The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

'My disability - a filter for men': a personal story of a girl without an arm



This girl has no hand since birth, but this does not prevent her from engaging in social activities, successfully building a career, being a wife and mother. tells the story of Nadezhda Shamilova from Yaroslavl.

Part of my hand is missing from childhood. Congenital, so to speak, anomaly. But I was very lucky with my mother, because she raised me like a normal child. That is, I went to a regular kindergarten, to a regular school. Mom even fought for me to attend physical education classes at school with everyone, and not with the special group. For this, she wrote a statement to the teacher that she fully takes responsibility for herself if something happens to me.

In childhood I was allowed to do everything myself. Mom told me how I, in three years in the kindergarten, tied myself the laces. And I always did everything on my own. Yes, it was difficult. Yes, some things did not work at all. Somewhere needed more time and more strength. But I never gave up. And, of course, thanks to my parents for treating me: not as a walking sore, but as a person, as an ordinary child. This, I believe, is the pledge of everything that I have today.

Student Life

After school, I left Yaroslavl to Kazan. She entered the Kazan State University in the Faculty of Law. I had been there for five years, and all this time I lived in a Soviet-type dormitory. There, for the first time, she faced all domestic problems: like washing clothes on her hands. It was also difficult to make your own hair. In Yaroslavl, my mother always understood with my hair. She braided my braids, made tails. In the dormitory I had to learn to tidy up my hair with one hand.

At the university, I was treated like an ordinary person. At first, of course, in my direction there were remarks like: “Oh! Wow!". But then everyone got used to it. I even had a case at the university when I received a prosthesis for once (and I go without a prosthesis). I brought him with me to Kazan and came to the university. Well, just try what it is. So in the student group for a long time they could not understand what was wrong with me. So it was unusual for the guys to see me with a prosthesis.

Constantly on the move

After graduating from university, I returned back to Yaroslavl. There were no plans to stay in Kazan. In Yaroslavl, I had a mother, as well as a young man with whom I began to meet even before entering a university. When I returned, I was lucky enough to take part in a talent contest - “Miss Assembly of the Peoples of Russia”. There I danced the Tatar national dance: I myself am half Tatar. She performed with a prosthesis, but none of the spectators noticed this.

After my debut, I was called to participate in the festival "Victoria" - a competition of talents for people with disabilities. For the first time in many years, I was surrounded by a large number of boys and girls with disabilities. I was then very surprised when many of them approached me and said: “Wow! You work "or" Wow! You have a boyfriend and normal friends. ” As if a person with a disability should not have it all!

About the organization for the disabled

I always wanted to break the stereotype that people with disabilities cannot live a normal life. Moreover, this stereotype is often present in the minds of the disabled themselves. This is how a public organization of persons with disabilities “Believe in Yourself” appeared, where we regularly conduct trainings and master classes that help improve self-esteem. This is the first activity. The second is related to recreational activities.

It is important to pull people out of the house. After all, most of the time a person with disabilities spends within four walls. And he needs to communicate. And such events help. On the New Year, for example, we made a party in the style of 1990's. Everyone was preparing for this event: they were looking for costumes, attributes of that era. It turned out fun! Once again we organized the game “Love at first sight”. There were more participants than we expected.

Of course, many have to persuade them to come to such events. An ordinary person is scared, but people who are still closed due to some shortcomings have to be motivated further. Show them how beautiful they are.

And here is one of our main projects - “Beauty vs. Standards”. We organized a photo session for the guys. They invited stylists, makeup artists, hairdressers. They dressed them in beautiful dresses and suits. Then a presentation of this photo exhibition. The guys went on stage by the hand with volunteers. Of course, they were scared. But, frankly, many volunteers were more afraid than the participants themselves.

About work and stereotypes

I have never had problems with work. In one place, when I got settled in, the first thing that was asked: “Well, can you type something?”. Naturally, if I could not print, I would not come to get a job.

Now I work as a lawyer. When she came to the interview, the authorities did not even notice that I did not have a hand. At the interview, we agreed on a date when I go to the office. But after that I decided to call and tell about my disability. I remember that they said to me: “Now, wait, we need to discuss it”. We talked and said that they were taking me, but they would not give any concessions. I did not count on it.

About finding love

My disability all my life was a kind of filter for men. But this is a plus: young people have always approached me only with serious intentions. I had situations when, for example, on dating sites I was told: “Forgive me, but I can’t, it’s not mine.” I always treated this very calmly. There were stories when the guy did not notice at first, and then said: “Sorry” and disappeared. Therefore, I always kept a distance with young people.

With my husband, the story turned out too funny. We started dating in the winter, and under the down jacket it is unnoticeable that I do not have a hand. I was sure that he understood everything. And when I mentioned my hand, at first he didn’t believe it, thought it was a joke, and as if I was thus testing him for feelings. I immediately explained to him that they are not joking. He reacted calmly. I remember, said: "This is not a problem."

We have been together for twelve years. And in 2016, we had a daughter, Kira. I'm very happy!

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