Age and Devalued Status
CG just celebrated his 52nd birthday in February of this year. CG is a physically impaired man, born as a result of an unfortunate complication during labour and delivery which resulted in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and spastic dysplasia. CG’s future consisted of multiple experimental orthopedic surgeries (over 20 surgeries in total) from the age of 2 until he reached adulthood at the age of 21. Perhaps due to his medical condition and downtime from medical procedures, he encountered limited educational opportunities which may have contributed to his cognition and overall learning disabilities.
CG was a visual minority because he was either in a body cast or was required to wear special boots and braces (AFO’s) to assist with any form of mobility. CG walks with an obvious impaired gait and struggles to gain balance. This is often perceived as a state of alcoholic impairment until one engages in a conversation and realizes the reason for the staggered walk has nothing to do with alcohol consumption. Regardless of whom he is being judged by, CG would often fall prey to ridicule and name calling such as “handi” by his peers and community would refer to him as a cripple.
Initially upon early diagnosis (at the age of 2) CG was unable to support himself when sitting in an upright position. The physical impairment, due to its unknown consequences by physicians, was presumed that he would never be able to feed or care for himself. His prognosis did not look good according to the medical professions involved in his care. Ultimately it was determined that since he would never be a “normal functioning child” that institutionalization was the best course of action for managing him. There certainly was no point in educating CG as there was also not a school anywhere in the province of Ontario that could accommodate his physical or functional impairment. CG was left without a formal education until the age of 11. When he was introduced into a school system, his academic knowledge was comparable to that of a 2 year old.
CG has undoubtedly experienced rejection and felt like a devalued person for most of his childhood years. Through conversation and sharing of his experiences, CG was able to share
￼that he continued to feel various degrees of rejection from his teachers and the school systems in general. During one of his final years in a high school setting, the school administration permitted him to participate in the instrumental music class. He was “allowed” to pretend to play the drums while attending class. The teacher had informed the parent that CG should consider himself very fortunate that he was even able to physically be in this class but he was never going to be able to actually touch the drum sticks. The teacher reasoned this to the fact that CG would simply ruin the sound of the music that the other students were playing. From the outside it may have looked to the teacher that CG did not understand what was being decided for him. On the inside, he felt the rejection and it left a scar as noticeable to the family as if he were cut with a knife.
CG did graduate from a life skills program at a regional high school and subsequent to his departure he once again encountered a large void because there was no program for him to participate in post-grad. CG’s days were filled with hours of watching movies and television game shows. There was a local facility known as a place for “individuals with mental retardation” but because CG had developed the ability to read, write and speak, he was not eligible to attend any programs this facility offered. His mother was advised to wait and see if any programs opened up that CG would fit the criteria. This life wasting lasted for the next decade. There simply were no meaningful places for CG to go and there was definitely no employer that would venture to take him on as a valued employee. The community was not set up to accommodate for his high level of needs. The thought process was to wait and see if in the future, any new programs became available that would match up for CG to participate in.
Absences of Freely-Given Relationships (paid relationships)
Throughout CG’s adult life, it was finally determined that a 1-to-1 worker once a week, might be the solution to CG’s days of wasting in front of the tv. Through the local high school and the implementation of the required community-based service hours, a young senior student was assigned to “buddy” with CG. This became the start of something both positive and negative. The criteria that was required for someone to be paired with CG was an excellent process because CG enjoyed sports and politics so often the student was a match for the same interests. This was clearly a positive for CG as there were always games to watch and results to discuss. The negative piece to this type of intermittent relationship was the constant change of students (upon their graduation) as well as the level of commitment that often declined once their required hours were met. It became very apparent that CG’s time was not considered to be of value and that he would have no choice but to accept and wait for the next person to enter into his world. This re-emphasized that CG truly had no control to enjoy a natural relationship without any benefit to the person sharing time and interests with him.
Awareness of being a source of anguish to loved ones
CG has often alluded to the feeling of being a burden to his mother. This sounds as if it is part to the fact that his mother is tired and without realizing she often refers to how hard it was for her to care for her son on her own. CG’s mother believes he would have been given a better life if she gave him up for adoption which could be a result of her own abandonment issues as a child. The other part may be that CG feels like he is a burden and feels guilt about continuing to be dependent upon his mother to care for his everyday needs. CG needs his mother for daily care like errands, meal preparation and laundry. He wants to be able to do these things but is physically unable to take on these tasks.
Searching for the Abandoner
As indicated, the fact that CG’s mother raised and supported her son on her own constantly leads CG back to why did his father leave. CG has felt the pressure to reach out to his biological father to continually search to validate if he is the reason this father did not stay by him and his mother’s side. CG’s mother has confirmed that his father did not attend a single surgery and because CG depends on his mother’s recollection of this timeline, he must assume that his parent is repulsed by his existence.
CG is generally a happy and content individual but he has also experienced many accounts of rejection at the hands of others. CG rarely talks about the future and seems comfortable living in the moment. The strong sense that he does not want to believe or look forward to something is apparent in the way he makes his decisions based on what other people are doing. An example of this can be viewed in a simple task like saying yes to a cup of coffee or tea. He will revert to waiting until the person he is with has decided and then make the exact same choice as they make.
Failure Sets and Avoidance Mentalities
CG often responds with statements of failure in himself. It is not uncommon for him to apologize for simple things like taking too long to move about the room. He apologizes for forgetting the basics of information when he takes a phone message for his mother. CG is accused of forgetting many things that aren’t important to him and admits failure at remembering even before he tries to recall details. “I’m sorry” starts most of his conversations to the point where his family cannot determine if he is actually sorry when he truly needs to be.
Rage at the Self
There is the acknowledgment that CG can be self-destructive. He admits to frustration and anger that can be displayed through lies and distortion of the truth. Sometimes he wishes for something to play out in a certain way and will then fib about it when asked to provide a true rendition. CG knows he is fabricating a lie that gets him into trouble but decides it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. This will create tension in his relationships once the truth is revealed and results in heated discussions followed by outbursts and fits of anger. Ultimately the anger and rage are directed to CG himself and he often regrets this response but does not know how to change.
Step wise regimen
1: Becoming familiar with wounds
a) Describe TWO wounds the person has experienced. Choose the wounds you feel have had the most significant impact on their life. You may not use wounds 1 or 2.
b) Describe TWO responses the person demonstrates as a result of their wounding experiences.
Note: You may use wounds and responses from assignment #1 or select new ones. 2. Completing inventory of current roles
Create a chart illustrating the person’s devalued and valued roles.
3: Knowing risk factors
Describe, in detail, what the person is specifically at risk of based on their wounds, life experiences, vulnerabilities etc. You must include at least FOUR risks.
4: Explicating current social standing
Evaluate the person’s current social standing by answer the following questions:
a) How devalued is the person in society? Explain. (e.g. deeply devalued, marginally devalued)
b) Does the person have a well-established social system or is the person isolated? Explain.
c) Does the person have past accomplishments or valued roles that can be drawn out? Describe.
d) Does that person have any highly valued contacts that could “raise” their status? Describe.
5: Reviewing image & competency measures
Apply the themes of imagery & competency enhancement by answering the following questions:
a) Describe the image concerns that currently exist (incorporating various channels).
b) Describe the main areas where the person is lacking competencies.
c) Explain which would have a bigger impact, enhancing the person’s image or their competencies.
d) Explain which is more feasible (easier to do right now) – image or competency enhancement.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Page 1 of 2
6: Identifying role goals
a) Describe the valued roles the person already has that you feel should be maintained and/or
improved. Explain your choice.
b) Which devalued roles need to be prevented/avoided (ones they don’t already have), why?
c) List SIX new valued roles the person could attain.
d) Of the devalued roles the person currently holds, explain which ones you feel could realistically be
e) Of the person’s current devalued roles, explain which ones you feel could be made “less worse”, if it
isn’t possible or likely to get rid of them altogether.
f) If a specific devalued role can’t be removed or made “less worse”, explain how it could be exchanged for a different devalued role that isn’t as harmful.
CG just celebrated his 52nd birthday in February of this year. CG is a physically impaired man, born as a result of an unfortunate complication during labour and delivery which resulted in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and spastic dysplasia.