Teenagers need to feel "normal". What does "normal" mean? Who is "normal"? What is "normal"? One thing I know is being "normal" isn't the same as feeling "normal".
Being "normal" is doing things everyone else does. Doing things like, going on school camps, going to sleepovers, going on trips and going swimming are easy things for you to do but not so easy for me.
You see I have to take precautions for everything. At our age to wear bikinis is "normal". Going to sleepovers is "normal". To not have to live life without wondering if you will ever have a husband or children is "normal". To grow up without being in and out of hospital is "normal".
All of this started when I was only a few hours old, I had my first surgery, because I wasn't your so called "normal" newborn. I know that it sounds scary or risky but I would have died otherwise. I, Aiesha Jayde Ross was born on the 29/08/2001 with an imperforate anus and associated colloquial abnormalities.
Basically, I was born without an anus or rectum, the nerves in the bottom of my spine that control my bladder and bowel are damaged, I have one kidney, I had no inside vaginal organs and no cervix or uterus. Several years later, being in and out of hospital and having multiple surgeries, I now have an appendavesicostomy, an end colostomy, a rectum and an anus.
Enough medical terms now let me explain how this effects my not so "normal" life. I haven't been able to go on school camps unless I had a parent or teacher aid with me. I can't go to sleepovers because I'm not "normal". I am always wondering if I will have a husband or children when I'm older because I am not "normal". I am in and out of hospital all the time because I am not "normal".
I am sure everyone in this room has had some kind of bullying in your life, so have I. I am bullied on a daily basis. I am called, disgusting, weird, ugly, unlovable and cruel. I am looked down upon because I can't have my own children because I'm not "normal". I am teased by my own brothers and sisters about my medical condition because I can't have my own children. I don't have many friends. I am told that the world would be better without me because I am not "normal". I am compared to others. Some days I am too scared to look in the mirror because I am disgusted by my own image. I wear clothes that cover my stomach because I am called disgusting if I don't. Sometimes I think that the world would be better without me. No one would have to deal with my problems and issues, but if I have to put up with myself everyday, then so do you.
But there are some benefits to my condition. I don't have to bleed or have cramps every month. I don't have to go through the pain of giving birth to a child, but I have been looking into getting a uterus transplant so I can carry a child.
Please don't take pity on me or treat me differently because I am not different, I am unique. I don't know what I was scared about because I am not scared, I am sick and tired of lying to everyone about myself and not being able to be true to myself. I honestly don't care if you treat me differently but if you didn't know what I just told you would you still treat me differently?
Basically the point I am trying to get across to you is there is no such thing as being "normal". I am so sick of being compared to others who are your so called "normal". I am so sick of being treated differently because I am not "normal". I am so sick of the old normal. Let's take a stand and make a new normal. A normal where everyone no matter who or what you are is accepted, is normal. A normal where it doesn't matter whether you are fat, skinny, short, tall, pretty, ugly, have a disability, or have a medical condition, it wouldn't matter, and it shouldn't matter. We are so caught up in the old normal we can't see with our own eyes that making a snarky little comment could end someone's life. We are so caught up in the old normal; This is the new normal, I am the new normal, the new normal starts now!
I am left speechless. For most, "normal" is what is culturally accepted, following the rules, being like everyone else, and fitting into a group. However, there are those who cannot live a normal life. They are not "normal" because they are poor, malnourished, without parents, without necessary organs, without limbs, suffering from persecution, in a war, etc. They simply cannot control the lives they were given. To them, their normal is what they're accustomed to. They will view others who have the basic necessities as normal.
Let's not be normal. Let's not be mainstream. Let us open our eyes and ears. To see from different perspective. To hear their amazing stories.
Share a story of someone who is not "normal", but "amazing"!!
For Aeisha Ross, I think she is very brave, powerful, and amazing.