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Accepting your disability: how?

RamiRami Posts: 4Member Listener
Hi all,

I'm a 27 year-old lady with a mild form of spastic cerebral palsy. As I do not face any major physical challenges (I go to gym, can even hike on relatively easy trails, don't experience pain and do not use walking aids), I still have some issues with my gait and balance (cannot ride a bicycle or do activities like dancing where you need properly coordinated movements). However, most people from the "outside" and not familiar ith dissabilities think I just have a limp, which is partially true, so I was able to reject the "disabled" label for my whole life.

As a kkid, I only had able-bodied friends and never spoke to anyone about my condition. My mum always wanted me to join some organizations and connect to people with similar challenges (mine were much more psychological than physical). However, I would get extremely angry and would get terrified at that thought. I've been (and I guess still am) im a very strong denial regarding my disability. I was never able to tell someone, for example, the real reaon I couldn't ride a bike. I would thik of some general excuse and laugh it off, feeling broken inside. I would also get super offended when there was a minimal indication of different treatment to me in comparison to the kids my age (for example, if an aunt would offer me a hand while climbing the stairs, I would get extremely offended and stop talking), although these actions were just a normal, decent help in my situation. However, I just couldn't accept other kids were not as protected as I was, in a sense. My coping mechanis was to convince myself that I was "normal" and pretend I didn't understand why the heck they were offering help.

I am still denying the undeniable. I would do anything for people not to notice my dissability, sometimes making ridicuous decisions. For example, I deleted all my online dating profiles after going on a few dates, because it was too hard to think that "this person will notice how I walk and will never want to meet me again.". So, this is affecting my life, as I'm not giving myself the opportunities I could.

How did you accept you and your dissability? Was there anything specific that helped you? Have any of you tried therapy (this is something I'm considering)? I'm not depressed or anything, I just feel like I've been living in denial for too long, and I would give whatever it takes to just accept myself and be confortable in my own skin.

Thanks a lot for sharing any tips and experiences!


Replies

  • RamiRami Posts: 4Member Listener
    Apologies for the typos, have been writing quite fast. :)
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Posts: 351Member Pioneering
    Hi Rami, mmm, an interesting post.

    I could be wrong with any of what I`m going to say, as I have a totally different disability to you...so I can`t speak as someone with CP....forgive me if I am way off the mark....

    As your disability isnt very obvious, people would treat you as an equal..in games such as running about etc.....is that right?  Has your condition progressed as you have got older or not?

    I became disabled age 45, so I did have a lot of adjusting to do. I accepted a wheelchair, as trying to hobble along and having serious falls, became dangerous...other folk I talk to have not seen the use of a wheelchair the way I have..I kind of welcomed it!

    Being in a chair lets others immediately see me as disabled, so I have little explaining to do...maybe that`s easier than it is for you.

    Joining a support group helped me..yes, it can give you a frightening insight into what MAY happen...but not necessarily of course.

    Acceptance of a disability is a hard one...as years go by I find I am getting angrier with it than I used to be. Dunno why really!

    Has this helped at all?
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 2,427Administrator Scope community team
    Welcome to the community @Rami. This is a really interesting topic and I hope some of our members will be able to relate and talk about it with you.
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
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