Friday, February 12, 2016

I Spoke. People Listened.

When I came to college four years ago, I could barely write about my CP, and yet here I was this past Tuesday, standing at a podium speaking about it to an auditorium full of my classmates. My heart was beating wildly and my words perhaps weren't as graceful as they could have been, but I did it.

When I started this blog back in October of my freshman year of college, I don't think I could have dreamed up a universe, parallel or otherwise, in which I could speak about my disability in front of a crowd of people who were (mostly) strangers. That, to me, was unthinkable, and yet, this week, I did it (no diversions needed!).

And I think what has been most surprising and gratifying about this whole experience is just how many people seemed to appreciate it. So many people came up to me afterward, or caught me on my way to class in the next few days, and said that it meant a lot to them that I shared, that it touched them in some way. 

My presentation wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I'm sure I sounded nervous, I know I stumbled over some of my words, and the entire presentation was only about fifteen minutes (and about half of it was about some scientific articles rather than my own experiences).  Even so, this small feat feels like a huge victory to me. I'm proud that I was able to stand up there and speak about what I've been through, and I don't think it's something that I could have done without this blog and without all of your comments and encouragements over the years. You all have taught me that my experiences are nothing to be ashamed of, and that who I am, what I've been through - it matters, and it can be used to make the world a more beautiful place.

This blog has literally helped me to find my voice. 

6 comments:

  1. Hi !
    I found your blog about a month ago, and I've been very touched by your posts (As a 17-year-old with CP, there are quite a lot of things you wrote that resonated with my own expériences...) but the two last posts brought it to another level, I almost cried in front of my computer. ^^
    Yes, talking about CP is hard, and I avoid this topic as much as I can (letting people assume that I broke my back in a car / horse-riding accident, if I'm not going to see them again often) because as you said, people have a certain conception and idea of brain dammage that isn't... hmmm... very easy to deal with. It's not shame, but I don't want to scare people, you know ?
    Soooo the fact that you spoke in front of this crowd is just AMAZING. Congrats for having found the courage to say these words out loud, and shared your experience with your classmates ! I am so, so, so happy for you and extremely proud of what you did !

    Also, I really love your blog, and it has helped and reassured me a lot when I needed to hear something positive about CP. So keep writing, and keep being such an amazing person ! :D

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    1. Hey Vick!

      I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am that you read and enjoy my blog - AND I am so glad that you took the time to write a comment.

      It means a lot to me that you can relate to my experiences. I know exactly what you mean about it being easier to let people assume that you were injured somehow! I think the general public can relate better to injuries, especially if they're temporary...actually, when I broke my leg a number of years ago, there were a lot of difficulties that came with that, but one part of it that I liked was that I could tell people that I broke my leg if they asked "what happened." It wasn't dishonest, but it wasn't the whole truth, either. But it was easier than saying I had CP - breaking a bone is so much more accepted.

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! Please let me know if you ever want to contact me via email or something...I'd love to talk to you some more if you'd be willing! Your message made my day, friend. :)

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    2. P.S. I replied to your email! :) I'm so sorry it took me so long!

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  2. HUGELY proud of you K! You did it!! Whoot!! xo

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