The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer

Mar 16, 2011
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I was brought up with the motto that I could anything I wanted for the impossible only takes a little longer. The reality for me was that most things did take longer to accomplish. I was nine months by the time I figured out a way to “crawl” and three years by the time I could really walk. I have a physical disability called TAR Syndrome which has had both a physical and emotional impact on my life.

The physical impact can be seen and not seen all at once. Yes, I have hands but no arms and legs that bow out unlike most legs. That does not mean that every task is difficult for me nor do I need help with most things. It just means that I do most things different them mainstream society.  I see daily life like a puzzle before I do something for the first time I must find all the pieces and figure out the correct order before going forward. This process has made me a creative problem solver a trait that I have found to be true with many people with disabilities. It is a trait that I am thankful for because living independently in an able-bodied word with a disability is not easy.  Walking, running, climbing stairs, playing sports, dressing, and driving among other things are things that I have done because I wanted to and sometimes because I felt I had too.

The emotional impact is something that I am good at hiding. At a young age I was faced with people staring, whispering, laughing at me or pulling their hands into their shirts thinking it was funny. Then there were the people who pitied me and thought they needed to help me because I could never do it myself. I dealt with these two problems differently first I learned to laugh at the pain because I realized people stopped quicker when I laughed with them instead of crying. Then I decided that I would everything that people said I could not do just to prove them wrong. Both of these strategies helped me overcome countless challenges but at a cost.

Photo courtesy of Salem News.

History would call it ‘super cripple syndrome’ people with disabilities had only had two options be everything or nothing. This is myth that I believed in until my last year of high school. Before high school, I had believed in myself but was always worried about what other people thought and felt this deep need to prove myself worthy. I am not sure what trigger my self acceptance but it happen. Since then I have learned to accept that people will judge or not judge regardless of what I do. I love the person that I have become and have decided to pursue the dreams that are meaningful to me. Everyday I live to inspire myself and anyone else around me.

Author: Sheila Radziewicz

  • Jess

    Very inspirational story Sheila. You WILL inspire others I am sure. Keep up the great atttude & you can accomplish anything!

  • BobLujano

    It’s incredible what a great attitude can do for anybody, especially the ones that just understand that this is what gets us throught life. Keep kicking the positive vibe.