Cerebral Palsy Is Not the Most Interesting Thing About Me

I don’t know how I would respond if someone told me my CP is what makes me an interesting person. Like this writer, I don’t want my work to focus solely on my disability.

TIME

I’m awful at the art of the retort. My older brother tried his best to teach me about comebacks, but the lessons never stuck. Insults leave me stunned and silent. And so it happened one summer night in 2007 that I was mute when a college writing professor told me: “Your disability is the most interesting thing about you.”

My disability, which I’ve had since birth, is cerebral palsy (CP), a neuromuscular disorder. The diagnosis can apply to a wide range of symptoms with various degrees of severity, but in my case it affects my balance, depth perception, and fine motor skills. Although I walk with a limp, I’m able to live an independent life. Two operations, plastic leg braces, and a few years of physical and occupational therapy mostly mitigated CP’s effects on me. I thought so, at least.

Then that writing professor offered her perspective: “Your disability is…

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