Lost & labelled

It’s easier if we don’t have to deal with it, therefore she can’t know. That was my life, not knowing I had Cerebral Palsy for 46 years.

As I began to grow and my struggles became more obvious, they were brushed under the carpet as if they didn’t exist. I struggled in school; struggled to concentrate and struggled to learn. More importantly my parents and teachers failed to understand and deal with my problems.

When my mother constantly commented that I was falling behind with work in school, my father would tell her I would catch up, but nothing was ever done to find out why I was falling behind. When my sister was doing homework and I had already given up, I was constantly being asked why I wasn’t doing work.

The truth is I struggled to understand or make headway with homework and that coupled with a lack of concentration made it virtually impossible to make any progress, with my education at that time. I was constantly being labelled for not sticking at anything. As keen as anyone is to point out others’ flaws, perhaps others should make their way to understand our problems instead.

I will go into more detail at what my cognitive impairments are and how those play out in my daily life in another blog. I’d like to dedicate this blog to those like me who also struggle with brain damage.


7 Apr, 2015

6 thoughts on “Lost & labelled

  1. Even though my CP wasn’t kept from me like it was from you, I can totally relate to this blog.

    Growing up I always felt like the black sheep of my family and I still do. It was easier for them to mock me than to try to understand me. One of the things I got mocked about was the startle reflex I have because of CP. My family thought it was hilarious when I jump out of my skin. Sometimes they scared me on purpose for their own amusement. It annoyed me to no end.

    The one time that I was relating my frustrations to my mom about how I was treated when growing up and what I have to go through because of my CP, she asked me why I was behaving that way and that other people with disabilities don’t behave this way.

    They will never try to understand what I have gone through and what I still go through.

    1. Awww thanks Maria. I am so sorry you had to go through this and still do. It’s hard when family, just don’t get it. I have also learned to my own cost how families can be, but through all of this I have come away with a better understanding of my life.

      Whilst you and I cannot change our family’s behaviour, we can change how we perceive their behaviour. It doesn’t make what they’ve done right, but it does allow us to get on with our life knowing this isn’t down to us and therefore there’s no need for us to carry their issues. Their issues are brought about through their own ignorance, not ours. Their issues with us aren’t for us to carry.

      I have to say no family deserves our loyalty on the back of that behaviour, but if that’s something you can’t give up on, try to stop caring so much. Sometimes we care too much and that keeps us stuck.

      What’s important is your own family and what they think.

  2. You were let down no question, but I guess that was your journey and as shitty an experience as it was and one that no child should ever have to go through; it has created, moulded, and honed who you are today and all of your attributes.

    That person is as far from lost and labelled as could be imagined.

  3. Yes, at least having a label for the issues would have been helpful! My parents would have probably done the same thing if they had known what was wrong with me. It’s just such a shame that so many parents won’t acknowledge that their children may have issues that should be dealt with. I just don’t understand that mindset as I went so far out of my way to make sure my daughter got the help she needed!

    It just isn’t fair to the children, as they’re the ones who suffer the most when they do get labelled as being “lazy” or “slow” which is quite often not the case. I’ve seen it happen with my niece with her Aspergers and no one really addressing her difficulties because of it. She is definitely not “stupid,” which she feels like because of the way she has been treated.

    People seem to have such a hard time comprehending that they’re not acting this way intentionally. I have people in my life saying that I’m actually behaving the way I do on purpose, which is so far from the truth!

    It would be totally awesome if people would stop for just one second and think about what it would be like if they had to deal with these issues!

    1. Thanks Randy. Perhaps the jury is out on this one! In both sets of circumstances, being labelled and not being labelled are both difficult, because both issues are ignored and not addressed, but removing a label is the most difficult to do, because that’s all people remember of us.

      From my own experience people always remember how they saw you as a child, regardless of whether we manage to turn our life around. In my own case, having nearly 5 years of The CP Diary behind me now isn’t going to stop my family remembering how I was as a child.

      Unfortunately our struggles grow with us and that’s what people remember, not what we manage to change.

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