I recall my adopted father, Ronald Fino telling me in one of our deep conversations that took place in our living room, one night while a movie was playing in the background. My dad is the love of life, pushing me to the max, trying to be a better person than I once had been in 2016. I had a disagreement with my mother, that leads me homeless with nowhere to go but to a women’s shelter.
Other of my family members did not respond, and I reached out to him as my last hope before I became a ward of the state. When Ronald heard of my dilemma, he offered me a place in his home in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife, Alla, and their son, Daniil. I immediately flew out to them.
This family's love, interest, and understanding gave me a whole new outlook on life, and the encouragement to continue writing and to become involved in the Cerebral Palsy community. I am, in essence, their adopted daughter. Ronald's career was in the Intelligence community, and law enforcement and his family have a substantial commitment to fairness and justice for all. In Ronald, whom I consider my Dad, and Alla, whom I think my Mom, I discovered how fulfilling life with Cerebral Palsy could be with the right family, activities, and unconditional love. Had there been the proper advocacy, protective laws, and services from the beginning, I would not have suffered abuse and neglect in my youth.
I can tell you anything, and everything about the 1,000 tail’s with so many details due to my long-term memory. People always said that “I have a memory of an elephant.” I can recall an event and dates playing it in my head like it just happens the other week ago. Sometimes it a blessing and sometimes it's cured. I feel like there are tons of books on bookshelves, internet blog’s, and YouTube videos, stories that one read in a Facebook group, Hollywood movies on the subject on Cerebral Palsy.
I was born with CP, so it did not affect me like a war hero losing his legs or his eyesight, though in my formative years spaned in hatred and dysfunction in our home… I was isolated in my youth by homeschooling and the bitterness of a mother that I tried to love but as always rejected/ Was it my handicap? Another reason that I am not aware of. Putting it simply, I was a rejected child. Today, I hold no bitterness or animosity against her, but it still hurts. Fortunately, with my limited capability, I earned a high school diploma with honors.
Everyone pictures people with CP or with another disabled adult as being innocent and vulnerable. They treat us, disabled adults like children. I think my story could help open people’s eyes. Having a disability does not make someone less of an adult, innocent, or unaware. I have the sexual wants and desires of a woman desiring a companion. It’s hard, hurtful and has become a thick cloud of lust, of wanting but not having.
My biological mother turned from a loving mother to someone who hated me while I grew up. This feeling locked me up through my teen years. She manipulated my thinking, such as making me unfriend Jessica, my beloved life-long best friend, and family that she had brainwashed me to hate and such. I’ve survived three murder attempts by her hand. She made me feel like an animal/monster that needed to be locked up, and she tried to get me locked me up in a mental asylum or a group home for disabled people to forget about me — acting like I was never her daughter. Sadly, to say, I don’t believe our paths will cross again. I have my own life, and she has her own life that’s isn’t web together. There is so much worse than my mom had done to me after my dad passed on that I won’t write here. I recall that night when she admitted: “I have hated you since the day I found out that you have CP.” Since that night, I lost something dear to my heart. My undying-daughterly love for her, knowing that she’ll never come to love me as me.
My biological father had this golden heart, a warn huge great smile and such a pleasant personality. I hold no antagonism against my father. Now that I’m older, I see that my dad was under her thumb and gas lit when it comes right down to it by my mom. He tried hard to please my mom with shopping money, gifts, yard work, doing what she said or wanted, even if he had to turn away from his mom, brother, and his three sisters for good. At times I never understood, but now as I type, he was like myself, brainwashed by Mom. Everyone tells me that I am just like him, carrying on his happy-go-lucky attitude.
My little sister, Hanna, who was one year and a few months younger than myself, was the "golden child” in my parents’ eyes. Hanna was on the golf team and the town's leading acting group, she was always making headlines in the town's newspaper as a teen and went to high school, unlike me. She was a star, bring home golf state titles with her golf team. She had always got the starring roles in plays, yet when Hanna was home, she used me as her punching bag, sometimes I was at fault for the fight— being the mess-up daughter of my parents — having fits of anger out in public when someone treats me like a baby.
Hanna dropped out of high school because she never did her schoolwork and went and got a GED. My parents acted like that having a GED was even better than a high school diploma. I was so lonely, I had no friends at that age, and I always had dreamt about going to high school since I was little. I wanted to experience high school life and all its milestones.
All my life to this very day, I have a unique, rare bond with my grandma, who is my mom’s mother. I called her my Gragwa. She was more like a mother to me, my dear best friend, since my mother dropped me off at her house each day. Gragwa raised me to be the woman that I am today; she taught me everything. She was always there for me, helping and encouraging me never to give up and keep carrying on. Memories of her taking me for ice cream with the top down on her convertible as a little girl to our wonderful getaway, Cesare’s Palace. Gragwa always said this, “Amanda, you were meant to live an extra extraordinary life.” to me since I could remember. My mom hated the fact that I was closer to Gragwa than her. She tried to put us against each other with mind games. It never worked, I’ve always picked grandma over her.
Then the Nightmare of Scarlett had happened, My parent’s mom’s dear friend Nancy. She had a sister named Scarlett that was in her 70s. Scarlett has a grown and married daughter with a significant handicap; born with no arms or legs, making her wheelchair bound. My mom and Nancy thought that Scarlett and I would become good friends. My mom let Scarlett take me out to the movies, lunches, and such. I only had a “sleepover” once at her house. Turns out that night was the worst night of my life because she did some unspeakable things to me just after I turned 18. Did I tell my parents what she did to me? No, because they need Nancy at work, someone they must trust working for them. Yes, I hid it.
Years later, I went to see Scott, a counselor, who told me that Scarlett raped me when I told him about it in our first of many sessions. (I’ve changed his name to protect his privacy) Years later, Scott and I fell in love and started a love affair that was doomed from the start, because Scott was engaged, as well as being 32 years older than me. We had done sexual things, yet I never hold Scott until I fell him in my body.
We both wanted to make love to each other and had plans to. However, Scott got cold feet at the last minute and got married. I was so madly and deeply in love with him that I tried to take my own life. I am coping with the fact that Scott and I never had sex, and it’s painful. Having people yell at me that he raped me when they were not there in my shoes. “Did he?” I still have ambiguous about it.
My very first kiss was from a man that was well over 65, and it makes me disgusted at the very thought of it. Larry was my next-door neighbor back home. I was hanging out with Ray, fixing a computer when he asked me to make love with him, saying that he was the only man that would want to have sex with me. He eggs me on into kissing him. From then on, I was hell-bent on having sex. I even got a sex surrogate but backed out because I still not over Scott. I ended up having sex with a guy, and it was a very quickly one-night stand.
I've discovered my talent for writing at a young age. As a result, I've published six books by myself. Yet this year 2019, this past April they have picked up my first book, TIMELESS OMERTA that used to be called OMERTA AFFAIR. I’m finishing up writing my newest book telling my inner depth of emotion being a woman that has CP with a unique outlook on life. Cerebral Palsy Gal has been a work in progress; I haven't found the exact words until now. It shall be coming out sooner than later.
I'm beyond grateful and thrilled to say that I’m a member of the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Partners in Policymaking. I'm hoping to spread Cerebral Palsy awareness and to provide a beacon of light for all disabled people, starting up this fall 2019. I’ve started an Official Newsletter of the author Amanda Fino; CPGal Reader Nest, that comes out on the 4th of each month, with book news, a Badge of Courage small article saluting Cerebral Palsy and other disability warriors.
I’m finishing up writing my newest book telling her inner depth of emotion being a woman that has CP with a unique outlook on life. Cerebral Palsy Gal has been a work in progress; I haven't found the exact words until now. It shall be coming out this year, with Deepest Elements a Novelette, that people are saying "It's worth your time."
My family encourages me to go to conventions and dinners with other professionals and well-connected people. I hope to spread Cerebral Palsy awareness and to provide a beacon of light for all disabled people. I'm wholly dedicated to making life better through proper advocacy, living environments, and medical research. Right now, I feel like there needs to be a book on adult matters of a full flesh woman that has Cerebral Palsy — expressing my deep inner emotions within myself. Having a unique person outlook on life, I am admitting that I made a lot of horrible mistakes on my behalf, and I own up to ALL of them. In hopes for other young women that has Cerebral Palsy not to make the same mistake as I did.