Growing up Invisible

Pixie is sitting in her wheelchair, facing the right of the photo. She is looking down and smiling shyly, holding one hand to her chest. She is wearing a green and orange half-and-half wig, a yellow denim jacket, blue denim dungarees, and silver holographic shoes.

I have always been disabled. Well, for as long as I can remember. I’ve definitely been disabled for longer than most people have known me for.

When I was four years old, I had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. (What is Meningitis?) I’ve been left with an acquired brain injury and a whole host of problems that come along with it, including constant widespread pain and declining mobility.

Until very recently, I masked as much of my disability as possible. I grew up masking it, especially as I got older and became more and more aware that I was definitely “different” from my peers at school. Even through college and what I managed of university, I feigned normality just to fit in.

Looking back, it’s a bit sad really. I should never have felt the need to disguise my pain and my mobility issues. I pretended right from when I was a small child, right up until last year.

Since my health began to rapidly decline about a year ago, I’ve had to drop most of the mask I wore to hide my symptoms. As the body and brain develop, the effects of a brain injury can worsen, sometimes rapidly. Unfortunately, mine has hit this point: I went from using no mobility aids, to a walking stick, to a wheelchair in the space of a few months.

I have always been disabled, but I haven’t always been visibly disabled. I haven’t become sick out of the blue, I have always been sick.

Love and light,

Pixie x

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