Friday, March 25, 2011

What I Want You to Be Aware of on CP Awareness Day

Today, March 25th, is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. As a CPer, here are some things I want you to be aware of:

Many of the videos on Youtube dealing with CP Awareness Day focus on research. I want you to be aware that I do not want research. I do not want a cure. My body is perfectly whole just the way it is. I have had CP all my life, and I don't know any other life. For me, this is normal, and it is so intertwined with the rest of me that it would impossible to separate it.

I want you to be aware that CP is hard. I don't deny it. It is painful and yes, even saddening sometimes. But my life is not a tragedy, and I am not some tear-filled damsel in distress. I am the strong and spunky heroine of my own story, and I decide how the story goes.

I want you to be aware that CP isn't as cut-and-dried as you think it is. CP affects every person in a different way, and just because I don't fit your stereotype doesn't mean that I'm faking or exaggerating my disability. I don't want to face your misguided assumptions and accusations. Who are you to pass judgment on my life, anyway?

I want you to be aware that I have the same rights as every other human being on this planet. I have the right to go to school, to live at home, to have sex, to bear children, all rights that you have tried to take away from me. And though you expect me to be meek, passive, and perpetually grateful as you slowly strip my humanity away from me, I will not. I will fight with my last ounce of strength to regain the things I have lost.

I want you to be aware that I have a mind. I have a voice. And though that mind may not think the same way as yours does, and that voice may not speak the same way yours does, I still have a mind, and I still have a voice. I am still human - no more or less human than you are. I am not a simpering, whimpering perpetual child, nor am I an all-knowing God-like creature able to rise above any and all obstacles in my life. I am simply human.

I want you to be aware that no matter what you think, you do not have a f***ing clue what my life is like. I don't care if you have a brother, a sister, a friend, a significant other with CP, you will never know the reality of living in my body day in and day out. You do not know the pain, you do not know the joy. And for you to propose you do is simply ludicrous.

I want you be aware that I exist. I sit, I spaz, I slur, I stutter, I drool. I do all those things in your schools, your community, and your society, I do them right in front of you, though you pretend not to see. These are all things I cannot control, and I should not be made to feel ashamed for the way my body works. I should not be pressured to hide my body and "normalize" myself as much as possible. I should not have to hide my CP in order to be accepted and loved by society. If you cannot love me with my CP, you cannot love me at all. I exist - and I should not feel like a burden for existing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day: March 25

Spaz in solidarity with me, my friends. I have just discovered that March 25th is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. This is an excellent opportunity for the world to hear our voices and realize the particular issues that individuals with CP face. I've started a campaign on Twitter - retweet #cpawarenessday to show your support and we could get some major awareness going!

Also, I was thinking of making this into a blog event. I noticed several bloggers blogged on this topic on CP Awareness Day last year - it would be REALLY cool to do a BADD-esque roundup. So...if you write something for CP Awareness Day, send it to me, and we'll have a Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day Blog Event! :D Hope to "see" you all there!