The struggle she didn’t know she had

4102043385_b337d2476c_oThe struggle she didn’t know she had
by Minna Von Walden

Her day had been hard, stressful, and very challenging. She often struggled with her day to day activities. Her silent struggle to hide her disability was weighing her down, more than usual. She did more, she achieved more. She challenged her challenges on a regular basis. There were many things; activities, abilities, and normal every day things that her disability was known for hindering, challenging, and making them almost impossible to do. She did them anyway.

Every time she was told that she wasn’t supposed to succeed, she wasn’t supposed to be able to do certain things, she didn’t have to try, She did them anyway. She had not always known she wasn’t supposed to be able to do those things. She’d not been told that the reasons for her struggle, for the difficulty she experienced when doing the things that everyone else seemed to make look easy. She’d not known that her body didn’t function as it should. So she always struggled to appear normal. To be like everyone around her, no matter how hard it was. She pushed herself to the limits of what she could endure. She needed to be like the others. To be able to do the things that others did so effortlessly. It was hard for her to achieve, but she appeared almost normal. Her silent struggle was worth it and would always be silent.

A day came that she almost gave in. A particularly difficult day. Her struggle was so difficult. She was tired, exhausted from the constant daily effort to be a normal functioning human. She stopped. She reminded herself that she wasn’t created with the ability to do what she’d been struggling to do. People with her disability are not expected to do a lot of day to day, normal activities. They are not expected to be successful with anything. She thought to herself, there was no reason to continue to try. Why should she always struggle. Just once, she was entitled to give up and not try.

But she couldn’t, she couldn’t give up. She’d always done what she’d had to to survive, no matter how hard it was. She’d done it because she’d never been told that medically, she wasn’t expected to, she wasn’t supposed to be capable. So she struggled. Not knowing that she was not able, that she didn’t have the capabilities, the same capabilities as everyone else, made her work harder. She’d succeeded because for most of her life, she’d not known that she couldn’t.



photo credit: Silvia Pellegrino via photopin (license)