19-year-old Tanya draws beautifully, writes poems, keeps an online diary, dances, takes care of dogs in the shelter “Friend”, meets with friends and tries to leave the comfort zone more often.
However, it will seem to outsiders that Tanya did not live in the comfort zone – she does not have a leg. Every day of her life, the precocious wise girl refutes the stereotype that people with disabilities can’t live a full life. Not just can, but live. And this is completely normal. The girl told the portal “KP-Komi” about the prosthesis, about the top of incorrect questions, about the reaction of people and her small mission – to change the idea of those who are not like everyone else.
The ice broke
Tanya doesn’t remember how to live with two legs. Back in 2004, a three-year-old baby was hit by a car in Ust-Us: the driver simply did not notice the child. The girl remembers absolutely nothing about the accident – no bright flashes, no pain, no operations. She doesn’t know how the driver behaved either – it doesn’t matter at all as the years have passed. It seemed that she always had one leg, and that was normal. But the reaction of others always reminded me that something was wrong with Tanya.
“I lived in Vuktyl. The summer before last, I went without a prosthesis because it was hot. She moved with the help of crutches. Most of all, children paid attention to me, and this can be understood: they have never seen a person without a leg, they are interested, curious. But at the same time they were amused and upset by their parents, who shouted to the kids: “you can not communicate with this, do not approach.” I stand and don’t know how to react to this, ” Tanya recalls.
Tanya likes to walk. It is true that long legs get really tired if walking the whole day.
The girl tried to ignore the offensive words. However, the feeling that this should not be so accumulated like a snowball. Tanya wrote a post to a local group in social networks about how unacceptable it is to behave towards people with disabilities. To her surprise, the ice broke.
-There were many words of support under the post. Over time, the kids on the playgrounds stopped pointing fingers at me. Once I witnessed a dialogue: one girl said in my direction – “Oh, the girl without a leg”, and the second one pulled her back – “you can’t say that”. I felt that something had changed, ” says Tanya.
Top tactless situations
Tanya graduated from school and came to Syktyvkar to make a certificate of disability, and so in the capital and stayed with her family. The big city (compared to Vuktyl) has a different atmosphere. Here the peculiarity of the girl is lost in the crowd of people hurrying on business. And those who pay attention to the prosthesis, do not look away.
Are you ready in Syktyvkar to accept those who are not like others? Tanya replies that the capital has a much better acceptance rate than her hometown. Several times strangers approached Tanya on the street and said that she was cool. This supports and raises self-esteem. However, the list of tactless situations is sometimes updated with fresh samples.
Tanya writes about her life in an online diary
-Sometimes they come up and ask, they say, what’s wrong with your leg? Sometimes they offer me something: if you are like this, then everything is bad for you, you need to give something – mostly older people hand out money, sweets, chocolates. The top of oddities is headed by an old woman who saw me on the street, began to cross herself and say the words of prayer, and then just went about her business, ” the girl recalls.
However, Tanya is not always upset by questions about her prosthesis. On the contrary, sometimes they are even interesting to answer. “The fact is that often people do not imagine that this can be. This is normal. I even believe that a person who has a feature should talk about it,” the girl says.
Tanya speaks about her special feature on the Instagram page and in the group “House of Chloe” in Vkontakte. Online diary was born a year ago, the girl wrote there everything that happens in her life. At first, the group was closed, and only close people could view the recordings. Over time, Tanya decided to open her creative space to anyone who wants to read her poems and see her drawings.
Tanya draws beautifully. Photo from the heroine’s personal archive
-Many people wrote words of gratitude, saying that they showed my page to their relatives who were in a difficult situation, and they, in turn, felt better. A girl wrote to me once: she wanted to leave her life, but she saw my blog and realized that everything would be fine. I’ve been digesting this confession for a long time. Can I do that? Tanya says.
And the girl collects spontaneous jokes-dialogues about her peculiarity, which were born in correspondence with friends. She is equal to a blogger with a 100-thousand audience, a guy with bionic prosthetics instead of hands, Konstantin Deblikov, who has a sparkling humor. More recently, he wrote on Instagram: “I am often asked how to communicate correctly with people with disabilities? How not to offend them with offers of help and so on. I think the answer is obvious: communicate with people with disabilities as well as with everyone else.” Tanya agrees with him.
-We once went with my younger sister to the Playground, she says ” Tanya, let’s catch up.” I was surprised, I can’t. And she: “Why?» At first, I fell into a stupor, and then it became pleasant: the child does not think about the fact that you can not do something. You can do anything! It’s cool when you are treated the same as everyone else, ” the girl says.
Dogs love Tanya, and Tanya loves dogs. Photo By Nikita Petrov.
Therefore, Tanya always tests the limits of her capabilities. Recently, she started going to dances, breaking another stereotype about herself that “dancing will be difficult”. The girl also managed to participate in a photo project dedicated to homeless dogs of the shelter “Friend”. The photographer found Tanya himself: “I was sitting at the Maxi shopping center once, and a guy came up to me and said that he was following me on Instagram, and he needed me for a cool project. And we really went to do it: we went to the shelter, took photos. My image gives a deep picture, they say, she came, why can’t you? It was cool.”
Tanya doesn’t look far into the future. But she would like to work at her favorite job in ten years, which will change people’s lives for the better, organize an exhibition of photographs, maybe go to Amsterdam. And ride a bike.
-My prosthesis is not designed for this type of activity, it does not bend. Prosthetics that you can run and jump on are incredibly expensive. They can be obtained for free through the state, but the process is long and complex. I wear my prosthesis for almost two years, his knee sticks, because the expiration date expires (the other day the girl was replaced with a new knee without any certificates and commissions-ed.), – says the girl. It is most difficult to walk on unsettled paths, which, unfortunately, are many in Syktyvkar
In the meantime, Tanya enters the Department of graphic design at the Ivan Kuratov pedagogical College. In the evenings, she meets with friends, who, thanks to her sincerity and openness, are many. Once, when Tanya was without a prosthesis, they carried her across the city in their arms to make her life easier. Tanya says that they often forget about her features and make her life truly happy…