A Day in My Disabled Life
Limited - Not Incapable.
All my life I have had to explain what Cerebral Palsy is, while people stare at me in the high street looking me up and down with a hint of confusion upon their face wondering, 'what's wrong with me?'. I, a disabled person, do not fit the image of a disabled person (or so society would have you think). To some, I am not able enough to be considered a 'normal person', but to others, I am not disabled enough to be considered 'vulnerable', for I do not look disabled, can speak myself - or I 'sound okay'.
The other obstacle I begrudgingly deal with, is when someone outright askes me what is wrong with me, to which my reply is always the same 'I have Cerebral Palsy', some have responded to my comment by declaring that because I wasn't in a wheelchair, I couldn't possibly be disabled.
Unbeknownst to them, I spent majority of my childhood in and out of hospitals and became the first person in the U.K. to have a multi-level surgical operation that has allowed me to walk, (albeit with a limp and scarring, but I can walk), even when it was thought I wouldn't ever be able too.
I had to learn to walk again at the age of eight, and spent 18 months in hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions. If I didn't have the operation then, I would be paralysed as I type this now. Whenever I tell people this story they quickly become apologetic and even though I do accept the apology, I know they are only apologising because they have been called out on their blatant ableism, not because they are genuinely sorry. Although, there is indeed a sense of joy in making ablests squirm in their uncomfortable ignorance as they come face-to-face with a person who they didn't know could exist, let alone achieve things.
Another issue is public transport, buses, I hate buses. The elderly are the worst for this one and I hate to say it. They automatically think that because I am young I do not require a seat. Well, my CP means I have next to no balance, my mobility is rather poor, and on some days when the pain in my back and legs are excoriating, I require a walking stick. Never mind trains!
Regularly I have had to deal with people mimicking the way I walk in the middle of the high street thinking it is funny, people shouting 'wonky', 'spastic' and 'cripple' as I am on my way to work. If I am ever on a night out with my friends, people ask me if I am drunk even though I do not drink, and when I tell them I am disabled they think I'm joking, they laugh; and so on.
As such, my CP means I am a professional in falling over, and as a consequence, gravity and stairs are my arch nemesis. This of course is my weakness, as it is quite physically impossible to escape the forces of gravity, and as I won't possibly be able to pass the medical exam that would allow me to become an astronaut... so gravity it is. Now I could write something cliché here, and say: “I am always falling over, and I mange to pull myself up every time, so when life gets you down, just push yourself back up again. If I can do it with my problems you can do it with yours!” But the truth is I am not writing this to be an inspiration. I’m here to prove you wrong. That is the reason for my existence. That is my purpose.
Never underestimate those you think are lesser than you, weaker, more fragile, because when one thing is lacking, another will surely compensate. My biggest weakness is also my greatest strength. My entire existence I have been ridiculed for the way I walk, as a child this hurt, but now as an adult I understand that this riducile stems from a superiority complex that has been nutured by the image that has been presented to you; that a disabled person is either a caricture to laugh at or a evil villian to pity. The media has reeniforced this notion that we are angry for the way we are, not that we are angry that we cannot be accepted for the way we are and that we are in a sense wrong. Let alone fathom the idea that a disabled person is capable of acheiveing the same things any other individual could, and that we are your equal. We can still keep up everyone else, and because you are all so focused on your own superiority, you never saw people like me coming.
I have a degree, I’ve travelled, I have a healthy, happy, baby boy. I’m 24. I’ve done so much in my short time on this planet. I am proof there is nothing wrong with being disabled. I am proof that anything is possible if you believe it to be. I am living proof that though delicate, I am still strong.
We are limited not incapable.
About the Creator
Rosie J. Sargent
Hello, my lovelies! Welcome, I write everything from the very strange to the wonderful; daring and most certainly different. I am an avid coffee drinker and truth advocate.
If you're open to an argument follow me on Twitter @NuttallJasmin :)
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