I was thinking that experiences from my childhood are firmly etched into my subconsciousness, and are, without a doubt, part of the 'who am I' question. Whether or not I or anyone else wishes to erase those childhood memories from my mind, it is a part of the lens from which I view 'who I am'. In my early childhood days, I was teased, avoided, called names, always picked last for team games, or never picked at all, which meant the teacher had to be my partner. I was always reminded that I was different, and not acceptable to my classmates. I was special but not in a special, happy way, but in a special-avoidance-way which made me unhappy and lacking in self confidence. In my childhood, my way of coping was to become very quiet, studious, observant, and secretive about my disability ( or at least I thought so!). As I aged, my peers were less thoughtless and more accepting, but that seed of self-doubt, and never measuring up like able-bodied others, had been planted, and was nourished in my subconscious. Others may see me as confident and self-assured, but deep down that little seed of self-doubt is there. Dis- ABLE- d. Am I afraid to release the 'Dis' from me, because then 'who will I be?' In essence, my disability has defined me, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

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