I sometimes feel as though I am controlled by cerebral palsy. How I would choose to live my life isn’t how I get to live my life, particularly when it comes to cerebral palsy and clothes I like to wear.
I have always struggled to find clothes that I like to fit around my condition. My condition has to come first. I hated wearing skirts because of the lack of muscle mass on my leg on my left side. As a child, I wanted to wear open-toe sandals, and flip-flops in the summer like my sisters, but without a problem. I wanted to wear three-quarter length jeans with pumps. Instead I wore clothes that covered up. I hated that.
I was given flip-flops to wear because my sisters wore them: but it was obvious I couldn’t hold on to them. My parents weren’t coming to terms with the fact that I had a disability and they wanted me to be the same. I remember telling my mum that I couldn’t keep my flip-flops on, and trying to hold on to a sandal was impossible.
My writing helps me to evaluate and bring an acceptance to a lot of my experiences, including my clothes. When I talk about the things I know I couldn’t change, writing about them makes me feel better. I have learned to dismiss the guilt and accept that’s how it was. I wasn’t in a position to say how I wanted things to go.
Dealing with my disability means I continually have to work around things like my wardrobe, which can make it difficult in the summer months.