tire and wouldn't be home until late (becasue really went to a local party), or I wish she would just say to me "Mom, that really sounds like a cool idea. When are we gonna do it?"