Coming to terms with my disabilities. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a reflection on coming to terms with my disabilities. This will probably be a long post, as I want to be as accurate as possible, so let’s jump right into it. I am deaf. I wear two digital hearing aids all day, every day. My right arm was amputated due to a car crash in Nigeria when I was between 5 and 6 years old.
Coming To Terms With My Disabilities
I don’t remember losing my arm. I was only five years old when it happened. My mum told me the story, though. We were on a road trip to visit family members in Nigeria. The traffic was horrible, and it was getting late. There was an oil tank lorry in front of our car, which was moving very slowly. Our driver tried to take over the truck. Unfortunately, the vehicle started swaying and eventually hit our car. Our vehicle tumbled into the bushes and the end. Well, finally, help came and took us to the hospital.
Losing My Arm
When we finally got to the hospital, I was dying. My right arm had been completely crushed and split. The poison from the fake blood was flowing into my heart. The doctors gave my mum the most difficult, unthinkable ultimatum – either they amputee my arm or die. Time was running out. My mum panicked and permitted them. I was in the hospital for months after the operation. I had family and friends visiting me every day. Eventually, I got discharged and went home.
When I was ten, my parents noticed something odd about my hearing. I remember being unable to converse, increasing the TV volume to 100. It made me very shy and quiet too because I couldn’t hear anybody and nobody bothered to talk to me. So my parents went to have me checked out. The doctors could not confirm the cause of my hearing loss but said it was likely from birth or a car crash.
Growing up with these conditions has been extremely difficult, especially at school. Let’s face it – a lot of things happen at school! Why? I think it’s because the schools are students’ playgrounds. It’s where they can feel a sense of independence away from home, their parents and rules. So they feel a sense of freedom and do whatever they want to do. The sad thing about it was – nothing could stop them. Do you mean you do not go to jail for bullying other kids? You will eventually get an exemption from school, but that’s better news for the bullies because they do not like school anyway.
Some people would blame the parents, and some would blame the school, but it’s never the kid’s fault. Can someone explain this to me, please? I think it’s a choice! Being a bully is a choice! Yes, things at home might not be great, or something might be super great, and you decide to make other people’s lives difficult because you’re bored or you do not have confidence in yourself.
Anyway, back to the post. Sorry guys, I take bullying very seriously because I was bullied at school and reported it, but they did nothing. It made things even worst. Not only did the bully’s actions – affect my confidence too. Think about it. I was getting attacked, I begged for help once, and I got shut down?! Now you want me to keep asking for help? Where do you think I will get the confidence to ask again? How can I trust you? God knows what the bullying was about. I know I was a good student. Never have I ever looked for trouble. Some say it was a racist act, a discrimination act. Some even blame the victims for not standing up to the bullies. Sometimes, I wonder if bullies get bullied too!
Lack of Confidence
So bullies played a big part in my lack of confidence. I was a timid and quiet kid who dreamed of becoming their boss. It felt like it was my fault because I have one arm and am deaf. I started hating myself, getting depressed, attempting suicide and feeling lonely. I didn’t want to live anymore, and I remember crying and begging the bullies to stay away from me. Sometimes I was scared to walk down the hallway to my class because the bullies were there. It’s like they were waiting for me. I remember pretending to be sick so I do not go to school. Eventually, the bullying stopped, and I made good friends.
It was time to rebuild confidence, which took many years to go back and forth, try different things, and accept new challenges. Everything changed in 2010 – 2011 when I won and was elected as the Disabled Student Officer at my college. During my time in the position, I was able to find confidence, fight for what I believed in, and for the first time in my life, I felt strong and proud of my disability. I had a voice, and they heard my voice. I successfully progressed and joined the NUS Disabled Students Committee and met many influential people with different disabilities and backgrounds.
NUS (National Union of Students)
The organisation had the power and a voice to make fundamental changes for students. I thought I had it worse and was the only one with two disabilities. I was excited to meet other disabled people too. For the first time in my life, I felt ‘normal’. I was in a place where I did not have to explain to anyone why my arm was the way it was or why you have to speak a bit slower to me. I felt safe and happy. There were some couples, married with kids, and families there too. It was very inspiring. I realised I could do anything and be who I wanted. Nothing is stopping except one thing – Me.
So I had a bit of confidence before that experience, but after it, I was a new person, and no one could believe it was me. Everyone complimented me on my newfound self-confidence. You want to stir at my arm, go on, stir. I don’t care anymore. You want to talk about me – go for it, sweetheart. I had all the confidence in the world and started wearing short sleeves, tops and short dresses more than ever as I was confident in my skin. I was walking with my head up high and felt nothing but powerful.
If you are going through a tough time accepting who you are, I want to know that you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. Do not let anybody’s demons affect your life. Just keep doing you. Think positive, smile and walk with your head up high. You will go home to those who love everything about you.
I hope you enjoyed that.