Guest blog by the lovely Zara Lusty, blogger at livinglifeoverdisability.blogspot.co.uk
All my life I have had my disability, so it's something I have grown up with. Having my disability doesn’t stop from doing the things I want to do in my life. There are times when it does get in the way, but I like to try and find a way around these barriers. I still like to try and do the same things as a person who doesn’t have a disability.
Since I was little, people have always asked me “Is your disability not hard to deal with?” When I was young I did feel that, as I got older, the disability was going to be the hard part. Actually, having gone through the experience and living with it all my life, I now know that the disability is the easy part. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I wish I didn’t have it. But, I have learnt that having my disability is part of who I am and I’m okay with that.
As I have grown up I have found that it's all the other stuff that is hard to deal with in life. I definitely feel there is a lot of pressure put on disabled people to try and fit in with abled bodied people. This isn’t always easy; sometimes other people don’t want to be bothered and have that responsibility put on them to make sure you fit in. Going to mainstream school, I have found people only want to be your friend when they want to look good, in front of the right people. This really annoyed me; I wanted to be friends with people because they wanted it too. Not just because they were doing it to please the right people, giving me a false sense of hope.
Now that I’m a teenager, I have found this is the most difficult time to deal with not being accepted or fitting in. As a lot of the abled bodied friends I have inside and outside school don’t really want to bother with me on week nights and weekends. They find it easier not to invite me out with them, so they can still do things without having to change plans to take my disability into account. A lot of the time I’m left to spend the weekend with family, which I do love. But when it’s happening every weekend, you do get to a point where you just want to have fun with people your own age.
From having my disability, I have spent a lot of time in and out of hospital. I have noticed that older people are a lot more accepting of my disability. This can be a little awkward at times; I don’t want to grow up before my time. I want to be able to take the time, enjoy my life and do it with friends my own age. However, I know it’s not easy when you have an on-going battle of trying to fit in and be accepted as someone with a disability when people look at you differently for who you really are.