Kinzang Yangchen

“I didn’t notice it until in my 3rd grade- my right leg was a tad shorter than my left and the difference was apparent when I walked. It was probably caused by an anomaly at birth but my family believed it to be koen (past karma). Classmates and people around me would tease and pass nasty comments. They’d say ‘Your leg would get severed’ or ‘Limp like you should never wear heels’ – but instead of being affected, I’d do everything that was deemed hard for me: games, dance, marathons.  

However, the teasing got more rampant in high school. On top of that, I did experience pain sometimes and got really self-conscious about how I walked. 

To cover it up, I’d walk faster and it started a rumour that I was rude and walked without any care for others passing by.

 At home, my parents wouldn’t let me do any chores. As a kid, it was fine but as I grew up, it bothered me. My mother was a weaver but she’d never let me learn it. When the restriction got too much, I rebelled and sat on a loom, and started weaving. My legs would indeed hurt and for every one hour on the loom, I’d rest my legs for 30 minutes. In 10th grade, I started dabbling in sports too. Of course, the risk of dislocation was scary but not enough to stop me.

I started enjoying playing badminton and even earned several certificates for football. In college, the biggest fear was wearing heels like other girls. I was always warned against it; but I dared to strut in heels everywhere. The first month, it hurt badly, then I got used to it.

My family has stopped worrying about me. After college, I trained as a Dessup. I took part in all kinds of exercise and drills. When it was time to take part in the marathon, Apa cheered me over the phone. Win a certificate, he said. Instead of worries, for the first time, I saw confidence on his face.

Back then, ama restricted me from wearing tight clothes. Instead, I was told to go for the loose and baggies. She feared for judgments from others. But now, that’s not the case. For me, I always knew better than to care. Over the years, I knew if we don’t cheer ourselves up, others won’t do it for you.

Currently, I’m pursuing a PGD in counselling and I hope that my experience will allow me to become a better counsellor.”



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