“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes
Teaching special education isn’t the best career choice for a migraine sufferer. When choosing my occupation, I did not consider my headaches. God forbid I do something that didn’t bow to the migraine Gods and demands. I felt like I had a connection with children with special needs. I understand having a medical condition that prohibits me from doing and being what I strive for. I felt connected to the parents who desperately sought out answers to allow their children to feel better and do better. The constant doctors visits to experiment with medications and change of dosages due to growing bodies and changes was something I was familiar with. Being grateful for simple days of feeling ok and taking small steps that seem like giant leaps is something that I greatly loved about my job. I understood being disabled.
As a teacher with a dream, my disease and the discrimination that I received because of it broke my wings. My principal was very judgmental, passive aggressive and acted like I was a slacker when I was absent. I found it so ironic that he was supposed to be an advocate for children’s various needs and he shamed his employee for having one. The stress from working with children with severe needs, the lack of support I received from my assistants in the classroom and the judgment I received didn’t allow me to fly. At this time I had no idea that I could apply for social security or that I could reach out for any type support. I didn’t even know that my disease was a disease and was fooled into thinking that that I was alone to fight my illness. Yet another reason to spread awareness. My dream of teaching these children was crushed. I was treated horribly in turn feeling horribly and perpetuated the cycle all year long. I hate to say that I gave up on that dream but I will say that I have new dreams now. Is it sad that I lost that dream, yes. I worked very hard to get my Master’s degree and put my blood, sweat, and tears into teaching those amazingly unforgettable children. Do I feel somewhat like a failure that I couldn’t be the best teacher and employee at that time, of course. But maybe with broken wings I just couldn’t fly there. Since then I have dreamed many new dreams and I soar towards them. I surround myself with positive open minded people, don’t allow the negativity to break me as easily and I fly.