I will be completely honest with you all. At times I’ve felt like giving up. Giving up on my dreams, and giving up on my goals. All because of the ignorance of others. When I was six I think I really realized that I was a bit different from the other children. I was in a wheelchair, and most of them weren’t. I also started to notice how people (adults particularly) treated me a lot different. I remember how adults would honestly treat me less of a person (mostly strangers), I would be treated as if I was incapable of doing things for myself, or being as good as the children that could walk.
I always knew that my disability only stopped me from walking, and that is the ONLY thing. I am capable of doing everything else. Since I was treated this way, I knew I had to do something about it. It breaks my heart to think about me as a young child making a calculated plan to gain the respect any human deserves. But I did come up with a plan. I would be the best at everything. This started from the age of six to seventeen. I tried to only make A’s, I tried to be like by everyone, and I tried to make myself more beautiful, because I felt like my wheelchair made me less beautiful. There was a time when I was ten, and I would pray to God to make me less ugly, so people wouldn’t be so mean to me. Looking back I can’t understand how adults, and other children could make a little girl feel that way.
A lot of children strive for perfection (which isn’t realistic), I was no different, but I worked towards perfection to prove that I was extremely intelligent, and that I could be pretty. All of this work I put in for such a long time never made a difference, because I was still being tortured by bullies, and no matter how hard I worked in school there was always someone ahead of me. My little bit of confidence soon went away. I was left feeling hopeless and burnt out.
When I was seventeen, almost eighteen I realized that I was sick of trying to prove others wrong. If they thought my wheelchair made me less intelligent, that’s their problem, if they thought I was less beautiful because of my wheelchair, who cares? I spent so much time thinking that I was proving others wrong, but I was really proving them right! I made them believe that they had power over me.
Now I follow MY goals, and MY dreams, because my happiness matters . I will never allow my own happiness to go on the back burner because of others. I’m twenty-two now, and I can honestly say that I am not that sad, broken little girl. I am a lot stronger than what I was. Giving up on what I want is not an option, and instead of going after perfection, I’m going after happiness.
No matter how many bullies you have, or just encounters with ignorant individuals, remember that you have to own your happiness! If it doesn’t make you happy, why do it? I wanted to share this, and I hope it helps someone.
P.S. Throughout those years I had the support of my mother, who is a single mother. Which is why I think I was able to realize that happiness is important for myself. I was given a lot of help to work through my sadness, but I had to really want to be happy, and work at it. Only you can determine your happiness.