In my 20’s my doctors told my Cerebral Palsy (cp)might limit my opportunities to give birth I could get pregnant but doctors were afraid the act of giving birth might further disable me or my child.
Many people with my Disorder can give birth and take care of a child. Some can walk, I cannot. I’ve used a wheelchair since age 5. This did not deter me, I would go to mainstream school I would find love I would have children. I was right about the mainstream school I was the only female in a wheelchair grades one to twelve. Surely after college I would be employed as a first-grade teacher and live on a farm. Both my future husband and I would want one or two kids. Ethan James for a boy. Julia Savannah for a girl. Well I got the mainstream school and the college degree.
Vocational agencies had trouble placing me in jobs I chose a psychology degree over education because I was more interested in the emotional needs of kids. My physical disabilities & finding employment did not match well I had decent grades but needed employment within a certain geographic area. CP can also affect vision in various ways so it rendered me unable to drive. So, I could only apply for jobs within a certain geographic distance to get a ride from family or even consider public transport.
My plan was to apply everywhere I could. Nursing homes hospital, schools … I went on one interview out of 50 resumes. I was turned down and turned away. Around this time age 23 I realized that I didn’t have a job and I barely dated I turned to an on-line site.
Jack and I clicked almost immediately. He lives states away but planned to meet on his day off. He would come to the nearest city in my area. Jack was cute funny outdoorsy everything my bookish self was not. A few days before, before our meeting a mutual friend contacted me. She gently nudged me to question Jack about his motives and maybe his marital status. I thought she was crazy... but I asked him anyway. In an e-mail that night … I said do not come to see me if you still have a wife if I don’t get a response within 24 hours I’ll know you and I won’t be seeing each other in city. I never got a response and he went on to get back together with his wife.
I became a writer, so that I could work from home and occasionally did some public speaking. I enjoyed it but something was missing, Mr. Right? Where are you? I never found you in the sweet but not compatible Jim. He had a higher religious calling and was looking to marry as soon as possible. I was not. I broke it off. Nor in the medical rep who was into heavy metal who lived out west. I was 31 dateless, jobless and desperately wanting a child.
I’ve thought about adoption, there is currently no money available for that. I’ll be honest I still have this nagging thought that if I put myself out there someone will love me enough and want to have a child with me. Ethan and Julia will magically appear and call me mommy, and Mr. Right will be at my doorstep. Then, reality hits, life is not a fairytale. I cannot make someone love me so I will pursue my own passions and dreams.
There are some perks sleeping late, vacations planned just for me, sleeping late when I want to. Now almost 7 years later there is acceptance to love the life I’ve have. I, alone am enough. Bad days are hard but I get by with a little help from supportive family & friends on the childless not by choice community.
Dear disability: sometimes I hate you and I wonder what might have been. Now I have come to accept what really is my reality and no I will not give up on myself or my plans to travel, write a book, watch the sunset take a graduate course. So, the truth is you may have stolen some things from my journey but you cannot steal my soul. Mr. Right hasn’t found me yet. Maybe he lost his roadmap? Ha-ha just kidding! I’m okay taking this adventure day by day. I am not the only one living the life I hadn’t planned. However, I will do the best with the one I have been given