At first I didn’t want to write this blog. I mean, I want you to pay attention to the me that is around today. That me today, isn’t a me of the past. I am not only my disabled mother’s daughter. I am not merely the result of an alcoholic father. I am much much more. And at times, I try to forget my past. I am a 25 year-old woman trying to lead a life of happiness. I want to do the right thing, and improve the world in the little ways that I can. I have my masters degree and YES! If you couldn’t tell, I feel the need to legitimize myself. This is something I’ve had to deal with for a while. When I retell my story, I feel like I am from lesser-blood. At times, I feel like I am not as valuable as someone who was born into a traditional family with a high income. If that is how you feel, expel it RIGHT NOW. It is not at all true. If fact, your struggles make you who you are- an extremely valuable, unique person.
Growing up with a disabled parent surrounded me with stigma. Even if it wasn’t there, I created it for myself. There were times I just wanted to forget it all, and pretend everything was normal. It wasn’t and I couldn’t forget. Now that I’m older I realize that there is no normal. The real normal is abnormal. If you’re perfect, you’re strange and quite frankly, maybe even boring. Chances are you don’t really exist. Everyone has problems. For me to inflate my problems, or see myself as different from the rest of the population is problematic for me, and my future. So I’ve got to let that go. I can’t be ashamed anymore, and I can’t do the opposite and be extreme and start to think I’m super special because well, I made it through it all and came out shining. I am certainly not shining. In fact, I can barely go through an hour without freaking out in some small way and wondering whether or not my father will be okay, let alone take the time to shine. What I can do is share my experiences both practical and emotional. There are a lot of steps an individual can take to make a situation easier for themselves and their family. I want to share the things in our system that need to change in hopes that a policy professional (or I) will take on the challenge. There is strength in numbers and so I hope to create strength and to be a vector in the right direction for the disabled population and the caregivers of this population.
That said, I can’t commit to some amazing blog, but I will try to post often and make the entries substantial and meaningful. Practical is helpful. I realize that. Please feel free to ask questions or make comments.