To All Those Who Doubted Me Because I Have Cerebral Palsy, Thank You

It is not unusual for people to challenge someone based on various reasons. But when you’re a person with a disability, and a woman to boot the odds and roadblocks are just that high and even more challenging because society tends to look at anything different from a very narrow scope. And it’s because of that narrow scope the layers upon layers of misconceptions that come with having a disability, in general, is not only wide and vast, but also very frustrating.

I realize and understand that everyone’s reaction is not always negative. And some are generally curious. I appreciate curiosity a great deal, and I more than welcome questions for anyone who wants to know about my disability. I only wish society was more mindful that of the lines drawn when it comes to such a vast and multi-layered topic like the topic of disability is.

I’d like to touch upon one I coined myself as “chosen ignorance.”What does that mean? It’s simple If you are so close-minded that you refuse to learn about someone’s disability because you believe in the misconceptions that are out there rather than what the truth is. Then that is your choice, hence why I call it chosen ignorance. There is a tremendous difference between what you choose, and what is given to you.

And with trending topics like “Trans-Abled” where a person desired to be disabled and they go to great and extreme lengths to do so. It’s this very topic that makes championing for your voices and rights to now just be recognized, appreciated, and accepted but nearly impossible to be taken seriously on an equal playing field. And it’s topics like trans-abled that only make the misconceptions, assumptions, and stigma that is attached to the disability community grow further and spread wider than any of us can imagine. Being a trans-abled person, I believe has more to do with the person’s psychological process rather than having anything medically attached to it.

Is it or fair to those with legit disabilities? Absolutely not. Is it something we should have to contend with? In my opinion, no. Nor should we feel it necessary to compete with. But there are people in this world that consider themselves trans-abled and show pride in the label. And while I myself find this new trend insulting, and appalling.

Here is where I disagree with pride and it’s association with the disabled community. Pride, in my opinion, is, an inside job that deals with your self-esteem. Not whether or not you have a disability. I have always tried my best to be mindful of my own pride and not to let it grow into arrogance. To do my best to keep the balance between pride and humbleness on an even scale. Pride in ourselves will help us grow, but pride in where we have comfort, and where we are going will help us be unstoppable. So, That is why I am mindful in my both my triumphs and in my struggles because you can not grow to become better without the presence of both.

About Author

Jessica Niziolek

Jessica is a writer and founder of the blog, The Abler. She's a disability advocate and freelance writer for several platforms. She's also a poet, and aspiring YA novelist.

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