Growing up with a physical disability was difficult at times and still is today. However, it did not become a problem until I turned 9 years old. All of my life, I knew I had dwarfism. But in the beginning, I did not know that it meant I would be small the rest of my life. When I would ask my parents why I wasn’t growing like the other kids, they told me I was a “late bloomer”. It was not until age 9 I found out I reached my maximum height and in the beginning, it did not bother me. But then I started associating being “tall” with being beautiful. I became jealous of “normal” sized people and it was at that moment that I started hating myself.
I started noticing how people in public would stare at me when they did not understand. Though others were always staring, it did not bother me. Furthermore, when they would stare I thought it was because they wanted to be my friend and in response, I would smile and start a conversation. But when the self-loathing began, I translated the “stares” and “curiosity” as being labeled a freak. Over the next 10 years I became more depressed and a recluse character. My dreams of being an entertainer dwindled away as I would tell myself that I was an ugly freak and no one would love or hire me. It didn’t help that I was a foster child for 14 years and made me feel less than human.
By the time freshman year of college started, I lost interest in my appearance. I actually started dressing like a dude. Although I am not saying men are ugly, I think in a way I wanted to be a man. Somewhere in my mind, I thought being a man would help me with my confidence. It got to the point where my family became concerned and it was not until I had a nervous break down junior year of college that I was forced to work on myself. By this point, I gained 100 pounds, refused to shower and locked myself away for months at a time with no human contact. My mom knew what to do so she brought me home and laid down the law.
Once I settled back home I was forced to go to therapy and in the beginning, it was hard. I had to confront my past and had to deal with all the issues I had buried for 10 plus years. All the years of convincing myself would show no emotion came rushing back in sessions. I remember one therapy session I spent the entire hour crying and After a few weeks of intensity, things got easier. I looked at myself in the mirror and slowly wanted to do better and losing weight was the first step. I was able to drop 50 pounds the first year. The next step was to upgrade the wardrobe and after these changes, I began feeling happier. I also realized that college was not for me … but being an entertainer was all I had ever dreamed of and wanted to continue to do.
By this point, I had taken a hiatus from my YouTube channel and once I wanted to make it a career, I found more of a need to tell my story. My audience needed to know my struggles and now how I am regaining my purpose and happiness. It has been 18 months since my breakdown and it was the best thing to ever happen to me as it forced me to acknowledge my unhappiness. I cannot say I am 100% happy, but I know I am beautiful now and the biggest lesson I learned throughout this journey is that one is only as disabled as their mind allows… I am proud to be a dwarf.