Did you ever happen to wonder or think twice about the basic, essential facts and the fundamental truths of men and women with Cerebral Palsy? Have you ever raised the question within yourself about our feelings on romantic identities, and why it is that we as challenged individuals cannot be looked at equally, talked to on an equal basis, or understood completely? We are dismissed because our disability is thought to make us stupid. Do you think it is always us? This area of dissection, which is readily unspoken about, is most difficult for the largest part to swallow. It is hard to believe, to the average person’s eye; that there indeed are some very capable people out there with disabilities such as myself.
Unfortunately, people find it to dark an area to discuss, or talk about, let alone- cope with! It is all too easy to put on our rose color glasses and hide with a false comfort. In general, people and the world around us would rather ignore the matter at hand. They would rather turn away from the neediness and the desperateness that over-shadows disabled people’s true being. They would rather continue to believe the myths, and regard us as the “cute, innocent, naive children” forever living in this forgotten bubble, who have no desires at all!
This morose and morbid fascination with our capabilities, or to be more specific, our incapability’s in the romantic arena or lack there off is ignored. The fact that we may wish, or think of having an ordinary, healthy, friendship, or even a romantic relationship with another consenting, loving, caring, human being; much less get married, is just too disgusting, too revolting, and too sickening. It is too extreme, too challenging, and too confrontational. Moreover, it is very provocative and shocking to others and the norm.
For pretty much my entire life, I unyieldingly struggled with every bated breath I have taken. Not only was it for my own core essence and being to exist, but, it was in my chosen passion, which was of the arts… It was the desire to be able to express myself freely in a world of dance, music, and literature; which helped me to relinquish and release the bars that I wore on my leg and in my brain– also, because I did not want to be looked down upon as a typical helpless victim.
Thus, I did everything in my power to strive and thrive- I had wants, needs, and desires, and I wanted to be given the same equality and chance to express myself in the areas I loved and cherished most. I reasoned… that if other men and women of my age and generation could accomplish their goals and dreams- including having a boyfriend, then why couldn’t I! I could easily work on my inner-self- my strengths and weaknesses, to become the best person I could be. I felt that that was the healthiest way to approach my life. However, too often, others where quick to judge! Consequently time and time again I was put to the test- only to searched my soul, readjusted my thoughts, and daily re-committed myself to living that healthy “normal life,” in a society, which continued to tell me “I couldn’t!”
My self-worth came from the gentle, romantic way in which I cared for myself. It was the way that I dressed, the time that I took to primp and fuss, and the way I took that extra moment to look the very best that I could for each given situation. It was the way that I nourished my body, my mind, and the way I acted. It was the honest and pro-active, empowering way I conducted myself. It was the way I looked up to those eloquent people who were positive, happy and joyfully succeeding in life. I took the good, positive; things I liked, and let go of all the rest; as I continued to develop a sense of my own inner-being. I began to see how others were attracted to me. They began to look beyond my left side hemiplegia, Cerebral Palsy, and learning disability. They began to see me for me. Thus, I embraced myself and my life even more than I already had. My romantic sense came from all this innate wisdom, insight, willingness to change, and the knowledge I read.
Yes, I have been challenged, ridiculed, stood up on dates, however, disputed all the intense examinations, crewl remarks, I have risen despite the harshest of securitization. I have found a man who loves me for me, and I have happily been married, for twenty years now. Despite my physical challenges I was able to find a love, a partner, and a life of my own, despite what the world thought of me.