We have all endured many challenges in our lives. Some have chosen to fight back while others simply fell between the cracks of Society unnoticed. It is pity we are not seeking, but compassion and understanding.
Like many, I too, have encountered obstacles in my life. I had dreams just like every child at the age of fifteen, but I never thought that I would actually have the opportunity to live out that dream. I also had no idea that my life would be turned upside down for the sake of that dream. At age sixteen I had to learn to fend for my life, to survive in an adult world. I saw things that no child should ever have to see. My mind will forever be haunted by the bitter sweet memories of my time spent in Nashville, Tennessee.
My dream was taken away from me but my spirit was never broken, I often wonder if any of the people that I had encountered in that time period, ever think about what they inflicted upon me, a child. How can they live with themselves and carry on as if nothing ever happened.
After being told that I was slowly going deaf, I thought my world was coming to an end. For thirteen years I learned to live with silence, but it wasn’t easy. I had endured many surgeries to both ears, causing a severe permanent vertigo that cannot be corrected and will never go away. I have severe bilateral conductive hearing loss in both ears. I was angry at the world, my self esteem was zero and I would never go anywhere because I didn’t want to have to face people, talk to them, and struggle to hear their conversations. I stayed at home. I eventually became empowered to fight back as I was sick of living in silence. Along with my hearing specialist, we were able to obtain a hearing device called the Baha implant. For the first time in thirteen years I was able to hear a whisper. However, without the Baha implant device in place, I am still severely hearing impaired.
Now I want to give back, to make others believe that their dreams can come true. I believe that my obstacles are blessings. They have made me who I am today, a much stronger person. So let us all try to be more compassionate towards those with disabilities and remember that they did not ask for this to happen, you would want the same respect bestowed upon you.
Tracy Leigh Edwards
Tracy Leigh Ball- Edwards: Author/Poet/Storyteller, accomplished writer of 4 books, three Poetry and one Fiction Novel. Tracy has a passion for inspiring children to believe in their dreams and give the courage to work for their goals.