Am I Worthy?

I went through years of self-hatred. It’s only within the last few years that I’ve truly become comfortable with my disabled life. Growing up, I didn’t like that I had a disability. I desperately wanted to fit in with my peers in school. Cerebral Palsy made this difficult, especially as I grew up.

In high school, I became so tired of social rejection that I didn’t feel like making friends anymore. Since graduating from high school four years ago, this has become even harder. Particularly in January 2021, someone who I considered a really good friend, stopped talking to me altogether and misled me into believing that a friend no longer liked me. This hurt me deeply and still saddens me whenever I think about it.

I often wonder if I am worthy of the same opportunities as a non-disabled person such as employment. Over the past couple of years, I have been looking for work. Employers don’t want to hire me once they find out that I have Cerebral Palsy. It is hard not to take rejection personally. The more this occurs, the more I wonder if an employer will ever hire me. Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability, but it will not affect my ability to work.

I need an employer to give me a chance. I am currently 22 years old. I am actively looking for work. I’ve been looking for work since I was 19 and haven’t been successful. I couldn’t even get a job at a fast-food restaurant or a grocery store. It is hard whenever I see “now hiring” signs at businesses where my job application was rejected. My biggest fear is that I’ll never be able to find work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.1% of people with disabilities worked in the United States in 2021. What are the 80.9% of disabled people who are unemployed supposed to do all day? I am an SSI beneficiary and have been for six years. I’d rather not rely on SSI for the rest of my life, especially when I’m capable of gainful employment. Ableism is the sole reason that I am unemployed right now.

When I think about the future, I am afraid that I won’t have a romantic relationship. Will people find me attractive even though I have Cerebral Palsy? I wonder if people think that I’d make a terrible romantic partner? If I had to have surgery, would my partner be okay with it? What about the fact that I couldn’t help with certain chores around the house?

I’d like to think that I could contribute to a romantic relationship even though I have Cerebral Palsy. I’d hate to feel like a burden on my partner. My Cerebral Palsy doesn’t make me incapable of loving and caring about someone. I have family and friends whom I love dearly. The thought of being alone for the rest of my life saddens me.

The ways that I express love and care for people might not be the way most people do, but it does not mean that my expressions of love are any less important or valued. I’d make sure that my partner knew that I loved them. I would do the best I could. I would help grocery shop and do other chores.

I often think about having children in the future as well. My biggest fear is that my child would resent the fact that their mother is disabled. Even though I couldn’t go down the slide or drive them to school, the most important thing is that my child would know that their mother loves them unconditionally. Cerebral Palsy doesn’t mean that I can’t raise children. I’ll have to find creative solutions, but that is okay.

Cerebral Palsy doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t live my life to the fullest. I don’t want to sit and watch the world go by. Like everyone else, I want to vote, travel, work, and lead a full life. However, there are times when it feels like this is too much to ask for. I’m worried that I’ll never be considered equal to non-disabled people. All Americans deserve equal opportunities.


“Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary – 2021.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 Feb. 2022,

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