Disabilities and Psychic Abilities

Posted by Jessica Jewett 6 Comments »

A lot of people keep asking me about my theories concerning the connection between disabilities and psychic abilities.  I have talked about it at length in different places but never in a concentrated place like my blog where I can direct people when they ask me about it.  So here I am to explain it!  I don’t think this blog will be very long because it’s pretty straightforward but here we go….

My beliefs on this matter are very simple.  I believe that there is a connection between displaying natural psychic abilities and having some kind of disability whether it is physical or developmental.  (As an aside, the proper terms are physical disability and developmental disability.  Saying crippled or retarded are not at all acceptable.)  I started noticing the connection when I was rather young in school.  When I realized what it meant to be someone with psychic/intuitive/mediumistic abilities, I was somewhere around middle school, I think, and I was automatically put into special ed classes for one period a day just by virtue of being in a wheelchair.  Mainstreaming people with disabilities in school permanently is a whole other issue that I will probably talk about it another blog at some point.  But anyway, some of the other kids in the special ed classes sometimes talked about sensing presences that they couldn’t see or hearing mysterious sounds or knowing information before it happened.  Basic intuitive abilities, really.  Outside of the special ed classes, the other kids almost never talk about those things.  In fact, outside of the special ed classes, talking openly about intuitive abilities was almost always met with ridicule and bullying.  I made the mistake when I was very young of telling a few friends about the things I saw or experienced and it resulted in bullying that made me silent about it until I was well into high school almost ready to graduate.

I never gave it much thought, the question of why people with disabilities of any type were more prone to having spiritual experiences than “normal” people.  I don’t like the term normal because it implies that people like me are abnormal and I don’t think that’s right but there is no other way to compare and contrast people with disabilities and not with disabilities right now.  My mother made a friend with a professional psychic when I was in my sophomore year of high school and that woman made the suggestion to me that people with disabilities are actually very advanced souls and it’s natural to make the connection that advanced souls would be more connected to the other side.  She used people with Down Syndrome as her example, specifically naming them as being very advanced souls.  She also indicated that such people are on their last lives and will not reincarnate anymore because they have finished everything they need to learn and they’ve used their last life to teach people around them.  That was my first exposure to a theory about why people with disabilities are naturally more connected to spirituality than others.  Specifically in the areas of developmental disabilities, I have noticed that people with various forms of autism tend to displaying natural mediumistic abilities.  Several friends of mine who have children with autism also report their children having significant and legitimate encounters with spirit entities and displaying precognitive knowledge.

In my case, I don’t have any developmental disabilities whatsoever but I am technically a quadriplegic so that makes me fall into the physical disability category.  That gets a little hairier as far as fitting into the theory of why disabilities and spiritual abilities seem to be so connected.  When I was writing my book about reincarnation, I really had to address that issue because I knew other people were going to ask me about it.  That meant I had to ask a lot of very difficult questions, which is what should happen when anyone is writing a book about spirituality in any form.  It actually occurred to me when I was watching that movie Ray about Ray Charles, who was blind.  I don’t remember the exact scene or anything but the the actor playing Ray referenced the fact that because he was blind, the rest of his senses were heightened.  He was talking to a woman and told her that there was a hummingbird outside or something of that nature and she looked and found the hummingbird even though she hadn’t noticed it.  He noticed it because he could hear it.  His other senses were extremely heightened because one of his senses didn’t work properly anymore.

Most people probably don’t even realize it when they look at people with physical disabilities but we are extremely confined and many of us have some senses denied that other people take for granted.  Some of us don’t have a sense of touch at all (I do have full sensation).  Some of us are very limited in our mobility, which means we can’t just get up and go into the next room when we hear people talking.  It doesn’t matter what sense is taken away.  The other senses are going to go into overdrive to make up for the loss.  It’s not anything that happens because we intended to – it’s just the body’s natural way of coping and surviving.  Since I was very limited in where I could go and what I could do when I was younger before I had a wheelchair, I got very good at listening to everything going on around me, even in other parts of the house.  I knew where everybody was in the house, and I knew what they were doing, and most of the time, I knew about every conversation that happened under my roof even if I didn’t witness it firsthand.  Being so limited and mobility forces a person to be still and quiet much more in their lives than the average person.  That’s usually the first lesson in developing psychic abilities – be still, listen, etc.  It’s the beginning of meditation.  So people like me who are not as physically active as everyone else naturally developed the beginning stages of meditation without realizing what it was.  And as the other senses became heightened, so did extrasensory perception.  It happened for me at an extremely young age.  I started having experiences with the other side and spirit entities when I was a toddler even though I didn’t understand the terms “afterlife” or “ghost”.

In the simplest terms possible, it just comes down to being denied one or more senses and the other senses jump into overdrive to make up for the loss.  People don’t typically think of psychic abilities as another sense.  The tend to put it on a pedestal like it’s special, so special that only a few people actually have it.  I kind of disagree with that.  I think it’s just something everybody has but most people ignore and never develop.  Extrasensory ability is no different than a sense of touch or sense of smell or sense of sight.

For those of you who regularly watched Paranormal State, they often did experiments with sensory deprivation in order to open themselves up to encounters with entities.  It’s basically the same principle.  If you deny yourself certain senses, the rest of them will try to make up for the loss, and that’s really what’s happening to people with disabilities.  It may be true that people with this abilities are more evolved spiritually than the average population but I truthfully don’t know for sure.  I believe it but I can’t prove it.  It’s much more accepted to believe that sensory deprivation in any form will lead to the remaining senses becoming heightened, including extrasensory ability.  So if you have people in your life who are disabled in any form, my advice is not to question them too much if they claim to have spiritual experiences.  They’re probably telling the truth.

What are your theories?

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My bucket list

Posted by Jessica Jewett 2 Comments »

20120706-005247.jpgOne thing I have noticed about being 30 is I’m starting to think more about the things I want to do before my time on this earth is concluded. I’m sure everyone does that when they reach a certain age. For some, it’s later than 30. For others, it’s earlier. I find myself thinking about life passing me by more often these days because I have been facing the reality of mortality through rather serious illnesses of a few people I cate about very much. We don’t know when our time is through. We do have control over this moment though. I want to accomplish all of these things by the time I’m ready to turn 40. They are listed in no particular order.

My Bucket List

1. Spend a few months in France.
2. Spend a few months in Italy.
3. Study painting in Europe.
4. See my ancestral castles in Europe.
5. Learn French, Italian, Russian, Tsagali and Lakota.
6. Finish my American history degree.
7. Be a public voice for those with Arthrogryposis.
8. Have one of my books made into a movie or miniseries.
9. Publish books on a bigger scale.
10. Grow as a writer.
11. Be more disciplined about keeping a journal.
12. Earn a reputation as a skilled painter.
13. Find companionship with a man – a meeting of minds and souls that still allows me to keep my independence.
14. Visit Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Barbados and Costa Rica.
15. Be at peace with my body.
16. Allow myself to be loved.
17. Be a bigger voice for real paranormal research, not para-celeb nonsense.
18. Write a biopic for Joshua Lawrence and Fanny Chamberlain.
19. Go skinny dipping.
20. Spend more time sitting under the stars.

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About my disability – Arthrogryposis

Posted by Jessica Jewett 34 Comments »

Since Arthrogryposis Awareness Day is coming up on June 30, I wanted to update this old blog about what it means to be a 30-year-old woman living with Arthrogryposis in this world.

What can you do for Arthrogryposis Awareness Day?

I’m going to make a video this year like I did last year. Each June 30, people are encouraged to wear blue to show support for people who were born with the condition and the need to educate people about it. We don’t have a celebrity spokesperson throwing charity events to raise money and pressure medical science to do more research for more effective treatments. I’m asking you to wear blue on June 30, take a picture or video of yourself and send it to me at jessicajones9828@gmail.com so that from there, I will put your contribution into a video. People have gotten creative before with blue nail polish, blue ribbons, blue hair streaks, or anything else if simple blue clothes don’t interest you. If you choose to send a video, please tell people why you support Arthrogryposis Awareness Day. My final video goes to www.amcsupport.org and YouTube to continue efforts to raise awareness. AMC Support also takes donations to help families with children who have this condition, if you can spare a few dollars. And please pass this blog around to your friends and encourage them to participate as well. Last year I had 150 participants. I’d like to see more this year.

What is my life like with Arthrogryposis? An honest look.

I realize that not everybody is comfortable with asking questions about disabilities even though most of us with disabilities prefer it that way. For me personally, I’m a blunt person for the most part, so I would rather people just ask what’s on their minds rather than stare or wonder about this or that like having a big elephant in the room. I prefer people get their curiosity out of the way quickly so we can get on with knowing me the person inside without my disability being this thing overshadowing me. People commonly say they’re afraid of offending me. I totally understand that. I would be afraid of offending me too if I was in other people’s shoes. There’s no need for fear with me though. I’ve been asked everything from, “How do you write?” to, “How do you have sex?” so nothing offends me anymore.

This is the truth on my disability. My diagnosis is called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita but I just call it Arthrogryposis or AMC. Here is the basic explanation of it from WebMD.

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a rare disorder that is present at birth (congenital), is characterized by reduced mobility of many joints of the body. Impairment of mobility is due to the overgrowth (proliferation) of fibrous tissue in the joints (fibrous ankylosis). There are many different types of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita and the symptoms vary widely among affected individuals. In the most common form of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, the range of motion of the joints in the arms and legs (limbs) is limited or fixed. Other findings may include inward rotation of the shoulders, abnormal extension of the elbows, and bending of the wrists and fingers. In addition, the hips may be dislocated and the heels of the feet may be inwardly bent from the midline of the leg while the feet are inwardly bent at the ankle (clubfoot). The cause of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) is unknown. Most types of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita are not inherited; however, a rare autosomal recessive form of the disease has been reported in one large inbred Arabic kindred in Israel.

This is my reality:

Arthrogryposis is really a term that covers about 150 different variations of those symptoms. Most people with Arthrogryposis can walk a little bit with a walker or totally unaided because most types of the condition only affect the arms OR the legs but not both. My case is particularly rare in its severity because both my arms and legs are fully affected. I cannot walk at all, nor can I use my hands enough to function in everyday life. I also did not have proper medical care as a child because I was born about five years before doctors figured out the best general course of treatment for this condition. Since this condition affects bones and connective tissue, it’s best to get the brunt of your corrective surgery as a child before everything is fully formed. I missed that window of opportunity in a lot of ways so corrective surgery is not quite as affective on me and it takes longer for me to recover as I get older. All of that is why my case appears more severe than most.

I have lost count of how many surgeries I’ve had. It’s somewhere between 15 and 20 but I truthfully don’t know the exact number. Some surgeries were a matter of life and death while others were experimental attempts at giving me more mobility. I’ve had a complete spinal fusion from neck to pelvis, meaning there are two titanium rods wired to my spine that split off across my pelvis and that makes it difficult to bend at the waist. I’ve had hardware put in and taken out of my hips. My thigh bones have been surgically broken and repositioned for more mobility. My feet have basically been rebuilt to correct the clubfeet, which is regressing and I need another surgery there. Those are some of the more serious surgeries I’ve had in the past. Sometimes I can be very self-conscious about what I wear because I don’t want people to see my scars, nor do I like to show off my body because it only reminds people that I’m “different”. As I get older, it’s getting easier to be comfortable in my own skin because I know I have value as a human being and I have a quick wit and a clever mind. There are differences with my body but I’m still a woman with all of the hopes, dreams and desires that any other woman possesses.

I live with pain every day. My feet and hips are especially troublesome because of the bone deformities and early onset of arthritis. It can be challenging because my mind and heart are adventurous and I want to experience everything in the world but sometimes my body doesn’t cooperate. That’s par for the course with this life though and I roll with things on a day to day basis. I do not accept no as an answer when I’m told I can’t do something. I’m the kind of person who will do a thing three times over when I’m told no just to prove I could do it. Adopting that stubborn attitude early on is the reason why I have learned to fly on my own without companions, I’ve gone horseback riding, I’ve gone whitewater rafting, I’ve swum in the ocean many times, I go on cruises, I’m a Civil War reenactor, I’ve camped everywhere from the Rocky Mountains to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I’ve seen 32 states, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas, and so on and so forth. I’m not designed physically or mentally for a 9-5 job, so I’ve carved a life for myself as an author, an artist and a spiritual intuitive.

Despite the daily thoughts about having to adapt everything, I’m a perfectly normal woman. I need help doing some things like getting dressed and bathing but I do a lot more on my own than people think. Since I can’t use my hands enough to call it function, I do things with my mouth. I have the ability to write, draw, type, sew, needlepoint, use scissors, tie knots, etc., etc., etc., all with the various tools in my mouth, which has become the butt of jokes over the years but you’ll notice most of the jokes come from me first to put people at ease. If you do it with your hands, I find a way to do it with my mouth. People often ask how I learned all these skills. I taught myself through trial and error starting from infancy. My family never treated me like an invalid so I had to learn to do for myself very quickly. The body’s ability to adapt is amazing when you think about it.

There are a lot of misconceptions about me and this condition.

The main misconception is that people think I’m like Christopher Reeve, who had no sensation in his body. I am not a spinal cord injury, so I have full sensation throughout my body except for some numbness in my right hand due to an overzealous surgeon who caused nerve damage. The truth is I have a heightened sense of touch. That applies to both pleasurable sensations and painful sensations. I have a very high tolerance for pain because of it. Whether my heightened sense of touch is related to my disability or my work as a spiritual intuitive is unclear. It may be both.

The second big misconception is that I can’t move at all. Not true either. It looks that way because most people see me in the wheelchair, which is actually a lot more limiting than not being in it. Think about it – you’d be more limited strapped to a chair too. I spend the majority of my life out of the wheelchair and only use it when I’m going somewhere. I sit on couches or living room chairs just fine, but most of the time I’m lying on my stomach so I can move around and be independent. The amount of help I need is really minimal when I’m not in my chair. This is far from a round the clock nursing care situation. In fact, I feel suffocated if I’m around people trying to do everything for me too much.

The third big misconception is that I’m not capable of being in a relationship and all people with disabilities are asexual. Absolutely not true. I’ve had longer relationships than most married people I know. I was engaged for a while but the relationship was abusive, and after a miscarriage, I left him. There is a plus side to being disabled when it comes to relationships – vain people only interested in you if you’re “hot” will avoid you and you can avoid that drama. This is not to say people with disabilities aren’t hot – far from it! – but the vain types aren’t capable of looking beyond the chair. I prefer men to be strong, stubborn men with depth and intellect who have passions and interests beyond clubbing and impersonal sexual encounters. Those are the only men I will consider and they are the only ones capable of seeing the woman beyond the chair. Don’t ever settle for less than what you deserve!

I live with Arthrogryposis but it does not live my life. My wheelchair is part of me but it is not ME. I have had boyfriends, I have been engaged, I have been pregnant, I have survived abuse, I travel, I publish books, I help people in spiritual matters, etc. I have the same thoughts, desires and feelings as any other woman. Sometimes I have to adapt the way I do things, but I do, and I get on with life. The majority of people with disabilities are stronger and more driven than anyone else you’ll ever know, so there is no reason to be afraid of beginning a friendship or more with us.

Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s better to speak up instead of standing around feeling awkward, especially in my case, because your awkwardness will make me feel awkward. Nothing offends me anymore because I’ve heard it all. I don’t believe in beating around the bush, so say what you mean and mean what you say, and we’ll get along fine.

So there you go. A closeup glimpse of life with Arthrogryposis.

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