Judgment & non-diagnosis

I know that had I have known what was wrong with me all those years ago, I wouldn’t have been judged on my lack of ability and what others thought I should be able to do.

Getting through school was difficult enough, but school wasn’t the only place where me being judged took place. When someone knows what you deal with, diagnosis aside, they work within the context of what they know, with those facts in front of them.

Although, it would have been easier with a diagnosis, a diagnosis doesn’t always give the full facts of the symptoms, as my blog has shown. I’ve had to work through the process myself, even on the initial diagnosis.

If my parents had have communicated my diagnosis to the school and the school acted accordingly, a different view and understanding might have been taken by those responsible for my welfare and a different course of action might have been introduced for my parents to follow. Now I will never know.

It’s hard enough dealing with a disability, but it’s even harder when others judge on our abilities, thinking we should be able to do certain things, but without understanding why progress isn’t being made.

Being told I would catch up, didn’t help me catch up. Although I was considered slow to learn by some of the teaching staff, there was little understanding as to why and neither the school or my parents, thought to ask or look into why.

Although teachers could see I struggled, there was little communication between school and home, so I never got the help. Today that wouldn’t happen of course, but being on the receiving end of not having a diagnosis and being judged, not only made for difficult times, but for a difficult life too.

Perhaps the lesson for us here, is that regardless of a diagnosis, others must see, understand and help us deal with presenting difficulties. It’s not right for anyone to stand in judgment, just because of our inability to function normally in our lives like everyone else.

Instead they should choose to work out why and if they can’t they should ask and make sure it’s followed through.


20 Sep, 2016

6 thoughts on “Judgment & non-diagnosis

  1. Yes, back when we went to school, they weren’t as aware of some of the difficulties that kids may face like Cerebral Palsy or a learning disability

    People were always so quick to judge without stopping to realize that we may have real issues to deal with. Parents, teachers, even other kids were so anxious to jump on the bandwagon of calling us stupid, lazy or so many other labels that can get pinned on a kid.

    They like to say that kids can be cruel, but the reality is that they can be downright sadistic! It isn’t too hard to figure out why they have school shootings after what I went through. They always judged me as a nerdy little kid because of my glasses when they had no idea of the reason I had to wear them.

    They obviously wouldn’t know that some girl tried to crush my skull as they wouldn’t have known you had Cerebral Palsy. Yes, it would have been nice if both of us had been able to have a diagnosis for our issues rather than people just pretending they didn’t exist.

    Both of my parents had mental health issues so it wouldn’t have been too difficult to figure out that I had them too. Most of my anger comes from the fact that I didn’t get the treatment I needed, which I’m sure you feel at times, too.

    I just find it hard to fathom how a parent could ignore their child’s struggles to avoid any embarrassment or shame. Sadly we live in a world where people tend to judge others so harshly, just because they may be different from everyone else.

    It turned out to be the reasons I never sought out the help I needed, because I didn’t want to be anything like my parents but became something so much worse.

    The only thing that really saved me was my daughter, who still loved me even after what I put her through. She was always the beacon shining in the darkness providing me with a way out. If it had been up to me I wouldn’t be here, but there was always something there keeping me alive even after so many attempts not to be!

    I’m guessing there must be a reason for me to still be here, but I don’t know what it is just yet. My ultimate wish is to know that I saved at least one other person, so I would know that my life was actually worth something after all!

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, it’s not always easy to know why we go through what we go through. All anyone can do is find a way to move forward beyond where we find ourselves and look after ourselves emotionally in the process.

      I choose not to dwell on the negativity that surrounded why I never found out I had Cerebral Palsy, but instead choose to concentrate on what I do now with my writing. If we can use our past as a stepping stone into living our lives in the present moment that will help us cope and move on.

      It doesn’t help of course when we’re judged as you say, but other people’s judgment of us, is never about us but about them; and how they see themselves. How we choose to move on and use our negative experiences is up to us.

  2. Amen to this Ilana! Like you stole the words out of my mouth.

    My mom and I were having a discussion the other day and I was asking her questions about my birth and toddler years. I asked her why her and my dad never searched for answers. And the answer was simple and to me, very understandable.

    At about 3 months old, the Neurologist wanted to do a biopsy test on the muscle.They went ahead and told her they would have to put me to sleep for the procedure. She asked why and they said verbatim “because it’ll hurt like hell.”

    She asked them if the test would make me better and they said no. She then thought, “I’m not going to let them hurt my child so they can gain knowledge meanwhile she’s in pain.”

    So she never took me back to occupational therapy nor physical therapy and came up with ideas on her own. She’s a very smart loving woman. Anyway when I did start to walk at 4, I wanted to walk on the tops of my feet!

    So she bought me a pair of tap shoes (which I remember them) and the noise obviously made me feet turn the correct way. This entire time, my parents shrugged my disability off as being extremely premature.

    Being a parent myself, I can completely understand where my mother was coming from and it was out of pure love and protection.

    1. Your mum sounds like someone I’d love to know Bonnie. I completely agree you. Making a judgment call on something because you can’t bear your child to go through ‘hell’ is a good enough reason not to want to put your child through the pain.

      It’s easier to come to terms with that judgment call because it was taken in good faith, love and wanting to protect. It didn’t stop your parents wanting to know, they just didn’t want you to be in pain to do it.

      Your parents talk to you about your physical problems. That’s not a parent who is embarrassed or ashamed and they’re happy to. I love that and because of that they will never stand in judgment. Unfortunately, my story isn’t so positive, but love that yours is.

      When there is no malicious intent and we come from a place of love and support, we come to accept decisions more readily. You got to where you needed to be plus you know and understand why and are more than okay about it.

      You have closure now. I am so happy for you.

  3. I think it’s incredible how you pulled up so many stones and discovered Ilana for the first time. The first thing you probably saw was your validity and things blossomed from there.

    So here you are, inspiring confidence in thousands of readers while the snakes that judged you lost their bite; I’d say that’s an awesome accomplishment.

    1. Awww thanks Tim. I think somewhere in my psyche I was already trying to validate what I was dealing with physically.

      Even to this day, I continue to validate myself so that I can understand how things worked out. The CP Diary is a culmination of events and experiences that belong to me.

      I think there is a lot of truth in your last paragraph and that’s probably true for others too who have also been through their own traumatic experiences. Just because people fail to acknowledge their part in our lives, doesn’t mean they’re not guilty of their crimes.

      They often live with the responsibility of the consequences of their actions; but will never come forward and admit what they’ve done.

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