"I Am Not" is a poem written by Sheila Radziewicz that defines her life as a woman with a disability.
I AM NOT
Mangled, frail, delicate infant
Weak, poor, ignorant infant, I was NOT!
You did not have the power
to define my fate with Death
Cripple, feeble-minded, pitiful child
Unable, immobile, lame child, I was NOT!
I defied your prediction, then
I deny your position, now
Undetermined, incapable, paralyzed woman
Lessen, negative, powerless woman, I am NOT!
Fear forced your prediction of my Death
Fear created your insecurity
Fear does NOT rule me
Complete, strong, unbreakable infant
Bold, healthy, aware infant, I WAS!
I chose to prove you wrong
The power to live was mine
Whole, intelligent, witty, child
Able, mobile, bright child, I WAS!
I believed in myself
I knew success was coming
Determined, capable, secure woman
Brave, confident, powerful woman, I AM!
I fought against your fear
I fought against your insecurity
I chose LIFE when you would Not!
By Sheila Radziewic (c)