Since I was a kid, doctors concluded that my heart was “a little different”. There was an extra beat in there, and I had to go to these rather clinical tests where they put sensors in my body and tried to research the abnormality. Because I had to stay away from school those times, and my “a little different” nature; I was constantly bullied.
But somehow in my adolescence, the doctors concluded that my heart will continue beating just fine even if placed under heavy stress. Therefore I was not allowed the exception; I had to join the Finnish Army.
Somehow, in my environment I really had no choice of civilian service. So I decided alone that I have to bite the bullet and go through the service like everyone else.
I was recruited as an engineer; one of the hardest jobs in the army. It includes carrying heavy mines on your back.
Because of my little different heart, my physical strength just didn’t match the others. Within one week from the start of my recruitment, I fell into a hole in the obstacle course and hurt my back.
I was in pretty bad shape. My disc in my back bone got ruptured and caused infection in the spine. That caused high fever. In addition all kinds of other ailments came up during the time when I was in the hospital, including gall stones which required surgery within a year of that event. I had awful pain in my back and I screamed at night.
They shot morphine-derivative in me.
It was like a crazy dream, which only got worse. I was lucky enough to be repatriated after I signed the document in which I stated that my mental condition wasn’t good enough in order to operate in the force.
When I returned my home five months earlier as others, I was a minority.
Even today I depend in my “little different” heart.
I don’t think I’m such a brave person, but I am very proud that I discovered my difference, and my sensitivity.
I continue to call myself as minority. Not a world citizen but world foreigner.
It is a status I intend to keep.