at seventeen

I am inspired today by the song “at seventeen” by Janis Ian. I chose this for my title as I feel that was a time in my life where I can share a lot with my readers. My friend my personal care attendant at the time had moved back across the country. I was heartbroken because a dear friend had moved but in part because I hate change and at this time this change felt catastrophic. I had grown used to the ability of getting out twice a week a time which allowed us to grow to become extremely close friends over the three years. She became the confidant that my young adolescent, awkward, self conscious spirit needed.

She left when I was fifteen or sixteen and my life as I knew it changed. No more getting out twice a week now it was once every two weeks. I found myself keenly aware during the last few years of high school and college that I hated being home alone on Friday nights. I wasn’t alone, my parents were here but seriously what teenager wants to be home weekend after weekend. I was never invited out, my peers with cars (or mom and dad’s car) never thought to include me in there events I think this is because they didn’t know how to accommodate the transportation of me and my chair. They didn’t think to ask me if I could figure out my own transportation, something I was fully prepared to do if invited out. I’d have people over to help alleviate this, but it wasn’t the same.

To deal with the loneliness, I through myself into the online world; the website that changed my life for the better in this way was ability online. Like minded people and youth really helped pull me out of the dark moments and put a smile on my face.

edited and reposted Dec 17 to include the links

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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2 Responses to at seventeen

  1. Adelaide Dupont says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with being alone on Friday nights.

    As a student, I would often go shopping, with my father or my friends. When I needed to study more, or listen to music, or go to writing events, I could do that.

    Being alone on the weekends were something else, because there would be sport.

    Managing your own transport and having people over are good ideas. That means they get to know you, your place, and what you do to make stuff accessible.

    It will probably mean a lot to the readers who are teenagers now.

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