I do not write this to gain your sympathy. I do not write this to gain your compassion. I’ve had a lifetime of both, and honestly, I can’t stand anymore. I write this, one, because there is another out there just like me who may be struggling, two, to let every female on this earth know that they can be anything they want to be, and three, so that if you run across one like me, you may be better educated.
I was born with a birth defect called Arthrogryposis. Some are born with just the upper portion of their body’s affected, others, the lower. It is the rare case that has both the upper and lower body affected. Yes, you guessed, I am the rare one. Feel free to look it up if you wish to know more. Luckily I was raised to be independent despite my disability, to find humor where most find pity, and that I can do and be whatever I want. It was actually my Maternal Grandmother who taught me the last. I was born with a great singing voice, and she had me singing in bars (this was back in the day when you could take a kid in a bar without the Law getting called on you) and at Jamborees as far back as I can remember.
My mother and I have not had the best of relationships throughout my life. Yes, she taught me independence, for that, I am grateful eternally. She also is a vain woman, and a zealot who constantly squashed my dreams every chance she could. I remember sitting in the livingroom with a male friend. We were talking about our dreams and she came up and embarrassed me by telling me I’d never make it as an actress because they want pretty girls who can run on the beach. Another time, one of my best friends found out she was pregnant and I offered to help her care for it should she keep it. Again that woman interfered coming in my room screaming at me, “what are you going to do for a baby? watch it cry? you have to have normal hands (she shoved hers in my face) to take care of a baby.” You now will see why I now refer to her as, She-Who-Hatched-Me. It wasn’t until I was 42 that I finally stopped trying to get her acceptance.
I ran away from home at 16 (again it was told they need not worry about me, I’d never run away, how far can she get in a wheelchair?) and went to live with my Maternal Aunt, Debi. Life wasn’t a bed of roses there because we were poorer than I was accustomed to, but me and my dreams were free. Fast forward through a few years of living alone, and living with the family I adopted after my Aunt, and her sister left for Florida by way of dumping my little brother off in NJ with his father. My adopted mother, Jo(yes, we share the same name lol), has a special place in my heart, as does my sister and brothers through her. My maternal Grandfather wanted to move back to Kansas to live out his days, but wouldn’t leave me in Louisiana, so I moved with him, always intending to go back home.
My Aunt Debi by this time was living in Kansas, so I asked if I could stay with her while I got my GED. By this time, I was 20ish, and starting to settle down from my wild ways (which had included but was not limited to drinking, smoking, both weed and tobacco, slutting and slumming). Once I had my GED I settled for going to Fort Hays State University since I couldn’t afford to go where I’d originally planned, LSU, Since I was now considered an out of state student.
The Fall of my 21st year I went off to Hays and met my Husband -to-be. 21 years later we are still married, with 4 boys. The oldest 20, the youngest 12.
I am a disabled pagan woman who is a mother and a wife…..
I Am Me!
((Never start typing, then stop to pee, you will lose your flow, no pun intended. I’ll fill in more, but the dogs know the kids will be home and are distracting me.))