The Blogger Herself

The Blogger Herself

Saturday, September 04, 2010

More of My Story... In pieces-

Someone on a chronic illness website is helping me write my story, for a Writer’s Therapy Group, and I wanted to share it with people I know first. He will edit, he is an author and has a BA in Journalism Thanks! He asked the questions I only wrote this as responses!

Sorry for any overlap from Part 1...  I had not planned on posting this, but it seemed fitting to make this part of the series.  You can find Part 1 Here

Background: I was born 2 months premature. And as far as we know this is what resulted in the lack of oxygen to my brain, which is the main cause of my Cerebral Palsy, I was also born breech. The left side of my body is weaker than the right. My left arm and draws up, and it takes much concentration to move it as it has mind of its own and moves some what uncountable hand. I use my right hand for everything, from holding the phone, to typing to driving my chair.

I have had 5 CP related surgeries. I missed both my 5th and 9th grade years due to 2 different hip surgeries to rebuild the hip socket in each hip, because it was bone against, I spent months in constant pain both times. After both surgeries, I spent 3 to 4 months in a full body cast with a long bar between my legs. The cast time was not so bad, because I could stay in one position, and not have to move, because before the surgery any movement of the lower half of my body would case me pain. The surgeries took away my hip, pain but the doctor said I would lose mobility and I did I hated physical Therapy. My bones became brittle and I had a few fractures. The first hip surgery I was bitter during my recovery period, but the second hip surgery, I was four years older a freshman in high school and prayed a lot, and drew closer to God during that time, and began to learn from 2 Cor 12:9 that God’s grace was sufficient for me!

I was mainstreamed into regular education classes except for Math, as I was always slower with numbers, but my reading comprehension and verbal skills are high. I am an outgoing person so I was mot really shy about interacting with students, but I never allowed relationships socially to interfere with my studies. I always had an aid with me because, I cannot scribe or write, because while I know what each letter looks like, because of CP, I did not have the motor skills to shape the letters with a pen, in other words there is a disconnect, between my brain and my muscles.

Here is a list of things I am unable to do: Cerebral affects each person in different ways, just because it affects one person one way, it does not mean it will have the same impact on another. Sometimes people with CP can be impacted cognitively, but I was, not though I often wondered if my struggles with math and my lack of directional sense are somehow connected to having Cerebral Palsy People are often quick to assume that people with CP are mentally challenged, and to be frank, when people have had that reaction many times, it started causing me to wonder if there was something wrong with me, so I made it my life mission to prove to myself and others that I’m mentally okay. I have to have someone, bathe, dress, and clean up after me every day. The issues I deal with are guilt, that others are left with the responsibility of taking care of my personal needs, and always trying to overcompensate in intellect and effort for the things I’m unable to do physically until a few years ago, my goal was “to be just like everyone else, and never allow myself be defined by CP and rarely took my limitations into account. The only time CP makes me sad is when it keeps me from enjoying deeper relationships. I have always wanted to take a walk on the beach, and I wondered if my sibling and I could better relate to one another if I had not had CP. I felt bad that he had to grow up with a sister who takes time away from him that is rightfully his. I feel bad that my mom has one adult child who in a physical sense will always be dependent on someone.

I tend to compare myself to others both without CP and with CP. On a good day, I focus on the good things in my life like, my volunteer work, and how I have been blessed I am to have an impact on others through God’s grace. I try also to focus on those things that are eternal, rather than that which is temporal. I choose to focus on the fact that I am loved by family and friends, and that I serve God who is molding me with each passing moment to become like Christ! CP has taught me better how to love people who are hurting. It has also taught me that life is bigger than me, and life isn’t about my comfort or my wellbeing. It has taught to be patient, and always attempt to see the best in others.

On a not so good day, it can be tempting to think my life isn’t all that spectacular, when compared to my peers, I mean I don’t have a paying job, I live at home, I’m not married and have no children. The truth is outside of being an author and speaker, I really don’t have a desire to be employed, and though I am sure I would gain a greater sense of dignity, if I could support myself finically, I would choose purpose and fulfillment any day over money as long as my basic needs are met When I compare myself to others with CP, sometimes why there are some things they’ve accomplished which I haven’t rarely remembering that the types of limits each of us have are different It is hard for me to imagine a male being attracted to me or wanting to share his life with me, when he could have an able- bodied wife falling at his feet. I am not even sure that logistically or emotionally I could be a wife or mom in the truest sense of the word.

For the most part good days far outweigh the bad, as long as I rely on and seek Christ, as He gives me purpose and fulfillment. My greatest sense of fulfillment seems to come from inspiring and ministering to others through written or spoken word.

What would it take to realize I am special? It would take people telling me over and over that it is okay to be different. That CP isn’t my fault, that God made me this way for a higher purpose, until I could believe it!
 Note I will be reconsidering those last 2 sentences as the Lord is doing some serious work in my heart.  It is panful, which is why I haven't posted sooner, but I'm glad some people care enough to confront me when I'm not thiinking like Christ!


Clif said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. This is an interesting and powerful post. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. My wife has more than one blog. Here is one of hers and you can get to the others from there It's called at home in Scottsdale.

Wendy said...

For what it is worth, I always admired you through school. I knew life had been tough for you, but you rose above all of that and were cheerful. I remember you were always friendly to anyone who came your way.

As I have read through your blog, I have gained inspiration from you. I find myself trying to compare to you! I love your devotion to God and your strength. I don't think you realize what you have and how amazing you are! Plenty of people would have sat and had a pity party for themselves living a life like you have, but you praise God. You are my inspiration to be better and grow closer to the Lord.

Dee said...

Sunday blessings T.J. Thank you for praying for me last night as the Lord brought me to mind. It is comforting to me to hear this. Now I know why I woke up today so bright eyed and bushy tailed,feeling stronger emotionally. Yesterday I began to feel the need for change...that is why I chose to change my blog as my first just kind of evolved with a click here and a click there.LOL. It feels good...I believe the Lord is showing me I need to step away from my self made comfort nest and embrace the new changes coming into my life...some good, some not. Like you... I have never ever felt special...even to my dear husband and is like my special button was broken. The Lord began to work on me in this area the day I accepted him as my Lord and savior and he still is.You and I both are uniquely made for his purpose. You inspire me and encourage me so much. You are so much farther ahead in your walk with the Lord than I was at your age. I think you writing about your life is much like me drawing out my feelings. Sometimes it is not pretty to look at and is uncomfortable to do. The Lord is using your creative talent in writing to reach out to others as he is with my art. I think it helps others to look inside to their own strugggles. The Lord calls us to lift up one another and to share the message of his grace, and his mercy, and that nothing is to big for him to handle in their lives. You my friend do just that.:)I hope you will Stop by to see my next blog post. I will be doing my giveaway...hopefully tomorrow. It will depend upon the weather and my Betsy's connection. Once again Thank you for your prayers. Hugs..Dee

Velvet Over Steel said...

How wonderful and brave of you to share your story! It will help so many others!!!!!

You are so inspiring!!!!!

Blessings and HUGS,

Molly said...

So awesome to read about your life and continue to learn what you've experienced. Thank you for the total transparency!