Reconnecting with My Mother: A CP Child’s Story
By Jennifer Resetar
Writing for CP Family Network
This blog is based purely on my experience as someone who has grown up with cerebral palsy and has endured hardships and overcome them. I hope my story can help parents of disabled children learn how to love and accept them and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
I grew up as the only person in my family with a disability. I don’t want to use the word severe, as my cerebral palsy is not as severe as some cases. Due to my disability, my adoptive mother (who was 23 years old when she adopted me) was always stressed out. I was never very close to her until after I got married. She even ‘bullied’ me to an extent.
When I visited her in 2009, she said something I will never forget. I confronted her about why we were never close and she said, “I gave my all physically, but I could not give my heart.” This didn’t hurt me as I thought it would. Instead, it answered my question of “Why?” Why was I never close to her? Why did I always feel put down by her?
As a result of my childhood experience, I want to encourage other families with children with disabilities to be accepting. Don’t baby them so much when they are older, but encourage them, push them to do their best to achieve their goals in life. One thing my mother always did was push me. I did not see this as a positive thing until recently, but I am glad she did. It is also good to let your child know that it is not his/her fault for having the disability. Patience is another good tool to have; be patient with your child. And lastly, if your child has siblings that do not have disabilities, teach them how to be accepting of their brother or sister with a disability. If they attend the same school, teach that sibling to stick up for their brother or sister when they are being bullied or picked on by other kids.
I am proud to say that today, my mother and I are now close and she is one of my biggest supporters in my many endeavors. I hope this blog helps parents, both new and seasoned, to understand that if your child has a disability whether physical or mental, they can still achieve their goals, whatever those goals may be. Please, support and encourage them as much as you can. I promise you, your child will thrive with support and encouragement!
About the Author
Jennifer R. Resetar lives in Orlando, Florida. She is pursuing her dream of becoming an author and has one book published. She enjoys standing up for and helping others with disabilities.
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