August 30, 2020

"People thought I was a strange girl, because I was different. Pretty much as soon as I was born, people would tell my mother to get rid of me because nobody would marry a girl like this."

"No-one knew what the matter with me was. Disabilities were not understood in my village at the time, and nobody knew what cerebral palsy was. People in the village would tell my family that I was a punishment from a previous life.... I was too young to remember but my auntie who lived with us told me that my body was like a rag doll. A few villagers argued that she should be thrown into the river and left to drown. But I was literally saved by my father. He physically had to intervene to stop my body from being taken from our home and discarded like an object... I remember when families would come over to our house to check if I would be suitable for their son... I'd dress up in traditional clothes and sit in our small living room. When the families who came over saw my condition, they would say to my family, 'You expect our son to marry this?' And then leave."

From "'They wanted to drown me at birth - now I'm a poet'" (BBC).

32 comments:

Michael K said...

Here, especially in Virginia, she would be aborted. Problem solved.

traditionalguy said...

Christianity is radical because of the love the Holy Spirit enables in believers. The Hindu spirits just want to kill people the cannot enslave.Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Gahrie said...

She's extremely lucky she wasn't aborted or abandoned at birth.

stevew said...

A lovely story. Such a strong person that perseveres despite her body holding her back and other people trying to dismiss her.

madAsHell said...

I had a small window into the life of a woman with cerebral palsy. We worked together teaching Sunday school.

She wanted all the things other women wanted. It wasn't going to work out for her.

mikee said...

Now do Downs Syndrome kids in Iceland. Oh, wait, never mind. There are only 2-3 such kids born there with Downs per year, the past decade or so.

The government of Iceland had to make a press release emphasizing that it is entirely the choice of the parents whether to abort a pregnancy when Downs is diagnosed before birth, because most civilized people thought the government was forcing such abortions on mothers. But no, it was the mothers.

gilbar said...

most civilized people thought the government was forcing such abortions on mothers. But no, it was the mothers.

of COURSE they weren't "forcing", just "strongly encouraging"

gilbar said...

Christianity is radical because of the love the Holy Spirit enables in believers

GOD is Love.... Satan HATES that!

Scott said...

Martyrdom confers legitimacy on one's story.

Drago said...

mikee: "Now do Downs Syndrome kids in Iceland. Oh, wait, never mind. There are only 2-3 such kids born there with Downs per year, the past decade or so.

The government of Iceland had to make a press release emphasizing that it is entirely the choice of the parents whether to abort a pregnancy when Downs is diagnosed before birth, because most civilized people thought the government was forcing such abortions on mothers. But no, it was the mothers."

The proud liberals and leftists in Iceland literally and explicitly declared they had "cured" Downs Syndrome....and they "cured" it by killing all the babies with it.

Those Icelanders would make terrific democrats here in the US.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Oh, no, mother. The shaman says our daughter has cerebral palsy & so will never be married, or even be a comfort to us in our old age. Instead, the burden of caring for her shall only increase as we age and she ages, and when we are gone, she will starve. The shaman says it would be good to throw her into the river."
"But father, she may become a poet!"
"Really? A poet? What does the shaman know! We shall keep her, then, & not toss her into the river! The world will thank us for our sacrifice one day . . . maybe."

Heartless Aztec said...

Good Sunday morning morality play.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Smith said...

A poet? Just what we need.

Nik said...

This seems like a pretty good counter argument to the assertion that all cultures are equal.

Wa St Blogger said...

In 2005 I was in China for my third adoption. One day I was walking down the street and found this young woman sitting on a sidewalk with cup in hand, hoping for some passersby to drop some money in for her. She was pale skinned with white hair. Albinism, is the condition she had. Because of that condition, she had zero prospects for marriage, and similar prospects for work. Compounding this, is that Albinism also affects vision, so she was probably legally blind, though not totally blind. What struck me so hard was that my first adopted child also has albinism. I saw with striking poignancy the future my first child would have faced had she not been adopted. Next week she heads off to a college in Wisconsin of all places as a Junior transfer student. Her vision limitations are not so severe that she cannot succeed in school (3.7 GPA), and she is beautiful and without shortages in male admirers. The idea of terminating a life (before or after birth) is so abhorrent to me. No matter the circumstances, every person deserves a chance in life. I think it is a strong commentary on the society when you consider the willingness of the adults to make the sacrifices for the weak and helpless. We've come a long way, but there is further to go.

Wince said...

"But I was literally saved by my father. He physically had to intervene to stop my body from being taken from our home and discarded like an object," says Kuli. "He saved my life and stood up for me."

One of my best friends was born with CP in the late 1950s. Not an easy time for him, even here.

We met as adults. Later, I learned he was given up for adoption as an infant, which surprised me because he and his father were always so very close, even before his mother died. Not an easy choice for his adoptive parents to make at the time.

When his father died, I was helping him clean the house. We found a picture of him as baby, a newly adopted child, being held in the air by his father over his head with beaming smiles on both their faces. So much love. It made me weep.

Men sometimes get a bad rap.

Big Mike said...

People with cerebral palsy are among the bravest in the world.

Sebastian said...

"Neighbours told her parents they should throw her in the river, instead they brought her to the UK."

Now why did they do such a thing? Don't they know the UK is just as racist as the US?

Just out of curiosity: how much did her parents' move cost British taxpayers?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“Christianity is radical because of the love the Holy Spirit enables in believers. The Hindu spirits just want to kill people the cannot enslave.”

Ah, the other love that dare not speaketh it’s name in the modern Media. The stone reality is that if not for a society shaped by Christian/Enlightenment values, this woman would never have had a life worth the name. Also fun to reflect on how many generations of women of color have been set free by the legacy of Imperialism. Women like our heroine should be singing Rule, Britannia every day of her life.

n.n said...

A life... a wholly innocent life deemed worthy of life should be our default positition.

Darkisland said...

I'm all for poetry. I probably have more books of poetry in my house (A dozen or two) and read more poetry than 95% of Americans. I don't read much but most read none at all. (Is Cardi B's "song" Wet Ass-Pussy poetry set to music? Is Cardi B a "poet"?)

I have never understood this mystic aura we wrap around poets. Yeah, poetry is nice and all but what makes poetry and poets exceptional?

Quick, what can you tell me about Vaclev Havel? Most people, if they can say anything at all about him, can tell you he is a poet. Some people could tell you he was a prime minister (or president or something) Even fewer, including me, can tell you of which country. (Czechoslovakia, Hungary or one of those countries)

But he was a poet so all worship at his feet.

He did seem to do a good job of bringing his country out of russian subjugation. We should respect him for that.

Good on this girl for overcoming her disabilities. Good on this woman for becoming a poet. What does that mean, exactly? Is there any 19 years old girl, and a lot of 19 year old boys, who have not been poets? not in any meaningful sense, just in the sense of having taken a stab at writing poetry.

I like some poetry. Blake, Service, Kipling, Ferlinghetti, Browning and others. But I like authors of books better. Kim, for example, is far, far, better than all of Kipling's poetry put together. Ditto a lot of his other books and journalism. That is not a knock on his poetry, just that his prose is far better.

John Henry

J. Farmer said...

This seems like a pretty good counter argument to the assertion that all cultures are equal.

Until a society gets infant mortality under control, they tend not to have a very sentimental view of the lives of children. In Victorian Britain, child slave labor working in brutal conditions was a common feature.

SDaly said...

The government of Iceland had to make a press release emphasizing that it is entirely the choice of the parents whether to abort a pregnancy when Downs is diagnosed before birth, because most civilized people thought the government was forcing such abortions on mothers. But no, it was the mothers.

I've always thought that was a big part of Democratic women hating Sarah Palin. She was the embodiment of pro-life, loving and proud of Trig, and they could not deal with the shame of knowing they would have snuffed out his life in a hearbeat if they had been in Palin's place.

Mark said...

You think that we are any better?

Here in the United States, they simply declare the person with CP dead and send them off to the funeral home in a body bag, where they are discovered just before embalming that that they are actually alive.

#SayHerName Timesha Beauchamp

Limited Perspective said...

My middle son, when he turned 18 went off to college and rejected our traditional Anglican church. He joined a Mennonite church. His Church built an orphanage in Thailand for children with HIV. If a child has HIV in that culture, they are rejected by the parents and become orphans. His church decided to do something about it. The orphanage is where he spent his time while not in school.

I was glad all my kids had an experience of cultures that were not started by (often nominal) Christians. He didn't fully reject his Anglican upbringing. Today, he considers himself an Anglinite.

Big Mike said...

@SDaly, I agree.

Limited Perspective said...

My daughter spent time in the refugee camps in Greece. She saw first-hand the hatred different Middle Eastern and African groups have for each other. She got a genuine taste of true hatred, which shocked her, and is very different than the "racism" of the U.S. The non Western, non Christian world is not what we are told it is.

n.n said...

I was glad all my kids had an experience of cultures that were not started by (often nominal) Christians. He didn't fully reject his Anglican upbringing. Today, he considers himself an Anglinite.

We rebel with a cause, then we reconcile with a clue.

n.n said...

Until a society gets infant mortality under control, they tend not to have a very sentimental view of the lives of children. In Victorian Britain, child slave labor working in brutal conditions was a common feature.

A correlation, certainly. Throughout it all, we strive.

Night said...

Love has no bounds. And in the modern age we can amplify our strengths via many avenues.

JAORE said...

"You think that we are any better?

Here in the United States, they simply declare the person with CP dead and send them off to the funeral home in a body bag, where they are discovered just before embalming that that they are actually alive.

#SayHerName Timesha Beauchamp"

Sure Mark. That's SOP here in the nasty old US.

#Watta putz