17, Cerebral Palsy, And Higher Education

I've been dealing with some buildup of negative feelings lately. First, let me tell you that I greatly dislike complaining, especially on Facebook, for such complaining reduces one's FB popularity (google "how to become popular on Facebook"). I never want to be the self-pitying, attention-seeking girl. I don't want to be felt sorry for, and I feel so conflicted as I type this post. I feel that no matter how I lead into what I actually want to say, I'm still coming out as a pathetic adolescent. Yet, with a few clichés perhaps and the help of my most negative feelings, I choose to express myself further.

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So instead of high school, I take classes at a community college--where I enjoy learning, making friends, and going to class based on the time/professor I've registered for. I see certain people 2-3 times a week for about 2-3 hours each. I also go to choir and orchestra weekly. And I don't have to worry about SAT's (never have, as I started at the college at age 13).

--I don't deserve high school dances, then. All that academic stress in high school should be rewarded by high school dances, high school relationships, high school parties/groups/shows, and good times in which two people develop an either romantic or friendly bond day by day.... Me being a social person, these are the only things that I miss about regular high school. I remember middle school--where I studied in the very demanding GATE classes, but was with the same friends half the day, every day. School got stressful (I'd practice violin after school, and study sometimes past midnight), but I still looked forward to Mondays when I'd see a special friend--now I resort to the cliche, "But that's another story."

Today, I still have a social life, but I feel that friends at the same high school share much more intimate relationships than with me. WHATEVER, says my wise, positive side. I'm STRONG. I love MYSELF. I don't need someone else to complete me, and I have invaluable friendships with people who I don't see every day (even often) or who live far away from me. True friendship does not necessarily exist in high school. I'm a blessed person and 100x luckier than many.

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I HAVE A PHYSICAL DISABILITY. When I see FB friends' photos of them dancing, I see that type of beauty, appreciate it, and feel happy for them. Then, I feel a sense of loss. "OH, I do, too! You're not alone in that!" others tell me. Yet, I can’t deny the life-force inside me that can only come out so much. I feel so much energy, but that my feet won't allow my ULTIMATE ABILITIES to escape. I do what I can--quite a lot. I'm a warrior within myself. I feel that I have the power to produce miracles, that I WAS a dancer in a past life (if such exists)... or maybe a runner... or an acrobat... or an adventurer bouncing through nature. I feel that I am a disabled girl who ignores the limits and thus will break records. Ooh how miraculous.

Then I think, I've never been officially, voluntarily invited to a high school dance out of the blue (whether by a friend or whomever else) because people don't want to deal with my disability at such an event. Teenagers, especially--we like running around with spontaneity. We don't like thinking about the route too much... when we're together, especially, we like to follow where the excitement takes us--And so, I know you care about me as well as how you get ahead of me on the path to destination x. As a person with a disability, I have a duty to understand "able-bodied" people and the ultimate patience it sometimes takes to hang with me. DEAL WITH IT is one of my mottos.

Nevertheless, humans can only have so much self-control, motivation, and energy (next optional assignment: read Drive: The Surprising Truth That Motivates Us by Daniel Pink and Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch). These last few hours, I just burned out; you haven't been invited because you can't dance LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! You can't do that slow dance LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! You can't walk like a hot chic... or strut in your dress as if you're made of perfection. Where's the fun if someone can't help but worry no matter how much you tell them not to? Where's the romance if you do something disability-related and clumsy!? How do you expect other people to deal with that? You can hardly control your feet! You actually have to set goals to walk well! Go exercise to compensate for what you can't do easily! Prove that you have control of everything in and of your body! Of course she's more preferable! --She actually looks graceful as well has having a great personality.

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I HAVE A HABIT of saying, "I know." I know that there are always exceptions. I know that I can confuse empathy with false-reading (though I usually am right, I find out later). I know that I get situations wrong, that "it's not all about me," that we can't have everything. I know that plenty of people don't judge, that they’re not shallow enough to determine physicality as a factor of human value. I know that plenty of people don't see me as having a disability, that social media portrays other people's lives perfectly, that perfection does not exist, that EVERYONE has insecurities, that we adolescents all go through identity-issues, that people are often too busy with their own lives/identities/issues to judge me in mine. I know that life has a deeper meaning. I know that I'm in for wonderful things throughout my life. I know that plenty of people are jealous of me.

Like I said, I just burned out.
TangibleDragon TangibleDragon
18-21, F
2 Responses Jan 22, 2013

By the way, I walk using crutches, can swim pretty well, jump, hike, go horseback riding, climb stairs, ski, open doors, walk without my crutches a little, etc., but I don't move very smoothly. I still call myself lucky, though!

hi, i also have a life long disability, if you want to chat some time just message me