An early memory

28 Aug 2016

An early memory was me looking in the mirror and checking the curves on my back as a child. Even then I knew something wasn’t right that when my shoulders were extended and straight, my back wasn’t.

I’d constantly stand and tilt myself round, so that I could see my back in the mirror. Although I had slight suspicions about the curvature, I dismissed the thought because it had never been mentioned, so I must be wrong. Throughout my childhood, it was something I would constantly go back to, then dismiss because that couldn’t be right, could it?

Perhaps deep down I knew I was right unconsciously, but didn’t want to be right. Then at the age of 25 and my last check up with a new Specialist, my suspicions were confirmed. A mild curvature is exactly what I had been living with for all those years, as part of having Cerebral Palsy, which I didn’t even know I had.

Although having Scoliosis diagnosed at 25, psychologically it didn’t register with me until a lot later on.

8 Responses to “An early memory”

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  1. Randy 28. Aug, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    It sounds like you had to work out a lot of things on your own, which is kind of hard when you’re just a kid. You know something is wrong but nobody takes the time to explain it to you.

    It sounds like your parents treated your Cerebral Palsy as something that would just get better over time, but it doesn’t quite work that way. My parents should have known there was something seriously wrong with me, but they never seemed to notice.

    I was an angry child who suddenly became sullen and withdrawn, which would have been such a red flag to any normal parent. I was trying to process so many feelings at once that I didn’t know how to handle; so eventually I broke!

    My early memories were of things that no child should have to see, especially when it involves your mother who didn’t seem to care. You had your physical issues to deal with, while I had to deal with mental health issues that went seemingly unnoticed.

    Most 3 year olds don’t wish that they would have died from pneumonia, rather than have to deal with what was going on at home. I was forced to deal with feelings that I couldn’t explain at the time, but makes perfect sense now.

    I was an empath who was picking up on all the negative emotions of the people around me. Even then I knew better than to say anything, because I had heard the horror stories of what my mother had gone through at a mental institution!

    What kind of parent subjects their children to the worst kind of people? This is what my early memories are like and I can remember a lot of them in crystal clear detail.

    I may have been a young child but I was far from stupid. People seem to think that when kids are young, they won’t notice as much, but I saw everything that was going on and it still haunts me. There were things going on that we shouldn’t have had to deal with, not as young children who should be shielded from those horrible things.

    I couldn’t tell you how I knew what was going on was wrong, but somehow I just knew. It shattered my mind in ways that normally cause a person to end up with multiple personalities. Somehow I have made it to this point where I can reintegrate some parts of my self to be the person I choose to be and not the one that my parents wanted me to be!

    • Ilana 28. Aug, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

      When something is too difficult Randy, we brush it under the carpet. I’m not sure how many young parents back then were equipped to deal with disability in the way parents deal with a disability now.

      There’s also a question of embarrassment. Parents and families in general were embarrassed by their children’s disability brought about by society who equally didn’t want to know.

      I feel for you. No child should have to go through what you went through, but having to go through those difficulties I believe teaches us more than having the most perfect life and upbringing.

      Life teaches us more through these hardships. I wouldn’t be who I am and do what I do without it.

  2. Tim 28. Aug, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Very heartfelt blog. I sat here and imagined your inner experience at such a young age, knowing something was wrong and in the wilderness with it.

    So lonely in your young skin, with the exception of an angel and a spirit so strong that you lived to tell us about it.

    • Ilana 28. Aug, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

      I just love your response Tim. Thank you so much. Your response means a lot.

  3. Brad 29. Aug, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    In common with much of what you discovered about yourself in later life, it much have helped to be able to explain your early childhood experiences.

    The real difficulty I imagine is that you had to face those experiences alone; and that is not so easily explained.

    • Ilana 29. Aug, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

      Thanks, yes it has helped tremendously for me to understand my life in the way it happened, but think you’re right on both counts.

      Not only was it difficult for me to face all of my experiences alone, but understanding why was even more difficult. Through snippets along the way, I have come to understand more of why. It doesn’t make it easier of course, but this was never about me, so I don’t intend to make it about me now.

      It’s about other people’s inability to come to terms with and help me deal with what I had to deal with all those years ago.

  4. Bonnie Johns 30. Aug, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

    It’s amazing looking back in out memories when being younger and knowing something wasn’t right!

    I’m sorry you had to endure that and the not knowing is pure hell. Just last week at 32 yrs old and finding out about the muscular dystrophy takes me back to those moments of bullying and me wondering why I stood crooked and why kids would ask what was wrong with me and never having an answer.

    • Ilana 31. Aug, 2016 at 7:23 am #

      Thanks Bonnie. We will never truly know unless we ask why something happens in the way it does. Piecing some of my conversations together have helped me understand more of why I never got to know what I had.

      Piecing our memories together even though we cannot change those memories does help us understand more. I feel I’m stronger for the experiences and although it’s not right; it is what it is. We can’t change that.

      We must come to accept that as part of the way our lives turned out, but that if we can make any changes along the way to ask and bring about understanding; then it’s important we do that.

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