Understanding Why I Have Trouble Expressing Myself: One of the reason
I was born with cerebral palsy. As a result, I must use a power wheelchair. I have limited motor skills and have low vision. I also have a speech impairment. In short, my life is not easy. It may be good in many ways, but it is not easy.
When I was young, I had learned that many, many people pitied me. As a child, I didn't understand this. Didn't they know I was a just a regular little girl? I began realizing at some level that if I wanted to be seen as "normal", I would have to show the world what I had to offer. I learned to be the outgoing, bright, funny kid who brought inspiration to everyone who knew her. I was one of the first students with a severe disability to be mainstreamed in a regular elementary classroom.(This was in the early '80's.) My special education teacher really pushed for this.
You see, Mrs. Long saw something in me- a desire to be a regular kid. She found this out the hard way. When I was first placed in her Special Ed class, she was shocked. She truly believed I was severely mentally retarded. This was due to the fact that back then, my speech impairment was quite severe. She would place me in the back of the room with a coloring book, as she preceded to teach the rest of the children with less severe disabilities.
Little did she know that I, a little seven year old, could have thrown such fits! I wanted to learn-darn it! I used to throw my pencils and screamed to let her know that I was inside my body, wanting to learn! Well, Mrs. Long finally got the picture. She began to teach me, and then she realized that I would excel in a regular second grade classroom. She advocated for me, and they agreed to let me learn with the regular kids. (I just needed some accommendotions.)
People were amazed at how well I did. Mrs. Long said I was special, and I had to keep proving to the world that I was as good as anyone. She said that because of my disability, I had to be the best. That was the only way people would take me seriously. This is when I developed my outgoing, funny personality. I was able to read people back then. I use to get such positive feedback when I was Â“on.Â” Teachers and kids accepted me when I was happy-go-lucky. People acted uncomfortable when I was anything than positive in my life.
The belief that people would only like me if I was happy and if I excelled formed when I was a child, and I battle with that same belief today.
I am 30 years old now, and I get scared to death when people see that I don't have it Â“all togetherÂ”. This is why I do all I can to numb my emotions. I truly believe everyone would abandon me if they really knew me.
I know this is irrational thinking..........Father God, renew my thinking.