“I want a better past.”
Diego de Silva
If I have learned two things from my experience is, first, that right and unfair are categories not applicable to disabilities, diseases and accidents as they are not to natural catastrophes. Secondly that pity one’s self, which is inevitable when it happens, is the worst way to address the problem. Mind yourself, calling a disabled “differently able” makes me laugh. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not differently able. I have handicaps that make life difficult for me and that have prevented me from accomplishing many things.
When I became deaf I was studying foreign languages and literature. I graduated, but I could not learn a new language. Above all, and unfortunately, my depressive state and lack of support (my whole family lives far away and after I became deaf I had few friends left, because disability makes people uncomfortable when not even scary), made me lose a lot of occasions presented in the form of translations or reviews. Some I have done, too many have missed. And my Curriculum Vitae is so unpresentable.
At first, I felt skinless and uncomfortable in my surroundings. I partly compensated for the loss of hearing that began at 21 and ended up in total deafness at 25 I compensated with sight the loss of my equilibrium and other little things like lipsreading. But this does not make me differently able: it does not help me if I’m in a company of several people, or on the phone, a very essential tool in my work, or to avoid misunderstandings.
Having lost sight at one eye two years ago (for the other one nobody knows, but the sight is reducing) I’ve decided to make a second cochlear implant to improve my living conditions, even if the thought of the operation doesn’t appeal me in the last, but my equilibrium is again precarious and I wander with the sword of Damocles of a possible blindness.
But I firmly believe that my biggest disability have been depression and insecurity.
That’s what I want to work on, because at least it depends on me. The wall to be knocked down is first all inside me. As the poet says,
“The way we are living,
timorous or bold,
will have been our life. “