DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

LOVE MADE ME FEEL ACCEPTED

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Efrat Ben Itzhak

Hi my name is Efrat. I'm 41 years old with Cerebral Palsy (CP). In the past, I used to stay behind the scenes, close to the walls and always in corners, going where people would suggest me to go, or doing what was expected from a person in my condition which was basically not being in the way. At that time, loneliness & sadness were great, I was even silent to my own self which was hard. I felt that my disability was a mistake in God's big production line. I used to think that if god is all really all that mighty what was his plan for me? I didn't know what I was supposed to do, there was no written manual on how to live my life, and there was no school or university that teaches how to make it in life and more importantly how to love yourself. I have a bachelor degree in psychology and education, license in teaching special needs and have had some interesting personal relationships, but still I didn’t feel whole. Sometimes I felt not understood, generally hearing the questions but not letting the answers flow out of me in their true way of expression not filtered and straight from the heart. The pain of the person with a disability is not just the physical one but the fear of being different, not fitting in, not being understood and sometimes staying behind. At the age of 35 I was lucky to be interviewed on TV on a program that wanted to hear my story and of other peoples that want to make changes in their lives for the better. Yes, me the silent girl with the disability going on national TV with nowhere to run, talk about fear treatment… I discovered that I have what to say, that I can speak load on my challenges, fears and dreams like anybody else. The more I talked on my life, my experience with my limitation, the do's and don'ts I've learned from and the importance of inclusion in society. I discovered that people are interested in hearing more, that they got inspired by my story and that it fits the general public and not only the people with disability or special needs community. I was overblown with love which made me feel accepted, feeling that people see me as an equal contributing person and possibly a friend. Today I am almost 41, listening a lot and sharing my thoughts with no fear to speak, I am here and visible to all, I am whole. I am happy with who I am, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned & like a good stove I've been cooked for a long time. I am here to help other discover about themselves, I am here to have communities understand each other, I am here to stay.

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