True Identity

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melissa divietri

My entire life, I’ve always been looked by society from a broken wide lens angle camera. The world sees the outer rim of my beauty; knowing only my talents of social media skills in this ever-changing digital world where likes / comments and shares could define your success as an influencer or motivator. The false persona of a filter to make a beautiful photo look photoshopped ; individuals who only see the high number of followers but not realizing what it took to uncover the layers of hardships that took to rebuild my paralyzed body to self sustaining functioning mobility. You see a gorgeous woman with big blue eyes perfectly composed in a profile photo but underestimate the abnormal body that holds all of my pieces together; using other organs to breath life into me. Holding myself high on forearm crutches after half my life was barred in a wheelchair with full body braces. The spirit of my energy; my support system; my dream to use my legs the proper way – Is coming to life after 30 years of perseverance.

I am praised for my admiration of a unique person that uses confidence to earn recognition in the social media atmosphere; but when it comes to face to face – my physical disability is almost an immediate turn off to people; especially in public where we’ve lost how to have personable interactions. I can sit and count the majority of individuals in this room has never experienced a situation where they mask themselves online / offline in order to earn recognition. I share with you; the gut feeling when online dates will Googles my name to see that you are 4’4″ with crutches; acquaintances will cyber bully take my name online to hurt my pride and confidence; when social media isn’t just a place to communication – but a powerful world to build tribes and set standards / rules for people who are invited to each community. I facilitate hundreds of groups in techno music industry and the disability community’ both paths never crossing as I play two faces. The tricky circumstances where my work life mixes into personal commitments making relationships almost impossible. I feel like a robot with my automated, canned responses – and a pawn in public when people walk around me or away from me – to combat the energy that I am radiating. How I can change the minds of individuals to fall into my nest of real life struggles when I am masking my identity behind the screen.