A friend emailed me a quote from an author she knows. "When faced with adversity you have a choice. You can choose to be a victim or a warrior." I began thinking of times in my life when I allowed myself to be a victim as well as times in my life when I have been a warrior.
I started the public school for the physically disabled at the age of six. Even at that young age, I knew I didn't belong there, but it was the only option available as my parents couldn't afford the tuition it would have cost to send me to school in the county. The first six months I didn't participate in much of anything at school. I guess I was waiting for my parents to realize that they'd made a mistake and take me out of the school. I desperately wanted to attend the school in our neighborhood that my brother went to. I finally realized that that was not going to happen. I resigned myself to staying and, as you know, was there for thirteen years. To say I was a victim academically and socially from being at the school is an understatement. I have written about the school before so it's not necessary to repeat myself. The education I received was lacking in so many ways. Being at that school is the only time in my life where I was a victim of circumstance and there was nothing I could do about it.
I have always had trouble standing up for myself. My classmates would make fun of me at school and I didn't talk back or do anything about it. There was no point. If they thought I was a nerd, so be it. Even today, I don't always stand up to people. when I should. I'm happy to say I'm getting better at it.
The first time I stood up for myself was when I was a senior in high school. My mom had talked to one of the other mothers who had a son at my school too. She convinced my mom to keep me in high school five years so that I didn't graduate with the children I had gone all through school with. I put my foot down, however, when the woman said my mom should send me to the United Cerebral Palsy Center rather than my going on to college as my brothers had done. I told my mom if she sent me there I'd never speak to her again. She knew I meant it. My going to the center was never brought up again. The center's a great place for those who choose to go there. It just wasn't the right choice for me.
When my mom was sick and on hospice I became a warrior for her. I wanted to make sure her wishes were carried out and that she got the best care possible. I wanted to make sure she stayed at home and didn't die in a hospital. I did everything I could to make her comfortable and happy. I'm a warrior for Lucie too. I'll do anything I can to make sure she's happy..
I'm a warrior for myself because I want the best caregivers and the best care possible. if I don't feel a caregiver is right for me, I ask for a replacement.
Being a warrior isn't easy. Fighting for what you want and believe you deserve. Sometimes the fight seems to difficult and you may want to give up. But giving up is not an option. You can't just be a victim and let life happen to you. You have to be a warrior and a participant Stand up for yourself so you can have the best life possible. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.