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Skills & Methods
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My name is Crystal and I am from Canada. I was born with the disability Arthrogryposis that essentially means, my joints are all there but it's like someone didn't know how to assemble me. Unlike some disabilities, mine does not get worse nor is it painful for the most part. As a small child, I had many surgeries to try to correct my disability but at around 12 years, my mother stopped allowing them ‘to fix’ me. Although surgeries have helped in certain aspects, after a point she realized that the surgeries were more invasive and said to the doctors, “That is enough, She will figure it out.”. Looking back it was one of the best decisions my parents made because with their confidence in me allowed me to cultivate my own confidence. What makes my parents even more special is the fact that I am a child of adoption. The first two years of my life, I lived in a hospital for the disabled. After that I have lived with my family ever since. I have two older brothers and a sister and I am the youngest of four children. My adoption was neither advertised nor a secret and with that gave me the confidence to know who I am eventually.

Some may view my disability as a liability but it is simply a part of who I am. What is unique about being disabled is that you must overcome many things right from the start of life. For example when I was born, I was in emergency surgery that very first day. Down ‘the road’, I would have friends who were disabled, and are no longer with us because their disability was degenerative. Day to day it is trying to navigate a disability through a nondisabled world but mostly it is overcoming your own perspective on ‘who’ you are, such as self-confidence and body image. I do not get angry or sad when people feel sorry for me because to me, it shows that they care on a certain level. My life has been one of many extremes, both physical and mental but without all of these moments I would not be who I am today without them. My friends are exceptionally supportive and my family are the core of who I am, so I did not get through all of this on my own and for that, I am grateful.

What does all of this mean for you? My goal is to listen to what is troubling you and then share my thoughts you. Think of me standing behind you with my hands on your shoulders gently turning you towards a new view and asking, “What do you think of that?”. It is up to you to take what I am offering and apply it to your own life. I do not have all the answers nor do I pretend to. All of my life experiences and continuing search for answers for even me; I look forward to an open dialogue with you.
Approach to Topics
Relationships can be very complex and sometimes confusing, mostly because they rely on a good flow of communication. You have to be open to listening to the other person and take in what they are telling you before you decide to react. At the same time, it can be difficult to say what you want or even understand what it is you want. Not to generalize but fear I find it is the biggest obstacle in relationships.

Communication can be hard on both sides because verbalizing what is going on in your mind or thoughts can feel daunting. Maybe you are confused about how you want to work something or you feel that you will be misunderstood. Talking to someone who does not have an invested interest in the relationship can help give you some perspective and maybe refine your choice of words.

At the same time, you have to be willing to listen to what the other person is telling you without taking it personally. As much as you want to be understood and have your ideas listened to it, is equally important to take in what another person is saying to you. Sometimes the answer you are seeking is in the words of the other person in your relationship.

Depending on the type of relationship you are having difficulty with can determine the level of emotion. Moreover, when we are emotional it is hard to separate what it is we want with how we feel. Because the relationship means something to us, fear generally (but not always) holds us back from being clear with ourselves and the other person or people involved in the relationship.

Tell me about your relationship, how you think it is affecting you and what you want from it. With me, you will not be judged but I will tell you the truth as I see it. From a place of safe conversation, we can sort through your thoughts and feelings and come up with a plan where you feel comfortable. What you do with what we discover is up to you.

I have had many vast relationships that have been abusive, complex, painful, and loving. In my profile page it explains where my perspective is coming from. If you feel I am someone that can help you then I look forward to talking to you.
About Remain Calm & Love & Relationships Advisors
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