Born Wrong

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

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Nathasha Alvarez

I thought I had heard it all. Today, it takes the cake! In fact, it takes the icing with the cherry on top!

So here to make the latest announcement for all of you born with physical disabilities, we are also known as BORN WRONG!

I was born wrong! Who would have thought? I had no idea! I will have to ask my mom about this.

As if that was not enough of an insult, the person who said it was someone I held very close to my heart. Actually, foolishly enough, I thought it was someone who held me with high regards as well. So now the truth comes out. That person thinks I was born wrong!

My look of horror or pain or anger was very obvious to my friend as my friend tried to explain the choice of words. But, hey, like I say, two things you can’t take back are your words and your virginity!

What was I supposed to tell my friend? 

“Oh! No problem! I totally understand your view on me even though you claim you weren’t talking about me.”

If you thought that’s what happened, you need to rewind that film. I was actually at a loss for words. Anyone who knows me knows that that is quite an accomplishment. But I was too stunned after hearing “born wrong.”

I wanted to rip my friend in shreds and yell at the top of my lungs, “Get the hell away from me, if you think I was born wrong!”

But I didn’t. I looked at my friend and thought, “Oh my goodness, what am I doing with this person as a friend?”

What choices did I have to make now? “Born wrong,” kept ringing in my ears.

Was I being overly sensitive? “Born wrong,” is ok to say? Am I being too politically correct?

Is that how my friend saw me? “Born wrong” is that how everyone in my life sees me?

Was I born wrong?

And what did my friend mean by “wrong”? Does that mean I should have not been born at all? Am I mutant? Did I know deep in my heart that that’s what my friend thought of me? Was I ignoring the hard facts?

And then I started thinking, “Why am I still calling this person a friend?”

Should I end the friendship? Educate the person on their poor choice of words? Buy my friend a thesaurus and a dictionary for future use?

But my friend is not the only person who has chosen to make insensitive remarks. I have heard it from co workers, colleagues and even family members.

Born Wrong? How do we judge who was born right?

Every time I am left in shock and disbelief at their insensitivity towards my physical disability or anyone’s physical disability. I have heard educated people call another person retarded! Truly educated people! And when I protest, I get told that I need to chill.

I love the comment one friend made a long time ago when she said, “Oh Nathasha, you are different! You are not really physically disabled!”

Wow, I guess this wheelchair is only here to confirm my laziness at walking and my eagerness to park in the disabled parking spots. I guess we should change the name of those parking spaces and label it the “BORN WRONG SPACE”.

Hey, that might actually deter others from parking there! How embarrassing to step out of the Lincoln Navigator and find out you were born wrong! Ooops! Climb back into the colossal vehicle before anyone finds out you were born wrong! Shh!! We will keep your secret safe with us; the rest of the born wrong population!

While I am being sarcastic, I am probably sadder that it came from a friend who I never thought would ever say such words.

Mamma Mia! Will those around me ever cease to amaze me?

What should I have told this “friend” after those comments? What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

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