Do You See Me, or My Disability?

Do you see me, or my disability? The reason I’m asking is because lately, I feel as if others are seeing my cerebral palsy before they actually see me. They see me walking with a slight limp, and are afraid to come up and speak to me. They don’t know my story but are already judging me before I even get a chance to tell it.

Yes, I have cerebral palsy. However just because I have CP, it doesn’t mean I can’t contribute something to society. To know me is to know I am so much more than my cerebral palsy, and CP will never stop me from doing what I want to do. It might take me longer to do certain things, but I will still do them. CP has tripled my endurance, stamina, and willpower. I would not wish for a life without CP, as it has been my greatest teacher. I do not want others to pity me because I have CP; rather I want them to look at my CP and see a man who even though faced with plenty of obstacles, never gave up.

The next time you see someone with a disability, I want you to try something revolutionary. Instead of staring at them and wondering why they walk or talk a certain way, go up to them and truly make an effort to get to know them. You might just be surprised at what you find out.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Cerebral Palsy

Happy boy with cerebral palsy sitting outside.

15 Things Everyone Should Know About Cerebral Palsy

It’s March, which means it is officially National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month!  In honor of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, here are my top 15 things to know about cerebral palsy. 1. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder. Cerebral palsy refers to a group of non-progressive disorders affecting movement, balance and posture. The condition stems from [...]
"Walking Is Sooo Overrated."

What a Funny T-Shirt Symbolizes About My Life With Cerebral Palsy

Earlier this week, my dad and I were talking about how I was going to complete a certain activity. I ended the conversation with, “I don’t know, but I am sure I will figure it out.” He smiled and said jokingly, “Can you just life your life as if you have a disability for one [...]
Empty wheelchair parked in park

When a Woman Saw My Wheelchair and Asked, 'What Did You Do to Yourself?'

My very first Best Buddies Friendship Walk was OK for the first portion of the event. It was February 20 2016 — 16 days after I had received a major surgery that fixed the chronic kneecap problems I’d had from my fifth-grade year till the middle of the second semester of my junior year of [...]
Romantic couple holding hands in a field.

Dear Future Husband of a Wife With Cerebral Palsy

Dear Future Husband of a Wife With Cerebral Palsy, Let me be the first to congratulate you on choosing your wife. I hope you chose wisely, someone you love and with whom you share many of the same hobbies and goals. You fell in love with her for so many reasons. She just happens to [...]