A late learner

By the time we’ve got into our twenties having made it through our adolescence years, we’ve usually managed to fathom ourselves out, what makes us who we are and how we think and feel about ourselves. For some of us it may take longer to work things out.

Because it was only 6 years ago that I began to understand and come to terms with what I should have known about myself and my Cerebral Palsy that didn’t happen for me. Unfortunately, there are so many permutations to Cerebral Palsy.

It’s a condition we must come to understand, work through and come to terms with before we can start to understand ourselves and how we function. Although we all change through our experiences, neurologically when we’re dealing with something like Cerebral Palsy, we must come to understand what we’re dealing with first and how that plays out.

I never understood what my physical or mental limitations were, because those discussions never took place. Where others would come to understand themselves through their adolescence years, it would go on to take me some 46 years to begin to start to understand myself and my neurological limitations.

It also needs those close to me to understand what I have to deal with too. As the process to understand my condition continues for me, everyone else must understand what I deal with and that’s not without its challenges.

2 Oct, 2015

6 thoughts on “A late learner

  1. Yes, I’m definitely a late learner as I’m 47 now and trying to learn a lot of things that I should have 40 years ago!

    My ‘normal’ life ended around the time when we started our travels into the chaotic world. We had to make a lot of adult decisions based on a child’s knowledge so the results were pretty terrible.

    We didn’t learn what we should have during our childhoods, since we were pretty much thrown to the wolves and had to learn to survive on our own! People think we’re horrible for the way we talk about our parents, but they didn’t go through what we did.

    Now at this stage I have to try to learn the life skills that I never did when I was younger. I was ill prepared to deal with the outside world with consequences that still haunt me to this day. I fell victim to the demons that plagued my parents that they so lovingly passed down to me. I was the secret keeper of the family, so I was forced to carry so much baggage that wasn’t mine to begin with.

    I have had to accept my issues after so long denying them, so that I can finally have a life which was so long denied to me. I can only hope and pray that I have the chance to do what needs to be done in the time I have left!

    1. I think your last sentence wraps up your response nicely Randy.

      I think we all have to accept our issues and/or our circumstances, which are not afforded to us in our childhood. It doesn’t take away the fact that those issues should have been addressed for us as children, but there’s nothing we can do to change that now.

      All we can do is give ourselves the chance ‘to do what needs to be done.’ Put the past behind us, deal with our demons and create a future from our present that finally closes the door on our past.

  2. I think your circumstances are both unique and difficult in equal measure. You had a diagnosis confirmed in middle age, which you should have been told about as a child.

    That would have empowered you with an understanding that was only given to you when you were 46. Thankfully you did get your diagnosis and I am sure that has helped explain so many experiences throughout your childhood and adolescence.

    Those circumstances take a lot of understanding both by you and those close to you. It’s the least you deserve.

    1. Thank you, yes it needs understanding from those close to me, so that I am able to have the support so that I can work and continue to work on my own understandings of what I deal with.

      Unfortunately I don’t feel the diagnosis goes far enough, because I am still learning things about my symptoms and myself that I never knew about. That part is still a challenge for me, but it’s helpful to have a diagnosis, finally.

  3. Growing up, my family never talked about my cerebral palsy. For them, I just couldn’t walk right.

    It wasn’t until I started my own life and got on to the internet and learned more about Cerebral Palsy. I learned that annoying thing that causes me to get startle has a name; startle reflex and it’s part of having CP.

    1. Your experiences are my experiences Mara. There is no discussion even to this day. The only time my Cerebral Palsy was ever discussed was when I brought it up, and then it was quickly dismissed.

      The impact that has had on my emotional health has been enormous, but being able to write about my experiences in this way has helped me come to terms and find understanding where there was none.

      I hope writing about my experiences has helped you understand that your difficulties and issues growing up with what you had to deal with, was never about you. Choose not to own it now. However hard it is for family to come to terms with a child who has difficulties, it’s ten times harder for that child.

      That thought should have been in the forefront of your family’s mind, particularly your parents.

      The support should have been there. You would feel so much more relaxed if it had been. The CP Diary has done and is continuing to do its job in that regard. It’s answered a lot of questions that would still remain unanswered today, had I have chosen not to do it.

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