My name is Qasim. I am working toward a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). I am from Pakistan and would like to share with you about my life experiences. I am 24 years old and have acromesomelic dysplasia, an inherited type of dwarfism. I have divided my life into three stages for easy understanding.
- Childhood (totally unknowing)
- Teenage (knowing that I am something different)
- Young (feeling and learning why I am different)
I had an awesome childhood similar to other children, playing whole without any break and having fun, all because of my supportive parents. Whenever I look back in my childhood, I feel great and have a smile on my face. My parents supported and encouraged me all through primary school, and as a result, I was a good student and knew I would have the option of choosing from many different professions in the future.
This part of my life is a bit strange. My friends and cousins with whom I played with started growing up and becoming tall, and I couldn’t compete with them physically. I always thought, “Why am I less than them?” Some of my buddies beat me because as you know, those who are less powerful always suffer. I always asked my parents why I was different. Some fellows called me different names and it began to make me a bit depressed and I started losing grip on my studies. People would stare at me, call me ‘midget,’ ‘little guy,’ and others. Even at that time, I didn’t understand, because I always felt I was perfect. The staring made me uncomfortable and I began to have feelings that are hard to explain in words - that I was not good enough. Still, I was very social, I had friends in my teenage years and I always stood out among my friends, not because of dwarfism but because of my extracurricular activities and my good communication skills. A time did come when I started avoiding people and friends and would hide behind my hands so that people couldn’t stare at me. That part of my life was very difficult. Deep inside I start thinking about suicide but thanks to My ALLAH, I never tried. I know that was the result of the behavior of society around me. In that time, I saw a movie on a local channel called SIMON WIZARD that created self acceptance inside me. I went to the mirror and I saw that Simon and I were the same, except he was a scientist and a fighter and I was doing nothing. I started ignoring people which was psychologically difficult, but I began to recover.
Being young is fun, but not always for those who have complications. I began to learn that I had to live with my complications, which was difficult because in Pakistan, there are no doctors who are familiar with my condition. I started doing my own research on the internet and came across the word “dwarfism” which described my physical stature. I started to learn and developed confidence in myself by facing myself in the mirror and talking for hours as I would to other people. Now I am working toward my Masters and I don’t care what others think of me. Inside, I still feel a bit strange, but I never show my shyness to anyone.
People laugh at me because I am different, and I laugh at them because they are all same.