I’ve been living somewhat of a facade for such a long time, trying to make the world around me and myself believe that I’m just like everyone else, aka not disabled. Trying to wear the right clothes, wearing makeup, imitating my peers, and being generally agreeable so people will like me.
Now here I am, in my thirties, wondering how much of how I look and how I act now is a result of being true to myself or a result of my trying to conform for so many years. Part of me thinks I would dress like this and be this way regardless but part of me thinks maybe I’ve just gotten so used to it, that I don’t even know the difference anymore. That maybe I haven’t even tapped into my real self yet. Maybe my real self has pink hair and a couple of tattoos. Maybe my real self wants to just say what I believe to everyone whether they like me or not afterward. Maybe I have a super outspoken person just waiting to get out.
The reality is, I stand out no matter where I go. Even if I look just like every other person around me, people will inevitably still stare when I try to get out of a chair. They’ll stare or get quiet when I walk by because of my limp. Most of my life, I’ve just wanted to be invisible. But there’s been this nagging part of me lately that says to just say screw it and go all out. If people are going to stare at me no matter what, why not give them something else to focus on?
Maybe that would just be another way to try to get the focus off of my disability though. The reality is that I can’t control other people. No amount of dying my hair or looking “different” is going to stop people from staring at my limp or noticing various aspects of my disability. I think it’s good to embrace my difference but I shouldn’t do it in order to try minimize something I’ll never be able to control. I think that’s one of my biggest issues…I want to control everything, including other people. I’m not able to control my body or what it does (or even my mind it seems sometimes) so I think I have this deep seated desire to change everything else around me when in reality, it would be a lot more helpful to have the opposite attitude. I can’t control my MD so it’s pointless to try to control everything because some things, no matter how annoying it may be, are just out of our control.