Rethinking your sensitive nature
All the four-year-olds were standing in line to go outside. The boys were on one side of the hall and the girls on the other. A kid looked over at me and yelled “cripple!”
The name shocked me like the cold of a June morning swim. He hurled the word at me for reason. Even at four, I knew it was the intention of the boy to hurt me. I felt justified pinching the boy’s pliable skin as hard as I could.
The kid showed the teacher his bleeding arm. Soon I was in trouble even…
I recently published a story on Medium called Three Wheel Bike. The story is about my dad building me a three-wheel bike because I could not ride one with two wheels. Because of mild cerebral palsy, I have never had good balance. I remember the freeing experience of the wind in my face and loving the independence of riding a bike like the other kids.
A few years later I did master riding a two-wheel bike, and riding my ten-speed gave me a reprieve from my turbulent youth. I stopped putting much mileage on my bicycle about the time I…
I felt the hot steel on my feet. My 12-year-old toothpick-thin body slid through an opening in the bridge. Standing on the bottom rail, I peered down into the dark river. I was about 20 feet above the water, and my hands were slippery with sweat. Dad was in the water motioning me to jump with a big grin on his face, I wanted him to be proud, but I was frozen with fear.
I managed to resist most of my dad’s prior persuasions. My sister, Mary was fearless and willing to participate in the thrill-seeking activities Dad initiated. Sometimes…
Have you ever thought you were not able to do something and then surprised yourself and found out you could?
Mild Cerebral Palsy affects my fine motor skills, and I have never considered myself good at drawing, painting, or most art forms I attempted. As a kid, my mom encouraged us to participate in arts and craft projects. My sister’s finished work was always visually appealing, and I was usually disappointed with my artistic endeavors. But one art form I was always fascinated with was mosaic art. …
“I don’t want to go to jail!” I screamed.
I was four and sitting in the back of Dad’s dune buggy with my sister. Oversized white helmets and black-rimmed goggles covered half of our face and gave Mary and me the look of life-sized bobbleheads. Our shared seat belt was snug across our lap. Dad was driving with Mom beside him. There was nothing different about this ride. We explored the hills of Elsinore, and Mom bribed us with Tootsie Rolls before we climbed the steep hills.
Dad had taken this route several times before, and he typically crossed the…
Our eight-year-old cat was missing so we started searching for him on our five-acre property. We didn’t get far when we heard him meowing, a distinct cry for help. My daughter Jasmine and I followed the sound and discovered he was high up in a tree. A cluster of Western White Pines towered above our house and the vegetation was so full we were not able to see him. But his meowing made it known he was there.
My long-haired black cat’s name was Gizmo, but we called him “The Boss”. His face was almost regal, and he majestically commanded…
Dad pulled the orange toboggan across the snow-covered frozen lake. It was piled high with black garbage bags of our clothes, food, and other supplies. Mom analyzed our footprints as we walked. She pointed out that Mary’s prints landed directly in front of the other. My sister said she never realized this was the way she walked. As I gazed at our tracks, I heard Mom say,
“What is it?” Dad asked.
“Look at the footprints.”
It didn’t take long for me to realize the reason for her alarm. Our tracks were filling with water. …
“Mom, what’s wrong with me?” I asked on the way to Easter Seals. We were going there for physical and occupational therapy.
“Sit back, Christy I can’t see… What do you mean? Nothing’s wrong with you.”
“No, I mean why do I walk this way? Why do I have to go to therapy anyway?” I asked in a half whine.
“You have a mild case of cerebral palsy,” Mom said as if she was telling me the color of my hair.
“Cere…,” I tried to say it, but I couldn’t get it out right.
“You’re handicapped. Well, half-handicapped.”
Christy has mild cerebral palsy. She lives in Washington State with her husband and has two grown children.