I can’t be the only person that tends to dwell on the past, can I? okay, maybe not the only disabled person, but maybe I am? I don’t know. I just know, I tend to stay in the past and try to recapture those memories and try to implement them now in the current present; however, it doesn’t always work out.
Childhood was so much simpler; No responsibilities, friendships were easier to make and maintain, I wasn’t in as much pain, my anxiety/OCD/depression wasn’t bad until middle school/High School, I didn’t try to fit in as much, I had a pretty good idea of who Jamie Elizabeth Cormier really was, and of course People I cared about weren’t dying left and right. I had a wonderful childhood and lots of wonderful memories despite having my disabilities; sure, there was the occasional person that mistook me for a “monster” or would just stare/point (the bullying really didn’t start until 4th grade). However, like all children, I took it for granted and couldn’t “wait to grow up so that I could do what I wanted.” Boy, who sold me that fairy tale and can I sue them?
Sure, as an adult, I can do some things I want like staying up all night, going out when I want(as long as I am not in college, not working, don’t have previous plans, have the money to do it, and of course, not hurting.) I can drive (again, as long as I am not hurting and I do have the gas money.) I can drink legally(not a big drinker), buy cigarettes (but I don’t smoke), buy a lotto ticket/scratch-off ticket or go to the casino (if I can afford such luxuries at the time.) But, in the same token as an adult, I also have bills (my choice for moving out with my fiance’), I have to make some tough decisions, I have college courses (my choice) or have to work. I have to handle my own medical stuff (paperwork, phone calls, etc). its a lot of responsibilities that causes my anxiety to go into overload and I end up having emotional meltdowns at least once a week.
However, there is always a silver lining: if I stayed in the past, I wouldn’t have learned important life lessons (through mistakes, my experiences with bullying, fights with friends, failing classes,etc.) I wouldn’t have my friends that I made as I got older (junior high, High School, College, my medical “journey” (st Louis, Missouri.) I wouldn’t have my fiance’ and wouldn’t be planning for a wedding. I wouldn’t have my associates degree in general studies and pursuing my bachelors and then further on to try to better advocate for myself and others with disabilities and special needs- teaching young adults with them to better live independently to the best of their abilities through life skills, modifications, adaptations, job skills, and helping them find jobs they are passionate about instead of just the jobs like Goodwill or Arc. That is my dream and with the right amount of willpower and determination, support from family/friends/and community, any dream can become a reality.