Society and CP are not a good combination.

About a month ago I was told I had social anxiety and it is clearly caused by my mild cerebral palsy. As my cp affects my speech slightly, among other things – such as my startle reflex and my poor motor skills, I was constantly stared at and sometimes made fun of. I will always remember this young girl who was about 4 or 5 at that time, I must have been 8. Anyway, we were at the beach and she overheard me while I was talking to my cousin. “She talks weird” was what she told my cousin when I was RIGHT BESIDE her. I had to keep it in at the time and deal with it. However, these words really tear my heart apart as there is nothing I can do about the way I speak – although when I was younger my speech was worse. 

At the beginning of this year was when all those ‘saddening’ memories came back. I sat alone in my room and cried my heart out – wishing I could speak like other people and why I spoke differently. Here, I wished I never had cp and was constantly asking myself the question ‘why me?’ I even had extreme thoughts of which I would never have thought of before this. You can probably figure it out! Thankfully, my mum noticed early enough to get me some help.

I was offered the opportunity to see a psychologist – at the beginning I was worried about going as I didn’t know what to expect. My first appointment was a little awkward as I wasn’t quite familiar with the situation and I couldn’t express all my feelings openly yet. However, appointment after appointment I became much more open with my therapist as I knew that all she wanted to do was help me – and was not going to judge in any way. After sharing my thoughts and worries, she came to the conclusion that I have social anxiety.

 understanding-social-anxiety-disorder

This is true as I am incredibly self-conscious everywhere I go. When I am in a big group of people and asked a question, I instantly sweat, my body goes all shaky and I choke on my words – with the addition of the ’embarrassing’ unwanted actions that cp brings. This makes me feel weak and intimidated by society as I can’t control the way my body moves – as much as I want to. In order to avoid these social situations, I tend to hide away in my room, but I am working towards getting rid of that anxiety and shyness together with my therapist.

I am so glad I made this step in my life because, slowly, I am overcoming my social anxiety. If I hadn’t gone, I would have been stuck in my house all day and would have never had the courage to expose myself to society, Thanks to the support of my psychologist among many other people, I am slowly beginning to accept myself for who I am and view life with a positive perspective – some days more than others, but hopefully I’ll get through it!

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4 thoughts on “Society and CP are not a good combination.

  1. I think it;s fantastic that you have a Psychologist to talk to that understands why you’ve got social anxiety. Keep up with it – especially on days when you feel crappy and you will feel more confident. I had a massive cry last night to my boyfriend because I’d not been able to get a can into my bag because of my depth perception problem then I tried to untangle the handles only to make it worse and then I dropped all of my change and that was after talking to myself out loud when shopping and getting someone looking at me like a nutter. Then I didn’t register what the price of my shopping and didn’t give the assistant enough for like the third visit in a row. I just felt so utterly stupid. The Bloke told me “You aren’t stupid, you have a condition. If strangers want to judge you then that’s their ignorance not yours.” Then he just buggered off to bed! That’s the thing, others can help massively but it’s down to you to believe in yourself. If it’s any conciliation, when I’m tired, I sound like I’m talking with a sock in my mouth and get words muddled up which is horraful ;o)

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  2. aww thank you! I had a massive cry yesterday aswell as I am really shy and I don’t have that many friends for that reason – I hate it! Yesterday I was hating myself and thinking ‘why am I so stupid??’ I just wish I could have more self-confidence and lose all my embarrassment – but it’s hard. There are some days where I am proud and positive about myself – but other days I just sit and cry my eyes out thinking why can’t I be like everyone else, you know. That quote is true and I just wish that people could accept that instead of just staring at us from top to bottom! We’re no different to anyone else there are just some things we may need help with. I guess we have to keep on moving forward and focus on the positivity of life and let go of negative thoughts. Awww, I’m so sorry, I can relate as I get really shaky in public, I hope you’re ok, stay positive 🙂 !! xx

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  3. I can’t even put into words how much I can relate to (and love) this post. I’ve struggled with the exact same thing my whole life because of my muscular dystrophy. You’re taking great steps to work towards being less anxious socially and that’s awesome. I think all we can do is try sometimes. I’m much better than I used to be but I think there are probably always going to be days when I just want to hole up in my room and not go out. Always going to be times when my heart starts going a mile a minute when I have to walk by a crowd (and feel like I got punched in the stomach when they all suddenly get quiet and I’m sure they’re all staring at me). Like you said if your post above, positivity can really do a lot but we’re also still human so it’s ok to have those days when we hate it or feel shy. Definitely nothing stupid about it or us 🙂 Love your blog and this post!

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