From Zero to Hero – tales from a disabled person
So the whole energy of the Paralympics got me thinking about how amazing and inspiring a disabled person can be to someone even if they themselves don’t realise it. So I’d like to tell you something about “being” disabled and how you really can go from ZERO to HERO.
So here I am in 1985 aged 8 with my mum. Around this time discussion was going on about surgery on my spine for scoliosis. I had been diagnosed aged 4 and had been wearing a Milwaukee brace since then. A horrible device which rather seemed like torture. Thank God I didn’t have to sleep with it and I could take it off for special occasions so I could wear nice clothes. I have a particular friend (you know who you are) who used to get me out of this contraption and fasten me back in when it was PE or swimming. A very special job indeed! On this photo you can just about see the rib hump that was starting to occur so to all those that ask me was I born like this “No, I looked like everybody else”.
This is the torture device lol! Mine looked very similar to this without the side straps.And here I am, it even managed to make it into my school photo!
Anyways as you can imagine I got some funny looks with the brace on, I didn’t even know anyone else who had one. But I was of the age were I didn’t really notice or bother to care. Fast forward a few years after major surgery which quite frankly was a total disaster (even though it was life saving) rods attached to spine came loose, got infected just a nightmare ride really of being hospitalised, missing about 2 years of school. Getting further diagnosed with a neurological condition. Poor family and friends stressed and worried….and then I started to care. Believe me getting bullied about your disability is no joke…I can’t change the way I look. This is the way I am stuck for the rest of my life and I have to accept it, which mostly I have but every so often you get a little fed up.
So what do you think was the one thing I heard the most? I have never written this down before or even talked about this before so I think its time… Quasimodo / Hunchback.
Well thanks a bunch. I am much better looking than Quasimodo!
I remember sitting in a science class at high school and hearing one of the lads calling me. The other boys just laughed but I have a feeling they probably felt bad about it because a couple of those lads had known me since I was 4 and had seen everything I’d been through. This was the new boy at school who decided to have a go.
I remember on my first girls holiday to Turkey, every night we would go out and the young local boys would take the piss and we would shoo them away. Not a great start to a night out. However the older Turkish boys didn’t mind if you were disabled and were full of compliments as long as you could get them in a nightclub! lol
The most recent memory I have is on my 30th birthday night out (that’s 9 years ago so I’m doing well, maybe I’m too old to get bullied now). I was dragging behind my group of friends and a young lad decided to shout something across the street at me. My friends didn’t here but it put a bit of a dampener on the evening. I tell you I was raging inside and wanted to shout some profanities at him but I kept my cool.
These are the low moments, god they are low. For all the anti-bullying stuff out there that says “don’t care,”brush it off”… its flippin hard!!! At this point I’d like to raise a glass to all the carrot tops, speccy four eyes and fatties out there. We are still here, despite there mean words we are still here and probably living much happier and more successful lives than those people who called us those names in the first place.
Obviously bullying hasn’t been my only problem but just wanted to focus on this for this particular blog. Anyway I started to shine, I started to not care. I got some very nice male attention…oh so I am attractive well that’s a bonus! I also started to realise that rather than hide your disability – expose it! People are attracted to confidence! People want to be around those that have a self-love that says “stuff you I am gorgeous”.
This is me aged about 19 ready for a wild night on the town. Yes I’ve got sticky out ribs but look at those fab velvet flares and I had the cutest belly button!
Again fast forward a few years and I’m a holistic therapist and teacher. I’m then married and have a lovely little boy. Yes he is a bit of a miracle baby and it took a toll on my body but soooo worth it! Here I am with my lovely hubby Mike (and you can check out my blog “A lesson in compassion for more on that interesting story). I’m married, I have a baby, I have a job…just the same as a non-disabled person. When I look in my son’s eyes any anger over those bullies just goes away because I have him. I created this beautiful person with my husband and no sad person who likes to name call has stopped that. Oh and I also moved away from home at 18 and got a degree because I am clever enough that missing 2 years of school didn’t stop me from pursuing a University education.
My sister says that when she is ever asked who inspires her she always says its me. Her reason being that when I was little I never moaned about my situation, I never complained when I was obviously in pain. Mmmm I do moan a little bit now though lol. However I try not to complain about pain, I’m a big believer that you manifest what you bring attention to so I’d rather focus on the good things in my life and pain is not one of them.
Right now I am happy with my lot, I have a home, food in the cupboards, a loving husband, an incredible boy, a car on my drive. I have my family. I have my career which brings me great joy in helping people and giving them a passion for spirituality.
I didn’t give my power over to the bullies (and I must just point out that my bullying experiences could have been much worse, I think I was very fortunate).
They may have made me feel shit sometimes LIKE A ZERO
but I feel amazing now LIKE A HERO.
Make someone feel good today, make someone feel like a HERO.
Hi, I’m Angela Sessions. You can check out all my juicy stuff at
I run workshops on Angels, Crystals, Healing, and Spiritual Development and teach many different types of Reiki. I am really passionate about my work and making it accessible to all!
All images are my own apart from the Milwaukee brace which I took from montalban.blogspot.co.uk