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Credo of Independence
[ Non-fiction : Prose/ ]

I grew up in a home which was very dysfunctional, my father physically abused and my mother verbally and emotionally abused. For a child with a disability, this can be devastating to their psyche. My way of handling this was to retreat into myself and question “why me?” I gained strength from this struggle, but for many people intensive therapy is needed to overcome these issues.

During my early years, children with disabilities did not have a right to an education. Therefore, I was the only person with a disability in the school. The other students did not know how to relate to me because I was different, and teachers did not understand that Cerebral Palsy affects how the brain processes information or my special needs.

For my mother hugging her children and tell them she loved them was a foreign concept. Instead she created a cold hostile environment. She often pitted her children against each other to create jealousy between them.

Growing up and even now because I was often mistreated, I feel a lot of anger about what went on in the family. I was hit almost everyday because I wanted to be independent. It was then, and today, trying to break my spirit of independence. My father often hit first, and asked questions later. My mother always tells you “You can’t ….”(You finish the sentence). They wanted me totally dependent on them.

Once I entered college and began to study in both the mental health and psychology fields, I began to turn my life around and think more positively about myself. As this took place, I no longer accepted my mother’s persecution and began to speak up for myself. They could not accept the changes, so since I was still dependent on them financially, they refused to assist me with funds.

My younger sister is very much like my mother in how she treats her sisters. It makes her feel powerful to mistreat us. If she mistreats her own sisters with disabilities, as a special education teacher of children with disabilities, how do you think she treats her students? She only became a teacher because she was pushed into it by my mother, not because she wanted to be a teacher.

The purpose of this history is to help you understand why my sister treats me the way she does. The problem is she does not see herself as being jealous of me, and will deny that she mistreats me. In 1982, I moved into an apartment complex for elderly and disabled. There was no air conditioning so I would have to keep my windows open, and fans on at all times to keep the place cool.

One evening, while I was in the shower, someone tore the screen and came into my apartment looking for money. When he found me in the shower, he took advantage of the situation, and attempted to rape me. Luckily, he never penetrated up, and the semen was left on the bedspread. The irony is, after he finished he asked for money.

After he left, I got dressed and knocked on my neighbor’s door to use the phone to call the police. Since I had no one else to call, I called my sister. The police came over and took a report and referred me to the rape crisis center. My sister came over with her girlfriend, her lover, sat there with me while the police interviewed me, and then the conversation between us went this way:
My sister--“Are you ok?”

I answered --“I guess so.”

My sister—“Do you need an aspirin?”

I answered—“No.”

Then she left me there alone for the night and never said anything more about it. What I really needed was for someone to spend the night with me and not be left alone. On my own I went to the rape crisis center for counseling. I am very lucky I had a counseling background because I was able to cope with it on my own since I did not have the money to pay for private counseling sessions, or ask my family for the funds.

For a long time after that incident, it was very hard for me to take a shower without a fear that someone breaking into my apartment and walking in on me. Is there anyone that has a story to tell where they experienced a similar situation that they would like to tell?

Resource Box

Davida Shensky has her own company Career Performance Institute. She is a business advisor, specializing in In-House workshops, One-on-One personal coaching, assisting clients to reach their maximum potential, and LIVE WITHOUT LIMITS! As a distributor of InScape Publishing products, she uses the assessment tools with clients to improve their skills in communication, working as a team, working in a diverse environment, with managers and supervisors in Train-the-Trainer sessions, listening, leadership, and handling stress in the workplace. To access her products and newsletter Create Your Own Success In Life visit this site: http://www.personalmentorcareercoach.com .

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