All throughout our lives it is undeniable that there are times when each of us have found ourselves wondering about how our family, upbringing and home life have influenced our personality and relations with others today. Like many other aspects in society, this also extends to the disability world where from my experience, it can even shape your own attitude to your disability.
As a young woman in her mid twenties with severe Cerebral Palsy, I look back on the way I was brought up as the youngest of three children. I can undoubtedly thank my parents and my two extremely caring and fun siblings for my successes and for who I am today. This is because growing up, all of us – my sister, brother and myself were lucky enough to have parents who set values into us which were all about fairness and normality – especially around my disability. As a child, and especially now as an adult, I really appreciate having this attitude to disability and my relationships with other people instilled in my grain. Another important value which I hold very dear is the fact that this has allowed me to be lucky enough to have extremely treasured relationships with both of my siblings as well as their spouses.
It is through these past few years and experiences, such as going to New Zealand with my brother and having multiple chats about becoming an adult and getting fashion tips off my sister, that I have been able to truly value my relationships with my siblings. Naturally because we have been brought up to be so close I have been lucky enough to develop close relationships with my lovely brother and sister in laws which I treasure equally as I do with my two siblings and of course with my little niece. I believe that it is through having these five strong relationships behind me as well as having the same closeness with both of my parents that I am able to get through countless barriers with ease.
I also believe that it is because of this that I now have the skills I need to integrate into mainstream society as much as possible. It is from looking at my life with this attitude to my disability that I have aspirations to move forward. I have nearly finished my Bachelors degree and hope one day to be a Human Rights Journalist. I have high expectations for my future.
Therefore it is by considering how “normal” relationships and my upbringing with my family and siblings has effected my achievements and positive moments in my life today that I am able to be so very thankful.