A Cinderella Story

This article was written by a Citizen Advocate from the perspective of her Protégé of the occasion when the Protégé attended her advocate’s wedding.

It is every little girl’s fantasy to be a princess, to go to the ball. When I received my invitation I felt like Cinderella and I knew my life would change. 

The months leading up to the day were filled with excitement as we planned my dress, hat, bag, hairstyle and makeup. My friend took me to the hair dressers and my hair was styled.  I trembled with excitement during the dress fittings; it was wonderful to have something to look forward to. The night before the big day, it took me a long time to get to sleep, it felt like Christmas.

I squealed with excitement as I donned the new dress, and had my makeup done. My carriage arrived and off we were off to the castle on top of the hill. As I entered the ballroom, music was playing; the room was lit by huge candles and decorated with flowers.

I was introduced to the King and Queen for the night and then seated at a table.  The food was wonderful and I had wine.  I was entertained by minstrels and acrobats and every one at the table laughed and joked.  

I was seated with a doctor who didn’t ask me whether I had used my bowels; I spoke with a travel agent who told me about all the countries he had visited.  Another man at our table was an actor, who told funny stories and I asked another man who was an accountant about taxation. For the first time in my life I felt a sense of belonging, no-one talked about me as if I wasn’t there or laughed when I spoke.  People seemed interested in me and what I had to say.

All my life I have been told that I have an intellectual disability and it may be that I learn at a slower rate - it has taken me 75 years to discover that my only disability is natural aging and a lack of opportunity to go to the ball.