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Cerebral Palsy Message Board

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I just wanted to let you know I see your frustrations from a different perspective. My soon to be fiance, soon to be husband, has spastic quad. CP, so it is, of course, very noticeable that he has a disability. What is, quite tragically not as evident from a first impression is his intelligence (hampered by his accent), his otherwise good health (hidden by his lean body), and his physical abilities he does have (because people usually see a wheelchair first, then a person--which is very sad). Imagine introducing such a man to the rest of your very obnoxiously clingy and critical family!

My father, however, has taken a liking to Patrick. He has flat-out told me he already can recognize Patrick's intelligence and kind heart and that they overshadow his disability. Mom will be a serious challenge, even though she's willing to be educated in the long run. My maternal grandmother will be the hardest family member to convince because she's very uneducated about disabilities, a proud person herself, and thinks that after 7 years of caring for my disabled grandfather before his eventual death, that I should not put myself through the same circumstances. When Patrick moves to this area, she will sooner or later need to accept him or else develop less contact with me, as I'm not going to choose my family over my husband!

No, it's not easy. Some family members are bent on maintaining their arrogance and ignorance, their assumption that being AB makes them somehow "better." I find such assumptions to be not only truly cruel but outright ridiculous. I've known many, many guys before I met my Patrick and learned a great deal about men. And I can honestly say, Patrick is the best man out there for me. I would never choose any AB guy over him!

Patrick's way of handling things is to say, "Well, basically it's THEIR problem, not mine. They're the ones who lose out by their own choice." Maybe that's how you can view the circumstances... and what you can say to your little one, too, when frustrations arise. Some people, sadly, choose their own foolish misconceptions about CP and disabilities than they do over the PEOPLE who have them. Unfortunately, we can't control their (quite stupid) choices. But we can control our reactions to it. I definitely would favor less contact with them if they continue to give your little one a hard time. It's not the best thing, but you don't want them giving your son a hard time throughout his life, either. There ARE enough caring, decent people in this world who will see the value in your son. Maybe you can join a local support group. Good luck!

Just my thoughts....

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