I was born with multiple disabilities not limited to profound hearing loss and a still as yet undiagnosed disability of "skeletal abnormalities" (my joints are weirdly put together basically). None of these stopped me from doing much (although I'll be honest, I milked it for all it was worth to avoid my least favourite subject: sports and physical education - Sorry to all my former teachers!). My parents were protective (Mum a little more so), but also did whatever they could to make sure I could do anything able-bodied kids could do and not be inhibited by my disabilities (dad in particular was my strongest advocate in childhood) so it wasn't until I developed Scoliosis in my teens that I was really affected and inhibited in my ability to do things, mainly due to pain and restricted lung capacity.
|[Image: charcoal drawing of human silhouette looking out of|
a window. The picture depicts loneliness and isolation.
Credit to Camilla on flickr]
The worst part was in Year 13 and the year after high school when all my high school friends peeled off to university. I was not able to go to university as I did not feel like I could cope on my own. I stayed at home and attended the local polytech while all my friends were dispersed around the country. I was not confident at driving so I couldn't go visit them and I felt like a failure by not being part of all the rites of passage all my friends were going through. While I was doing what I wanted at the time, I still felt very inadequate and struggled to make new friends. Loneliness and (thought I didn't realise it at the time) depression were very present features of my life. This only got worse when I was told I would not be able to complete my polytech diploma and focused myself on studying for a different diploma through distance study. Obviously this didn't help much with social interaction and making friends, but for me, it was better than sitting around home doing nothing.