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Old 08-02-2009, 11:11 AM   #1
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CandP HB User
Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

I can't get over how difficult I make things for myself. I am great at psychoanalyzing things, but to put things into practice I just find nearly impossible.

I'm college educated, intelligent, have a personality, and much more. Yet, I still haven't been able to go out and enjoy my life. I don't have many friends, partly because I really haven't gone out much, I work with my family, and the few friends I have just married and/or have young children.

All my life (I'm 32), I've always been very embarrassed of my CP. It's very minor compared to the average CP diagnosis. I just tense when I get nervous, something I have lately managed to control somewhat, however, I may get that occassionaly stare when I am trying to pay in change, like tensing and shaking a bit trying to find 45 cents in my wallet. Walking with trays still a big problem, if the tray has drinks. The other day I wanted to try a coffee at a fastfood restaurant and as I'm in line waiting, I noticed that they dont cap the drinks since the caps are at the end of the counter. So U'm thinking how will I cap it? I ended up leaving the place. I thus realized later that i could have just left the drink there, walked 4 feet to the cap section, walk back, and just cap it or ask them to cap it. Why can't I just not make things difficult for myself and move on???

I talk with some small difficulty, I learned to talk through my chest not from my abdomen, and through tensing because of my CP, I tend to run out of breath easily, sometimes projecting is a problem. Once at a store the cashier thought I was deaf. Something I've never encountered before. But I met a girl who is partially deaf and I can now understand that her voice is a bit different when she talks, and after recording my voice from exercises, it occurred to me that I sound so similar to that. I was so upset in a way.

I tried therapy, both speech and even sought a psychologist for 6 months. He basically said there is absolutely nothing "mentally" wrong, only that I suffer from low self esteem. After I heard that, I started to re-examine how I think about myself and realized how right he was.

I just feel I need to constantly prove myself and that I cant doing anything right. I never pay attention to good things said about me; just bad, like my incompetence but not many people have really said my problem is my weakness. The good outnumber the bad 10 times over, yet I stick to what I hear about the bad. I want to find a job to make more friends and meet more people but I have a very hard time pushing myself to do this....why? I'm reading self-help books and trying to ignore my CP, but I'm still unsuccessful in doing so.

Could someone share with me, how do you rebound from low self esteem, esp. when you also have to deal with a disability on top of that?

 
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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nwmom HB User
Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Best of luck to you with your self esteem issues. Have you thought about continuing the therapy, just so you'll have an ally for working on your self esteem? I personally find dreamwork and Jungian analysts very helpful in working through things like this.
Keep us posted!
I'd love to hear what other CP'ers do for this issue, too.
nwmom

 
Old 08-14-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Hi again CandP

There are times when it feels that you can't win no matter what. I've seen people with no disabilities feel this way and they ask me how I cope.

As I have gotten older, it frustrated me to no end that people older then me could do more then me. But I have looked around and I see the other side of the coin where I can and do, much better then others. It's not an answer but it stops me focussing on the negative aspect of *my normal*.

In the last few years there have been some changes in *my normal* and I don't like that normal for me has been edited by a physically taxing disability. Feeling the affects of getting older wasn't supposed to happen yet. I thought I had it all figured as to how the rest of my life with CP would be. I guess it's back to the drawing board.

I say all this about getting older because I remember being upset about the same things you are and I thought to myself that if I was a senior, I wouldn't have to explain why I stumble, drop something or just didn't look right. No one would care therefore, no one would be watching me. Not a grea way to be thinking but it was the way my frustration came out.

As things have changed, I figured I had to look after me and part of that was NOT worrying about how others saw my disability. That is what they are seeing, not us for the person we are. It has taken many years for me to be comfortable with me. Now I have to get comfortable with using a wheelchair and that's not easy because I never saw that as part of *my normal*. I am getting there and it's only made easier by the fact that I am comfortable with who I am.

One hint for being out and carrying food. I alway get food to go so it comes in a bag even if I'm in a food area of a mall and, I carry my own mug with a top that closes and with a handle.

Take care.

Erin

 
Old 08-16-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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Steffers2318 HB User
Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

This may be weird, or not what you had in mind, but is it possible for you to get a dog?

We've had dogs all my life, and there is something about knowing that they love you unconditionally and definitely aren't judging you based on your disability, that has helped me when I've felt especially "low" about things. Not to mention that there are training shows (I love the Dog Whisperer) that talk about how you have to be assertive and confident to really get, and keep, control of a dog...so a dog could be a "hobby" or whatever and also help your self-concept. And, if available, taking a dog to the park may be a way to meet new people.

Also, have you tried self-help books?

 
Old 08-16-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Hi Erin,

I appreciate you sharing your story with me. From what I understand, it's all about reaching a level of acceptance about this problem. How can it be done the easy way?? That's my question...!

I've started a journal, basically writing good thoughts, positive things, and things I want to accomplish. I always liked to write things down and go over them when I feel down. I'm looking to meet with a vocational service counselor who will help me find a job, and hopefully I'll be able to meet people and just start to forget my issues and concentrate on moving on with my life. I feel very lucky to drive and get to where I want to go, a nice escape for the time being. I'm trying to read books on self esteem, however, the ones have read are pretty lame...I find difficult to apply them in my life. I dont hate myself or feel like I'm a piece of garbage!! I just have to have thicker skin, I guess??

 
Old 09-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

I know this is an older message, but I feel like I need to reply...I am 27 and I have very low self-esteem. It is ok some days, but most it is not. I have very mild CP as well (right hemiplegia) and it really doesn't show unless I am attempting certain things. I have a lot of the other problems associated with CP as well as a lot of medical problems on top of it, so I am on social security disability. I can not drive due to having motor planning and visual perception issues. I have incontinence issues, and such...So, I get mad at my life quite frequently. I have trouble focusing on the positive things at times, and I think a lot of that comes from my upbringing.

My dad always knew I was more capable than my mom allowed me to be growing up. My mom always worried I would get hurt (emotionally and physically) if I attempted the things my 'typical' peers did. So, she would try to think of reasons why I could not do those things...and because my CP is so mild I was about 6-7 years old before I started asking questions about it. I have normal intelligence so it was really hard in school. I would feel left out. High school was the worst because due to my low self esteem I never had a boyfriend (Still to this day have only had one) My mom and I have a better relationship now but it is still a power struggle. I live on my own, but she still has to help with some things. Especially since I can't get places on my own. (The public transit services in my city are limited and I live off the bus line.) I don't blame my mom like I did when I was younger. I know she only did what she thought was best, but it really did hinder me in the end. I moved into an apartment of my own before I was ready because my mom and I butted heads so much. I went away to college and had to come home because I wasn't ready for that either. I don't have much advice for you, but just wanted to say that it sounds like we are in similar situations....
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*~*Kelly*~*

 
Old 10-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Dear Candy,

Hello to you, I don't know how quickly you will get this, but when I read your email I felt like I was looking into a mirror. I have mild CP too in all four limbs, I'm 37 years old and last year I had to get my neck fused with 16 screws from top to bottom which meant taking 6 months of work. Due to the nature of the operation and treatment I was immobilised for about ten days, which would have caused a person who didnt have CP problems, but for a person with CP ie me, it allowed the condition to "get out of the box" and I spent six months learning how to walk and do everything again. I had a similar experience in 2000 with my first spinal surgery.

I'm a lawyer and really for all I may have acheived professionally and in my personal life (I have a great partner and family and friends), because of my low self esteem I recognise the biggest compliments when they are along the lines of "you have a bit of a limp today, is anything wrong?" that to me is HUGE because as much as I hate to say it it makes me feel like someone has recognised me as being "normal mostly" and that my disability is intermittent to the outside world.

My surgery last year was a pretty big deal, and for the first time in my life I could see the benefits that having a condition such as CP gave me in what was a huge struggle, I saw it because my therapists made me aware of it. Having the surgery that I did, ten hours in all, would have for a non CPer sent them way back it was one of those operations where you had to take ten thousand steps back to go forward, you know? Anyhow for me, as my mum observed, it sent me back mobility wise to when I was three struggling to learn how to walk, I was just adament and desperate to get back up on my feet again wrapped up in a brace and everything, I didn't care if it hurt and I didnt really care if I fell, I was prepared to take risks and there were lots. Conversely some of my Non CPer friends in treatment didnt progress as well, mainly because in the context of their lives prior to surgery they had never experienced really what it was like to have to take risks, they had always taken mobility for granted, and the idea that they might fall and hurt themselves was overwhelming.

We're lucky to have mild CP but I think the outer appearance of what appears to be mild is sometimes outweighed by what goes on inside the body and trying to keep up physically, maintain muscle control and fight fatigue. My doctor told me last year that even if its "only mild CP" you are probably using up twice the energy to undertake activities as a non CPer. Having regard to this I think we should give ourselves recognition for engaging in an active life and participating when your equipment or body might not be so up to the task. We need to recognise this for the acheivement that it is because its real. There is an alternate choice which other people make and less challenging situations, which is to give up and not try.

To some of the specific things you said, I know how it is with those coffee cups and the change. Do you mind if I give you some advice which I really only learnt in 2000 and again last year when I was rendered largely immobile or dependant on a walking frame? If you catch people looking at you with curiosity, smile at them. I started doing this particularly last year and I was amazed by the response, when I smiled back, people would come up to me and say "are you ok, I was just looking to see if you needed help. do you want me to help you cross the road?". If I'm having a bad day and feel a bit vulnerable outside I still do it today. I have really learned that nine people out of ten want to help. Now specifically with those coffee cups, which can be the bane of ones existance, this is what I say "would you mind putting the lid on for me I have weak hands" or "would you mind putting the lid on for me I have mild CP", without fail because people want to help if given the opportunity they just do it. If you meet the 1 in 10 that doesnt just thank god you're not one of them is all I can say. With the purse, I know that all the stumbling around to get to the coins when your hands feel like glue can be maddening, when I feel embarrassed I just say that I'm sorry for taking up time. If I'm going out to a bar or something and the bouncer or security asks me whats up and looks like they arent going to let me in, I literally say "its just a little bit of cerebral palsy" and usually what happens after that is they will go out of their way to make sure I get a seat.

I think its hard building self esteem when you have a disability. No matter how hard I try I still don't believe I am as good or "as entitled" as non-CPers but I'm working on it!!

Please email back and I hope I havent rambled on to much,

GOOSBERRY.

 
Old 10-22-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Dear Candy,

Its gooseberry again. Regarding your voice, mine can be very lazy as well and you know what I do? I turn on the radio sing alot in the shower etc, when I had my first spinal surgery I was treated by a speech pathologist for a while and they actively encouraged me to sing as much as I could...also they liked met to make sounds that would lift the top part of my mouth up... not a great explanation of that, but anyhow if you like singing it could help with the voice??

have a lovely day,

GB

 
Old 10-24-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

believe me when i tell u you I've felt the same way many times. though i cant speak for you, i often feel like people see me as a five-foot walking CP billboard and not much else. it's next to impossible to see yourself fully when it feels as if the only thing people see you as is your condition. The truth is that it doesnt matter who you are because someone, somewhere, someday is going to make you feel like you're not good enough. Everybody's got something they think makes them weird or defective. They're to thin. To fat. They cant buy the lastest, most up-to-date geek gadget. And because of that they think everybody's laughing at them. in that respect, your version of "normal" is no different than anyone else's

Last edited by kungfucripple; 10-24-2009 at 11:44 AM.

 
Old 12-16-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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CandP HB User
Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Hi,

Thank you so much for your replies. And thank you for sharing your stories!
I often psychoanalyze my problem - that is, I try to justify every action and try, at least, to give it some explanation and understanding.

I have come to understand one thing - my problem is more pychological than physical. Yes I have the common CP symptoms, if you will, like tension. But I think I just suffer from the normal anxiety or panic attack. And the fact that I have mild cp, it just instigates it to the max. I pick up a full glass at home, no problem; outside anywhere in public, I spill it. I walk normal, tense-free at home; outside I tense up upon the realization of people looking.

And thats the thing, my CP is so mild, many times its up to the point of having to pull out or find change in my wallet, or just open my mouth is when it becomes noticiable!

I just want to be tense-free and just speak without sounding like I am too low and slow!! In my dreams, I know!! But like all of you I have good and bad days. Goods days give me so much strength - it is so amazingly gratifying to feel so positive! it feels so good! My day just goes so well, and those are the days I really see God and say thanks!! But, all that, SOMETIMES, can change in seconds, all with just ONE thought!! Like, why am I still single, no one will hire me, why did I just tense, why did my voice come out like that etc...all those stupid, stupid thoughts, that yes, cross my mind, but manage to completely GET ME DOWN! Then self esteem plunges along with it. Very hard to figure out....is that just life?? I wonder. I am religious and I believe, and some things, though I cannot explain, I am comforted with the thought that GOD will take care of them. But why can I not keep things positive all the time???

Goosberry, thanks so much. You know, yes I tried asking for help and all times I have been helped. Sometimes, when I get coffee, the people there a ll ready know and go out of their way to always help - and they do. I'm talking about those times where, there are either kids or adults who are just clueless and maybe feel afraid, and they dont help. Regarding the voice - yes I heard siinging does help, or speaking loudly. I just feel very shy & embarrassed doing that!! But I guess things like blowing out through straws? What can I say, thanks again, and along with your advice i will take, as well as my need to just pray and pray and pray.

 
Old 01-04-2010, 02:15 PM   #11
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

hi there i was a bit surprised at how hard you are on yourself maybe you should try an just say o well this is me like it or lump it.i kinda understand though as my 15yr old has severe cp and i half kill myself trying to make everything in his life happy an good.when in reality we are very happy with our lives but give in to what society has led us to believe is the right way to do things.so my new years resolution is to say if hes happy then so am i.you should try it or quite simply ask when you need a wee hand .

 
Old 01-06-2010, 08:21 PM   #12
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Jack71 HB User
Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

You are beautiful in God's eyes. Life is so short. Love yourself and love others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CandP View Post
I can't get over how difficult I make things for myself. I am great at psychoanalyzing things, but to put things into practice I just find nearly impossible.

I'm college educated, intelligent, have a personality, and much more. Yet, I still haven't been able to go out and enjoy my life. I don't have many friends, partly because I really haven't gone out much, I work with my family, and the few friends I have just married and/or have young children.

All my life (I'm 32), I've always been very embarrassed of my CP. It's very minor compared to the average CP diagnosis. I just tense when I get nervous, something I have lately managed to control somewhat, however, I may get that occassionaly stare when I am trying to pay in change, like tensing and shaking a bit trying to find 45 cents in my wallet. Walking with trays still a big problem, if the tray has drinks. The other day I wanted to try a coffee at a fastfood restaurant and as I'm in line waiting, I noticed that they dont cap the drinks since the caps are at the end of the counter. So U'm thinking how will I cap it? I ended up leaving the place. I thus realized later that i could have just left the drink there, walked 4 feet to the cap section, walk back, and just cap it or ask them to cap it. Why can't I just not make things difficult for myself and move on???

I talk with some small difficulty, I learned to talk through my chest not from my abdomen, and through tensing because of my CP, I tend to run out of breath easily, sometimes projecting is a problem. Once at a store the cashier thought I was deaf. Something I've never encountered before. But I met a girl who is partially deaf and I can now understand that her voice is a bit different when she talks, and after recording my voice from exercises, it occurred to me that I sound so similar to that. I was so upset in a way.

I tried therapy, both speech and even sought a psychologist for 6 months. He basically said there is absolutely nothing "mentally" wrong, only that I suffer from low self esteem. After I heard that, I started to re-examine how I think about myself and realized how right he was.

I just feel I need to constantly prove myself and that I cant doing anything right. I never pay attention to good things said about me; just bad, like my incompetence but not many people have really said my problem is my weakness. The good outnumber the bad 10 times over, yet I stick to what I hear about the bad. I want to find a job to make more friends and meet more people but I have a very hard time pushing myself to do this....why? I'm reading self-help books and trying to ignore my CP, but I'm still unsuccessful in doing so.

Could someone share with me, how do you rebound from low self esteem, esp. when you also have to deal with a disability on top of that?

 
Old 01-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #13
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Re: Believing In Yourself, Why Is It So Hard For Me To Do?

Dear CandP,

The truth is there are no quick fix answers to your self esteem issues. But, there are some really helpful things you can do for yourself.

I also find that I can be very analytical at times. This can be a GOOD thing...A journal can be an incredibly useful tool. Not just to write about the things that upset you but to give you a place to recount good & bad events. Also write down how you responded to the situation. This will allow you to use interactions to evaluate how you handle the good & the bad and help you to make choices about how you hope to respond in the future. If you feel good about your ability to face situations on terms you have some say in you may find it will begin to help your confidence.

Also, just because one psychotherapist was not as helpful as you needed does not mean you should forget about this option all together. Like any doctor, your comfort level and trust in them can make all the difference. Therapists and support groups can be a tremendous resource. Maybe keep looking for the right fit.

Lastly, remember that everyone (CP or Not) has got to find there way in a world that is not static. Life moves forward , situations change constantly, it isn't about finding THE ONE true answer it's about finding the thing inside you that makes you want to move forward and live up to the possibilities you create for your own life not down to the ones other people consign you to.

Best of luck ,
gracie

 
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