So Grown Up

September 20, 2007 at 5:04 am (helpful tips, myself & I, opinions, rambling, reflecting, resources, story telling)

I can’t count on one hand the amount of times that I have heard “you’re so grown up for your age!” It seems like every time I turn around, somebody is saying that to me. I’ve surprised my older sister’s friends and my parents’ friends with my sense of humour and outlook on things. They seem generally pleased with this, I guess they are relieved I’m not like most teenage girls who spend countless hours obsessing over makeup and guys and worrying about the latest trends. But there is a reason why I am “so grown up”.

Having a disability forces you to grow up fast. Unfortunately, it’s true. At a younger age, you are forced to face more heavy things; such as countless surgeries, chronic pain, and feelings of being alone and isolated from others your age. While your friends worry about the current love triangles on Laguna Beach, you are worrying about the surgery you have scheduled a week from now.

I will admit it; I missed out on a lot of the fun kid stuff. Such as jumping off of tall fences and playing roughly with friends. I had to be careful; my doctor wasn’t sure how my bones would heal if I ever broke one. Better safe then sorry – that was his outlook. So I didn’t get to do any of the things I wanted to do. For the longest time ever, I longed to take up horse back riding. I figured it was the easiest sport for me to do (and I love horses), but my dad was worried that it would be too hard on my legs (it would have been, but just so you know there are several therapeutic horseback riding stables such as North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, which has activity programs in both the United States and Canada and there are also several other small places that do therapy riding as well, just look it up in your surrounding area). So I never got to do that, because it could have caused more damage.

Not meaning to scare all the parents out there, but lets face it; high school is basically all about experimenting with drinking and drugs. When I was in high school (so basically like 3 months ago), I found myself completely above the whole “party scene”. While all my peers were partying hard, I sat back and observed. I wasn’t into the party scene. I dislike not being in control of my actions and surrendering my brain to the affects of drugs and alcohol. I dislike taking pain killers to help with the pain of after surgeries, so I was definitely above the party scene. I knew you could have more fun sober then if you had some narcotic messing with your brain. Not to mention, I’ve had bad experiences with drugs that were meant to help keep the pain at bay. I remember clearly one time when I was in the hospital and on a lot of morphine and I kept seeing things that weren’t there. The feeling completely freaked me out, and I honestly could not see why any of my classmates would choose to feel that way. I would much rather sit at home and read a good book or rent a movie then go out to a party.

My sense of humour has always been more mature then it should be because I feel I relate more to adults then I do people who are the same age as me. I can admit it; I am a very sarcastic person. My frequent use of sarcasm often gets me into trouble, but it’s like my second language.

I feel way older then I actually am; both physically and emotionally, but I’m not sad about it. I am not regretting the fact that I have always had more empathy and a better understanding for people then most females my age. I’m not sorry that I don’t sympathize with the drama that happens in that pathetic TV show, Laguna Beach. I don’t regret finding myself and knowing what I am about before any of my friends have the slightest clue. I know that I can use this to my advantage. The only thing I do regret is feeling isolated and weird because I do act older then I am.

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5 Comments

  1. Avitable said,

    You are definitely very mature and much more adult than many people 5 years your senior.

  2. Meaghann said,

    I think the most frustrating part is when you can’t get across the fact that you’re more mature than everyone else so everyone treats you like a child.

    Oh, and god forbid your average adult finds out you have a disability. A physical disability apparently counts as a mental disability in alot people’s minds.

    Feeling isoltated and weird…those are really normal. It’s a challenge, but you just have to rise above that. I just make friends with people older than me.

  3. JC said,

    Avitable; thank you! 🙂

    Meaghann; Yes, society really isn’t accepting of anybody with a physical or mental disability. I find that when a lot of older adults find out I have a disability – like my grandparents friends, for instance – they suddenly act like I’m one brave little soul and treat me like I’m younger then I am.
    And sometimes, people older then you can be immature too. I learned that this week 😦 haha

  4. Laurie Edwards said,

    I totally know what you mean–when other people are worrying about Halloweeen costumes or sleepovers and you’re just hoping to avoid another fall surgery, it’s certainly hard to relate. When I was younger, I spent more time with adults than kids–usually in doctors’ offices or with my parents and other adults when the healthy kids were out playing–and I felt I could communicate more easily with them. It gets easier, but you will always see things from a different perspective…and that isn’t a bad thing!

  5. JC said,

    No Laurie it certainly isn’t! I’m one of those rare teenage girls who doesn’t like or cause drama! I think it’s because I’m too “old” for it! Heh!

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