I was born deaf.  I am so grateful that I have an implant to help me hear but it can still be difficult because there are times I feel that I don’t fit in which makes it difficult to make friends.  I am naturally shy and I fear that I will say the wrong thing, and upset someone.  In addition, there are times when I can’t wear my implant.  When it’s summer and we go to beach or pool I can’t get my implant wet, so I have to take it off.  Then I feel left out because everyone is talking and I am the only one who cannot hear them.

It’s challenging but I accept it.

I’ve been bullied the past several years.  I have never told anyone because I wanted to keep everything to myself, but I regret that.  Learn from my mistake and always communicate your feelings whether good or bad, with a close friend or family member.  Tell someone that you are getting bullied the moment it happens and stop it before it has a chance to impact your self esteem.  I was bullied because of the way I talk since I hear things slower than others.  A lot of guys in my grade will make fun of the way I talk and it makes me so sad.  At one point, it made me not want to talk at all because if I did, I thought they would immediately make fun of me.

I realized over the years, and even today, people still do it.  However I choose to not let it affect me anymore.  Who cares how I talk?  I accept what I’ve got.  God put me on this Earth for a reason and I choose to accept the cards I’ve been dealt.  I am strong because I choose to be.

My message to those with special needs is to always be confident in your own skin.  Don’t hide who you are.  There is no such thing as perfection.  Embrace what makes you different and be grateful what you’ve got.