Emotions & disability

Disability is enormously difficult for the child with the disability. Not only is disability difficult for the child, but it can be difficult for the family dealing with a sibling or child that is disabled.

I’m not sure how many people consciously stop to think about that concept. Others just assume it’s business as usual. Families just get on as the world goes by. I’m lucky that my Cerebral Palsy wasn’t debilitating and that I am able to live a normal life, but emotionally I have come to understand and know what it was like not to talk about or deal with my emotions around disability and that is exactly what needed to happen.

Some of the details of the Oscar Pistorius’ case has brought back some of my own experiences and memories of how things were for me growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Like Oscar Pistorius, my emotional problems were also overlooked. No one can live with a disability and that disability not be addressed emotionally as if it doesn’t exist, but for some of us that is exactly what we had to do.

Children will always have emotions to deal with. It’s the nature of growing up, but with a disability so much more is needed. I don’t believe anyone growing up with a disability won’t have anger to deal with. I know I did. Oscar Pistorius also did. If you’re angry as a child, you stay angry as an adult.

I know that if my emotional issues had been addressed as a child, I wouldn’t have had so much work to do on myself as an adult. Those issues never go away, they stay to serve as a gentle reminder we need to deal with them and we need help.

It was obvious and so true for Oscar Pistorius. His anger issues pertaining to his disability and growing up with his disability weren’t addressed by the court, but there were clearly anger issues there. I am saddened by what has happened to him and both families, as I am sure many of us are.

There are many victims and no winners in this case. My thoughts go out to both families today.


22 Oct, 2014

4 thoughts on “Emotions & disability

  1. I believe it is very hard on a child with a disability, especially when the parents can’t deal with it.

    Children with disabilities need a lot more support than a child that is fine and they are usually very smart and know what is going on around them. The earlier they start getting support the better.

    They will know they are loved and supported and I think that is very important.

    1. Thanks Lisa. You’re absolutely right, children with disabilities do need a lot more support than a child that is fine and do know exactly what goes on around them.

      Parents must reinforce and continue to reinforce to their child with the disability that their child is loved and supported. Their disability must also be addressed from an emotional point of view so that their child learns to deal with their disability on an emotional level.

      From my own experience I am sure I was loved, had very little physical support and absolutely no emotional support from my family. I think families are doing better with more parents being supported by the medical profession, so they are able to give the support back to their children, but society and the world in general still has a long way to go.

      There are generations that still aren’t getting this right, as my case and the Oscar Pistorius case has shown.

  2. Yes, I think those feelings are often overlooked to the point where it causes major issues in living!

    I may not have had physical issues to deal with as a child, but there were definitely mental health issues that were never really dealt with. I think that’s probably a good reason why I’m able to connect so well with people with disabilities.

    In a sense I can identify with the difficulties and emotions that can arise from dealing with things most people don’t have to. It would only be normal for someone with any disability to be very angry when they feel like they’ve been cheated out of a ‘normal’ life!

    1. Thanks Randy. Any emotional trauma… being cheated out of a ‘normal’ life because of mental health issues can make us angry of course. It’s clearly not right and am sorry you had to go through that, but it’s not something we can change, we can only find ways to move on.

      I think you’re right that anyone dealing with an issue either physically or emotionally, will be able to connect well with other people who deal with similar or even different disabilities.

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