Here's a question that has been bouncing around in my head for some time, does being disabled change the 'core you'?
I am not talking about a sudden change from able bodied to disabled that can occur quickly and unexpectedly although the question would still be appropriate but I have no knowledge of that at all so maybe if someone reads this who has faced that change they could answer it from their own experience.
I am talking about a slow, progressive change over many years that means you become more disabled as time goes on, how does that change a person? And is that person still the same inside even if the outside has changed drastically?
If we take the emotional struggles out of the equation, I.e. the benefit fiasco that has dominated my thoughts of disability recently, and if we remove the physical changes from our thinking will we still be aware of the familiar 'core' being inside?
I have had people say 'but you are still you deep down' but am I?
Are my beliefs, morals, interests and feelings the same as they ever were?
Do I still laugh at the same things? Cry over the same things? Am I basically the same as I ever was?
I am not sure if it is possible to strip off the outer coating of thoughts and feelings to explore the 'original' persona that has always been there as we all change as we grow older, learning and experience changes our beliefs along the way.
I can look back to the quiet shy insecure child and recognise the me now in the images I recall but was that the 'core' me? If it was then that child has certainly changed as indeed she had to in order to survive and become an adult, has disability had an impact on those changes or would they have happened anyway?
Situations and circumstances throughout my life have dictated the directions I have taken with regard to work, social life, family etc as is normal with everyone but is there a 'core' being that remains the same, the centre of you, the unchanging part of you even as changes occur?
My body is packing up on me bit by bit and my physical being has changed but my attitude, my beliefs, what is important to me remains pretty much the same, how I deal with the changes, how I deal with life and how I view things now is different through necessity but that is illness, the environment and society that have forced those changes, have they forced 'me' to change also?
There is no simple answer, I really don't know because I am still searching for the 'core' me, still looking inside when the outside let's me down or hurts me.
I want to believe that the me that ever was still is and will continue to be so, unaffected by my failing body or the trials and tribulations of today's society.
That somewhere deep inside is the me that nature made before nurture got hold of me and twisted life around.
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