I Want to Be Normal: Coming to Terms With My Disability

Graduating- a memorable, intimate moment, a lifetime memory.  The air mingled with flurry, anticipation, fear, and reminiscence.  It’s one final gathering with your class and teachers.  The significance of it perpetuates endless thoughts.

With graduation being in three days, the emotions are at an insurmountable level.  Graduating undoubtedly consumes my mind heavily.  Due to my Cerebral Palsy, the possibility of not managing to climb the stairs of the stage, relentlessly pines at me. As a response to combat this trepidation, I scoured for photos of the stage…as if they would change the venue because of my inconvenience.

Graduation practice is tomorrow, and that is when this inanimate object that has littered my mind will be revealed.  I will be able to determine my compliance.  If failure to walk up those stairs arises, an alternative seems bleak.  Standing there in horror, cursing the abdominal steps and admitting my inability in front of the whole class instigates me wanting to shrivel and evaporate.  It’s frankly quite weird.  Sometimes I will be unbothered, whilst other situations I will be quaking out of my skin.

Furthermore, falling is not what sparks the anticipated humiliation, but rather not complying to climbing the stairs.  Sure, falling would be embarrassing, but for some reason, it doesn’t initiate that same dread.  Perhaps, this ensues as I am under the anticipation that an able bodied person would never fret about stairs, but there is the most minuscule plausibility they could fall.  In all honesty, if someone paid me, I would fall intentionally.  I suppose there is this intense, burning desire and yearning to be “normal.”  And acknowledging or being unable to march up those steps would taint and tarnish that unrealistic aspiration.

I have come a long way with coming to terms pertaining to my disability.  The once spreading, fire suffusing shame has diminished.  Advocating for myself has become more prevalent.  However, occurrences of being different still daunt me.  I feel like everyone could work on this.  It’s okay, everyone has struggles.  And what is normal anyway?  It is only something that we invent through our assumptions; it is perceived acceptance.

Anyway, congrats to the class of 2023!!!  We’ve made it through these four transformative years.  As this chapter closes, a new one begins.  I wish you all the best!

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