What kind of freak are you?”
“Look how weird she walks!”
“Can you stay away from my children? Don’t ever come close to them again!”
“What can a girl like you can even do?”
Over 26 years of growing up, I had put up with such painful insults just because I was born with a different body. I am short, small and have swollen hands and legs. Just because of that, so many people have intentionally taken away my human rights. Even my father who gave birth to me treated me as if I were a monster. When I was a child, I didn’t acknowledge that I, myself, was a person with a disability. I still tried to play with my friends like a lively child, but everyone refused and turned away from me. No one accepted a child like me. They thought I was bad. There were many reasons they gave me to isolate me.
Back home, my father did not accept me since I was born, he did not like girls and a girl with a disability like me had no reason for him to love me. For 26 years, I had never received love from my father, not even a question or concern. As I got older, I became more aware of my “different body” because of the mordacious attitude of people around me. I had always tried to study to prove my ability but no matter how hard I tried, no one recognized my ability.
After graduating from high school, I decided to go to Hanoi to find a job, live independently from my family and take care of my mother who was getting older. Due to her weak health condition, she had not worked much. As a result, since high school, I had not asked for money from my mom. When working, I had always experienced discrimination regardness of the workplaces. There were times when I just lived like a deaf and mute person. I went to work, came home and didn’t communicate with anyone nor did anyone actively communicate with me. The meagre salary was just enough for me to cover my daily life. It took me a year to have a little saving money to give to my mother.
Then one day by chance, I found the facebook page of the Will to Live center and the courses here. I went to work to save money for 1 year, then decided to apply here to study. Coming to the Will to Live Center was the first time I felt like I belonged somewhere. Here, I got to meet people like me. They sympathize and respect each other’s values, they also share and love each other like a family.
At the Will to Live Center, I feel like I am at my own home … Although I still have a very low self-esteem to this day, I already have my own goals so I will try to achieve them. I gave up my negative thoughts and the pain I went through to achieve my dream.
My biggest wish now is to be able to learn IT skills well, get a stable job and be proactive in terms of economy. After earning my first salary, I’ll buy myself a watch, so that I can count the elapsed time and I definitely won’t waste a single moment in my life again.
Sharing of a student at the Will to Live Center