I have needed a big personality

I am quite aware that some people think that I am too big for my boots and I am, for a better word, an egomaniac. To some extent this may indeed be true but I believe it is important to understand why I have needed a big personality.

The answer is simply survival. Having a significant impairment in the 70s and 80s had a much larger stigma than it has now and meant you were very much excluded from society as a norm. To avoid being institutionalised into being just another special school or residential care statistic, I needed to shine and shine I did.

Even now, I see my peers not have many the opportunities I have because they do not know how to grab them. I learnt to grab them and to get noticed. I have aware people may see me as selfish but with no family that supports me, who else is going to look after my best interests and get what I need if it is not myself?

I do have a belief in the individual over the collective as do not believe people can truly rely other people and if people want something, they need to get it themselves and not wait for others to do it for them. If people do not like the fact I look after my best interests, it is their problem, not mine.