Coming to terms with my disabilities. Hey everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I am going to talk about my disabilities. This is probably going to be a long post as I want to be as real as possible, so let’s just jump right into it. I am deaf, I wear two digital hearing aids all day, every day. I also have my right arm amputated due to a car crash accident in Nigeria when I was between 5 – 6 years old.
Coming To Terms With My Disabilities
I don’t remember losing my arm, I was only 5 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 very bad and it was getting late. There was an oil tank lorry in front of our car which was moving very slow. Our driver tried to take over the lorry, unfortunately, the lorry started swaying side to side and eventually hit our car. Our car tumbled into the bushes and the end. Well, eventually help came and took us to the hospital.
Losing My Arm
When we finally got the hospital, I was dying. My right arm had been completely crushed and split. The poison from the affected blood was flowing into my heart. The doctors gave my mum the most difficult, unthinkable, ultimatum – either they amputee my arm, or I die. Time was running out, my mum panicked and gave them permission. 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 10 years old my parents notice something odd about my hearing. I remember not being able to have a conversation, increasing the T.V volume up to 100. It made me very shy and quiet too because I couldn’t hear anybody and no one was bothered to talk to me. So my parents went to have me checked out. The doctors could not confirm the cause of loss of my hearing but said that it was likely to be from birth or the car crash.
Growing up with these conditions have been extremely difficult, especially at school. Let’s face it – a lot of things happens at school! Why? I think it’s because the schools are students playground. It’s a place where they can feel a sense of independence away from home, the parents and rules. So they feel a sense of freedom and does whatever they want to do. The sad thing about it was – nothing could stop them. I mean, you do not go jail for bullying other kids, do you? You will, however 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 its 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 things might be super great and you just 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 I reported it but nothing was done. It made things even worst. Not only the bullies actions – it affected 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 very shy and quiet kid who had big dreams to become their own boss. It felt like it was my fault because I have one arm and I am deaf. I started hating myself, depressed, attempting suicide and feeling lonely etc. 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 are 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.
Now, it was time to rebuild confidence, which took many years going back and forth and trying different things and taking 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 to of my disability. I had a voice and my voice was heard. I successfully progressed and joined the NUS Disabled Students Committee and met a lot of powerful people with different disabilities and background.
NUS (National Union of Students)
The organisation had power and a voice to make real changes for students. I thought I had it worse and that I was the only one who’s got 2 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 anything to anyone about why my arm is the way it is or why you have to speak a bit slower to me. I felt safe and happy. There were some couples, married with kids, families there too. It was very inspiring. I realised that I can do anything I want and be who I want to be, there’s nothing stopping expect 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 that it was me. Everyone was complimenting on my new found 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 you know that you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. Do not let anybody demons affect your life. Just keep doing you. Think positive, smile and walk with your head up high. At the end of the day, you will go home to those who love everything about you.
I hope you enjoyed that