After being hit by a car at age 5, I was never the same, physically and mentally. Physically… I had to modify all my movements to keep up with being “normal”. My injury was not something people could see (besides the big scar on my foot). Everyone just saw a cool scar and why should that hold me back from walking normal or other physical movements like running, skipping or school/class athletic activities. They did not see what was happening under the scar, in the ankle.
Mentally… soon after I returned home from the hospital a child friend of mine, who was there when I was hit, came up to me and said “I laughed when you were hit”. Woo, ok. How does a 5 year old process such hate and jealousy. I internalized that of course.
My whole life, I always felt I had to prove myself to everyone that I was “normal”. I didn’t ask for this extra attention adults or teachers would give me. Since the accident I always had a limp and my foot was turned out. All the way from Grade 1, I was teased on a regular basis for being abnormal. I was not given the freedom to skip or play hop scotch without someone teasing me because of my limp or “funny walk”. Ok, some of you may be laughing and say, “oh come on, suck it up that isn’t that bad”. But for a kid who just wanted to fit in, it sucked.
(disclaimer… I know there are worse, much worse life stories out there, please, no disrespect meant. I am just sharing my story)
I remember in grade 6 my teacher gave me permission to do a double hop instead of a skip in a school event, many kids were laughing and pointing. They never let me forget that I wasn’t “normal”. I missed a year of school because of the accident which made me uncomfortable sitting in class and not understanding what was going on. I stood out too much at this point, last thing I wanted to do was raise my hand to ask a question. I don’t blame everything on my accident. But it sure was a turning point in my view on the world.
As a kid, I could have brushed it off and went about my own business and just chose to be myself. And be happy with my “limitations”. But I chose the hard path, I was always trying to fit in and be normal. I wanted to run like everyone else, I didn’t want a free pass to skip out on a school exercise. I wasn’t normal. I was Joan. I am ok with my past. It just took me a little longer to find out that I was special. We are all special in our own ways.
Good stuff happens when you begin to find your strengths and let go of your weaknesses. “Let that Shit Go”
Now to just find my way back to the islands. This Winter thing sucks!