Is your culture/ heritage accepting of disability in general? Is there shame surrounding disability in your country or culture? Do you feel alienated by your family because of these cultural beliefs? How have you attempted to advocate for yourself amongst your family and within your culture to change this old fashioned mindset?
I come from an unusual perspective: my mother worshiped handicapped people! She was constantly holding them up to us kids as “courageous” and as models for handling any obstacles. My sister and I (with whom I share Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy type 2) often lament that we were “set up” or inclined to becoming handicapped to please her, even though neither of us knew about the disease until after she passed. Anyway, I don’t think attitude is what caused me to become handicapped, but it has certainly helped give me a positive perspective of what I have become. I’m no “super gimp”, but I do just live my life and do whatever I can to keep doing what I love!
Pete, it sounds like you grew up in a unique situation even though it’s not rare for people to sensationalize disability. It’s a powerful thing that your mother’s view didn’t influence your own and has remained separate from yours and your sister’s.
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