Live-Chat with Jessica Marie
1. During your childhood, what sort of support (if any) did yourself and your family wish to receive?
• I believe through doctors, physical therapist & etc. my family and I had plenty of support, but on the other hand I truly believe I would have benefited from knowing someone older who had CP, someone who had gone through life the same way as me. I love the online world that we currently have, if I had this 25 years ago I would have never felt alone.
2. Was having cp always a factor in finding someone? Was it easy to approach/meet people in person, or did you consider other options like online dating? Have you ever talked to someone who couldn't "handle" the CP? What was your man's first honest opinion of your CP?
• CP played a big part in my dating life because I truly made it a big part. If a guy broke up with me I automatically assumed It was because of my CP, which is silly because I’m sure there were other reasons to break up with me.
• When you meet someone in person it’s only natural for them to ask the most famous question “why do you walk like that?” That was the part that I struggled with the most. If you want me to be honest though, when I dated though high school & college, the guy asking me out on a date knew me prior and knew that I walked differently. As far as online dating goes, I tried it once, on tinder. I met one guy and now I’m engaged to him.
•Yes, absolutely and those are the people you want to stay far away from. I actually think it’s funny because were the ones who have to deal with all of it, and yet they can’t handle it.
• I asked Matt and his answer is “We met offline so and she told me prior to meeting, but it didn’t phase me at all. She’s strong, beautiful on the inside and out and has an amazing personality. Those are the qualities that matter most to me.”
3. If you're cp isn't that noticeable and you're going on a long trip should you let them know before the trip or just show up with your mobility aid?
• My advice is always be honest and upfront about your CP. I would definitely say something prior to the trip and that will avoid any CP related questions because they will already have known. I’m the type of person who would rather say something about my disability through a text or a phone call then person to avoid any awkward conversations.
4. When is the best time to tell your date about your disability?
• My fiancé & I met through Tinder, We talked for two weeks before we meet, and I told him during the first week of talking. If your online dating I completely think it is okay not to say you have a disability right away, but I highly recommend saying it before you meet up.
5. How can you help someone understand CP if the symptoms are less visible?
• That’s always a tricky one, I say just try and describe it the best way you can. Unfortunately, sometimes someone else who doesn’t have CP might not ever really understand. What I will do is describe my symptom in relation to something that they can compare it too, for instance my tight muscles I describe as stepping out into the freezing cold weather, how that first step outside make you tense up, and sort of mimics a tight, stiff feeling.