It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you who know me or have read my blog that I relate to the Mutants in the X-Men movies. The Mutants all have some difference from “normal” people. Unlike my difference, they have super powers. However, they have been ostracized from society and have very little day-to-day interaction with non-mutants. Some use their abilities to take revenge on a world that has essentially bullied them and inflicted a sense of unworthiness. Many use their differences to make a positive change and work towards peace with the average human.
What does this have to do with Just Steph? Having been born with Poland’s Syndrome, I have felt mistreated, bullied and unwelcome so many times throughout my life. After years of dealing with the shame of not only my difference, but my very real limitations, I have chosen to accept and love myself. Through writing, speaking and radio, I tap into my life’s experiences to divulge the depth of who I truly have become in order to spread love and acceptance to a world filled with hate and anger. I could be bitter. To be honest, I have been angry. I have experienced feeling ugly, different, feeling like an outsider.
In X-Men 3, the medical community discovered a vaccine to cure the mutant of his or her difference. Many lined up along the streets for a chance to be “normal.” I can so relate. My dad asked me at ten years old if I wanted to continue hand surgery. I said, “daddy, I’m never going to be like everyone else. I am done with surgery.” I was done with the pain; people asking me what happened and all the humiliation that went along with being a mutant.
There was another group in X-Men 3 who did not want the “cure.” They rebelled against forced vaccination. They were happy with who they were. These Mutants did not need a “cure.” They were perfect as themselves. This is where I have finally arrived. In fact, last night, at my fav “Cheers” spot, I had a second chance meeting with a brilliant cardio thoracic surgeon. He had read my book and was wonderfully complimentary. He asked to see my “good” arm. He examined it. He told me I was twenty-five percent stronger than the normal in my left arm (there’s my mutant power). He then asked to look at my little right arm. After examination, he determined that my nerves, bones and carpal artery were all normal. I was a good candidate for a hand graph, a “cure.”
I thought about it, teared up a bit. I don’t need a cure. There is no f*#@king way I am going to go through any more pain. What if it didn’t work? What if I rejected my new hand? Would it fall off? Then I would really be up the creek and unable to paddle. Would I be able to get my nails done? If I was going to have surgery, it’s going to be fun, like bigger boobs, not the pain of fusing bones, nerves and arteries. I live a full life. Sure, I cannot do everything. I am just a bit slower at many everyday tasks. However, this is me. Love me or leave me.
I would never judge anyone if the “cure” was for them, whatever it is. If a vaccine or surgery improves the quality of your life, brings you peace and joy, then by all means, do it! Be happy. For me, I choose the Mutant life bringing peace to the world.
Courageously dig deep and recognize your greatness. Embrace life; savor every aspect of living. Find your bliss and follow it. Get comfortable in your own skin and love yourself. You will then have the heart and energy to love others as they are.
Tell me what’s going on in your life. I want to hear from you.
Wishing you love, balance and peace.
Amore & Baci,