Having no Cerebral Palsy diagnosis meant I would always have to work out what my physical and emotional issues were. You can’t deal with symptoms, struggle all your life and not know why or what your symptoms are.
Even with a diagnosis I may not have understood what all my neurological symptoms were, sadly for me I’m just working all of those out now. I may have been given a diagnosis without an explanation of my neurological issues.
But having the diagnosis as a child, meant that I would know to seek out the pitfalls, to understand why things were playing out in the way they were, as they happened. I would have understood things like, why I failed to meet my milestones and why I didn’t recognise that they were even milestones, or why I struggled and failed in school.
All my other experiences would have also been understood, ticked off and accounted for, without me having to work things out myself. The circumstances behind these issues can never be changed now. They’ve simply been assigned to the history books.
Sadly, the conversation I tried to have with my father about my physical issues, wanting to know what they were, amounted to very little and I came away with nothing. As with any mental health issues, if issues that we struggle to come to terms with stay unresolved for long enough, they have the capacity to harm.
Having worked some of my childhood out very early on, I made my mind up that these weren’t my issues to carry. I think those thoughts saved me. I do, however get to write about them now even if I can’t resolve the issues themselves. All those responsible will have to reconcile for themselves.
Happy 4th July to all my American friends.