Frustrations of a disability

7 Aug 2016

Having any physical disability as a child is difficult enough, but being part of a family may make it twice as difficult at times, because it’s easy to feel the odd one out, particularly if our disability singles us out.

In my case, although comparisons were not explicitly being made, my disability was primarily ignored and it was assumed I was lazy because I failed to make significant headway in school.

It was assumed that I wasn’t trying that I was capable of learning, but that I was lazy. The reality is that I wasn’t any lazier to learn than anyone else, but with significant brain damage and a lack of cognitive function, I struggled. I believe there is a difference.

I felt defeated and guilty for a lack of achievement, which I carried for years. Like it was my fault. Without knowing about or understanding and knowing why I struggled, it brought more frustrations into the equation and that made it even more difficult for me. Eventually I gave up in school.

For those of us who deal with a disability, there will always be things that we can’t do, but with a stigma in society around our abilities, this will always make things harder for us because we know we’re doing more than our best.

There needs to be more understanding in families, in society too. For many of us in this situation, there is often too much assuming going on, with not an awful lot of knowing.

4 Responses to “Frustrations of a disability”

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  1. Randy 07. Aug, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    Yes, there does need to be a lot more understanding in the world than there is now. There are far too many stigmas attached to any disability whether it be physical, as in your CP, or with mental health issues, where they automatically equate both of them to being mentally retarded!

    Neither one of us are stupid; but always being treated like we are does affect us negatively after a while. I just find it hard to imagine why parents would ignore such obvious issues, rather than take the time to address them! Parents are supposed to do everything they can to help their children succeed in life which didn’t happen in our cases.

    It is beyond frustrating when you have always been treated like you were lazy, or just weren’t trying hard enough when you were putting in 110% My parents wouldn’t have noticed if I had put in 1000% so eventually I gave up.

    My siblings were the only ones who really tried helping me, but eventually they gave up too and got out as fast as they could when they had a chance. I was left behind to deal with the worst of what my parents would do and they did a fantastic job of breaking my spirit and crushing my soul!

    I did have dreams at one time that I never fought for, since they had made me feel so much like, I’m not worthy. It is very sad when you feel like you’ve come out of a coma at nearly 50 years old and have to learn to live your life for the first time.

    • Ilana 07. Aug, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

      I agree. Thanks Randy. Yes, the world would be much better for it; individually we’d all be a lot better off.

      All anyone can do is change things as they go. To find the inner strength to change the way we want to live our lives. You know exactly how your parents should have parented you and where they went wrong. It’s up to anyone not to make the same mistake twice.

      Having been in therapy myself I asked the same question to my Therapist as you have mentioned here in your response Randy. Parents are supposed to be there for their children; to help in any capacity they can; whether it be on a physical level or an emotional level.

      I came to realise that in reality our lives take a different turn, not because our parents don’t care or don’t love us; they don’t know how to care or how to love us and I believe that is absolutely true.

      When they don’t know how to do either, they may remain distant and aloof. It would go on to take me many years to work that one out.

  2. Tim 09. Aug, 2016 at 5:30 am #

    Ignorance can break your heart and distort the pertinent truth about your disability. But as a child, to deal with that kind of ignorance must have been especially painful.

    As an adult, you have reminded us to fully dress ourselves in dignity for all to see. Thank you.

    • Ilana 09. Aug, 2016 at 6:57 am #

      Thanks Tim. By reading and responding to my blogs you allow me to talk about and draw on all of my experiences, without which I would be doing it for myself behind closed doors, but I’m not sure how that would work.

      I think your response holds true in a lot of ways. I know that as a child not knowing what was wrong with me brought about a lot of anger issues, particularly because I felt ready and wanted to know what was wrong with me. I’ve never run away from my truth. I face it head on.

      I know that as a child being true and working through my thoughts, about what I was dealing with as far as my disability was concerned, saved me from distorting the truth about my difficulties. Although I wasn’t aware of what my disability was, I was aware of the things I couldn’t do and those thoughts were never distorted.

      Throughout my childhood I held on to my beliefs that one day I would eventually find out. Unconsciously I never let go of that belief. I agree with you that unless we are aware of our thoughts at every given moment, ignorance can very much break our hearts and distort the pertinent truth.

      My inner thoughts going through those difficult times kept me going and kept me safe. My blogs now are those thoughts coming into fruition.

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