I was born with a craniofacial disease called Stickler Syndrome, which I inherited from my mother . Oddly, my mother does not know where she got our commonly shared disease from. This disease has caused me to be severely nearsighted, have bad hearing, a short nose, a slightly flat face, and has caused me to experience some slight symptoms of scoliosis at a young age . As a kid, I’ve had several consultations about having reconstructive surgery on my nose, I have had hearing aids, and I have incredibly thick glasses . This disease has also taken a huge toll on my self esteem, as I’ve been bullied, not only by kids, but by adults as well. I remember one time being at a family friends house and hearing a guest say “That’s one ugly child.” Kids also would refer to me as “four eyes” and “ugly”. In elementary school, I got a vision teacher who I’d meet with and I’d receive tools like a Portable CCTV, iPad ,and magnifying glasses to better the way I see in school. The vision teacher stayed with me until 8th grade because I felt like I no longer needed them anymore and they were extremely distracting because they’d constantly pull me out of class. I started to feel so bad about my appearance and the fact that I needed a “vision teacher”, I stopped caring about how I looked . I’d go to school carelessly. My hair would be messy, my lips were chapped, my breath was smelly, and My skin would be hard and ashy because I didn’t take care of myself. The only thing that looked decent were my clothes because my mom ironed them until I got a certain age and was forced to do it myself. I also stopped using my CCTV, iPad, and magnifying glasses to avoid being seen. On top of that, I became very hostile towards my classmates and teachers, and would get in trouble frequently for my attitude. I became very tomboyish because I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough to do anything girly, like paint my nails and put on dresses . At the age of 10, I endured my first surgery to fix the bridge of my nose so that my glasses would stop sliding off my face . As I quickly recovered, I noticed that I was having frequent, daily nose bleeds. The surgeon who operated on me said it was drainage, but little did I know, my surgery had been botched . They used a donor bone to reconstruct my nose, but there was a problem. There was no blood going through my nose to support that bone so it died . I spent almost three whole years with these everyday nose bleeds and my confidence continued to plummet. Adding to that, there was a disgusting odor coming out of my nose . I suddenly became very socially awkward because who wants to be friends with the girl with thick glasses and a bloody nose ? At the age of 13, I underwent my second surgery to remove the bone in my nose . Long story short, it was a successful surgery and I quickly recovered. I started to look at myself in the mirror differently. I saw a change and started to explore my looks .The nosebleeds were gone and I wasn’t bullied as much besides a few snide comments here and there . At the age of 14, I had the same reconstructive surgery as I had at age 10, except instead of a donor bone, they used some cartilage from my rib . They put bandages on my nose and stitches in my nose and on my forehead. They also glued the incision on my rib shut . This was when the transformation truly happened. My nose wasn’t flat anymore, the nosebleeds were gone completely, and all I had left was a beautiful scar on my ribcage. The funny thing is, this all happened in 2018 and I am now a 15 year old sophomore and honors student in high school. I am still judged a lot for the way I look when I walk through the halls , but there’s a difference; I don’t care about what they say. I can finally say I feel more confident in myself , not because of the surgeries I’ve had , not because of the clothes on my back , not because of the people who love and adore me, but because of the uniqueness I have discovered in myself . My doll like eyes have seen more than any teen i know . My nose has been under the knife more than anyone I know and I’m still not completely done with the process yet . My mouth has had more stitches from all the surgeries than ever . My point is, I am a walking storybook . Every unique physical attribute about me has a story behind it. I hope in the future to become a craniofacial surgeon to inspire, learn about, and help people just like me and I’ve had endless support from all of my friends and family whom I love dearly . Adding to that, I have explored my feminine side and I feel confident enough to embrace it. If I could give any craniofacial kid advice, it would be to embrace how you look . There’s such a unique story to tell behind us all that the people need to hear. You ARE NOT the disease you suffer from. People are gonna tell you hurtful things and people are going to judge you constantly, but people are only obstacles put in this world to hold us down .I may be young and my story may not be complete, but my goal in life is to help people, and There’s nothing more helpful to people than to inspire them to embrace themselves and not worry about society’s standards . Rules are meant to be broken after all.
I’m Jalen...hope is something I didn’t have in my younger years. When I was younger, I used to go through bullying in school, and suicidal thoughts and attempts. I thought my family hated me...me and my mom argued everyday, and she just started paying less and less attention to me.
As kids, we are supposed to be able to turn to our parents for the support and love we need..but some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to easily talk to our family or talk to anyone in general. It’s hard to find hope for something that we think simply won’t get any better. But there IS hope.
There are people out there who really care about us and really want to help us. I knew that the situations I was going through were situations I couldn’t handle alone..I needed help. And it’s best that us teens know that asking for help is OK. I started reaching out to different sources ImAlive, IMhurting, Remedy live, Johnson Crisis center...they’re just a few of the sources I reached out to, in all cases, I was connected to a live Crisis counselor ready to hear and listen to my problems.
One thing about talking to a counselor is that we often think the things they say are just for show..we think when they say “I care about you” it’s just part of their job. But the truth is, the person on the other side of that screen really does care about you...they really do want to help you feel better. Talking to people who have also already been through our situation helps a lot as well. Reaching out for help really helps you understand the fact that your not alone.
Now, I’m a Teen volunteer listener and I help other teens who may be struggling with what I used to go through, going through your experience can best help you to help others who maybe going through the same thing. There’s hope in every situation...it’s our job to never give up looking for it.
Do you still meet those people who comment about your body odor? If yes, how do you face them the next day?
My scenario happened in school, my body odor did not happen that frequent. Some days when it's hot especially summer I'll sweat easily or whenever I'm heck nervous. I'll have body odor. My best friends talk behind my back saying that I have body odor and it stinks... and recently it happened again.
I was sitting with one of the guys at tuition which is an air conditioned enclosed area. I was scared when the teacher called him to sit next to me. He is buff well short of saying he's a cheerleader and I'm so called an introvert in school. He likes to disturb people or even flirt with pretty girls, that is why I'm scared.
He asked the guy behind me to change place and told the guy behind me why do you want to snatch my place and then the guy behind me said that the guy next to me wants him to switch places with me... I was so downed so I just switched places with him. He can't get enough. He even asked teacher, "Do you give presents for your wife during valentines day?"
My teacher said he gave her something simple that's all. Guess what the guy who used to sit next to me said? "You should get her a perfume - the Victoria Secret brand ones." I felt so bad about it... Why don't people understand how people with B.O. feel?
Well, my life was "normal" or what society called it. Until the day my mother died. May 7th 2011, they date repeats in my head like the echos of the demons that still haunt me today. I thought it was just like an other day, and it was...well my mother was just outside like every other day working on her garden..when my sister and I went outside we say her laying there in the grass, he tan was gone, his skin was pale and we were only children, and that's the moment when I wasn't that girl running through the sprinkler, I wasn't the girl with my face dyed red because I ate to many pop Sickles.
From that moment I knew everything would change. When the ambulance came, my father took my sister and I to the hospital. It was quiet, the walls were white and it felt empty almost like the bad news was waiting for us when we walked through the doors. My mother wasn't coming home ever. I didn't know what to do, so that's what I did. Nothing. Over time people at school thought I was abnormal because I didn't cry, but I didn't know how. That's when everything got worse..my dad started to beat me and my sister, I felt useless. Some days we couldn't go to school because the bruises on our legs..it was something I never talked about because all the kids at school talked about family vacations and how they were so happy.
When I saw my father bring home a strange women only a month after my mom passed, I knew I'd never be in the picture and I guess my sister found out too. She got sad, she wanted her mother back. My dad bring home so many different girls from these dating sites..I guess he found the one or at least that's what people say, about 5 months after my mother passed my sister was placed in residental care, I guess she was to sad.. a year later, my dad has signed of his rights and I went to live with my brother, well that didn't last long until he made me leave..so I tried my aunt.
I was being bullied at school because I wasn't good enough, I wasn't what their standerd were. I went to a different resort, I started smoking and when that wasn't enough I started to harm myself, my aunt said she gives up..so I thought to myself just another school..well, I moved to a new town, new start. No one knows nothing, and I loved that. Well this foster home was going great well so I thought. While I was at a court hearing they told me the family put their notice in, they quit. I was being sent to a residential care. I went to a place, where I was reminded I wasn't good enough and I never would be.
I ran away several times..finally they took me away and put me in a different one, I loved it finally, I was getting better. I learned how to cope with my emotions, I felt as I was getting betters..well 7 months after being there I got tired of it, so I ran. I spent 4 days on the street with 10 bucks on me. I didn't eat, I barley slept. I had no one. I was by myself. I was terrified finally the police came and got me and took me back, I acted up everyday. I fought who ever just because. I yelled at staff, I was someone I'd never thought I'd be. Well after 3 months of that I went somewhere more strict. I couldn't leave there. I spent 5 months there. Then finally my aunt said she'd take me, that didn't last. So I went to another foster home. I was emotionaly abused along with the other 8 kids, I was removed for my safety. A 25 year old women wanted me..I was terrified. That's when another foster home came into play..I stayed there for a while, but I never felt happy.
So I ran. I ran to a 28 year old man's house. I was 16. I slept with him just to have a warm bed at the end of the night, well after the days the cops came. I was then placed in a shelter because they believed I was in human trafficking, but all I ever wanted was a home... after 2 months at the shelter I was introduced to a family. They made me feel loved, they took me into their arms and made me believe that no matter how long you have known someone doesn't mean they love you.
They have made a huge impact on me. I couldn't be happier. Imy learning how to communicate, I'm learning it's okay to be sad, I learned it's okay not to be okay. But in the mix of all this I meant a guy, he went by the name of nix for the longest, he made me well differnt. Over time he became more aggressive, he said I was his toy. He made me put on shows for him just to please him, he made me downgrade myself. He made me lose myself in the mix because some days he'd show love just to make mends hate myself the next. He told me I didn't deserve to be a girlfriend. My role in life was to be some toy. Nothing more, this went on for 10 months. He made me insane..he recently came back this month, saying he changed and that he loved me..his real name is well I'll keep that a secrect for him..he made me think he changed..but he still plays with my mind..he says it's my fault what he did..but I never wanted that, I never wanted any of it. Just love and comfort..
Well that's my story. That's how I overcame everything. I took it head on and now I'm with an amazing family. I couldn't be more happier.
I am a 25 year old, and nearly half of them were in a daily fight against depression... My father passed away before I was old enough to even remember hearing his voice, and my mother remarried a handful of times before I even reached high school. Because of this we moved four times between cities, and I attended 8 different schools ALL before even attending high school.
My three siblings were all affected quite differently from all of these aspects of our upbringing and unfortunately it led to a lot of in-fighting between my older sisters and myself, and created a very unhealthy and bitter rivalry between my younger brother and I. All through this my mother had super-human expectations for each of my siblings and myself: A's were the only marks that would receive any love, as anything lower than that would result in scolding; when we participated in any sport we were expected to be excellent beyond competition, or we would simply be used as the 'other child' in our moms' discussions with family or friends. It felt as though everything was a win-lose, and no matter what happened we always lost.
The passing of my father really hurt my mother and shortened her patience with my siblings and I growing up. Until I graduated from high school I always believed that she simply hated us, that we were not worth her time as our mother, that she had failed our father in our upbringing, and I took so much of that out on myself... but I did so under a fake smile, an act that I would put on to make everyone at school I was just the same happy person they encountered every day in the halls and classroom. When I was going through middle school and high school frequently I would sneak off with people who I called 'friends' to smoke and drink, to 'escape.' But all I was doing was creating a barrier between me and reality. I would make excuses to my teachers that I was simply practicing too hard when I would show up sick and late to practice or with a fresh set of bruises... because I was too afraid to tell them what was done to me at home. In high school I contemplated what I was doing, but I never asked anyone, I never truly looked for help and I made the mistake of trying to find all the answers myself.
At 16 I attempted to take my own life. I would make another attempt at 19. And I am SO THANKFUL that I FAILED in those attempts. Why? Please... PLEASE read why.
I was removed from my family's house when I was about halfway through high school. My grandparents took me under their roof and provided for me something I never thought was possible in a place of acceptance. But both of those things would never have happened if I didn't reach out and ask for help from my friends and family that weren't living with me. They helped me learn what resources were available for me, who I could talk to about these things, and what could be done, and although it was only little steps... THEY WERE STEPS and steps in the RIGHT DIRECTION! I began to understand that I had value, that I was important, and that I did matter to people around me. My confidence slowly rebuilt and I started to rediscover who I was and what things made me truly happy in life. Like I mentioned before though, I did attempt to take my own life again at 19. And at this point in my life (at 25) looking back, I hope I can provide some perspective for you - knowing where I was then.
Once I began to understand what made me happy I began to make longer, lasting friendships and relationships with people around me, but I relied too much on those people. In high school and especially through college and working in the 'adult' world, these friendships don't last as long as you see in movies and TV shows. So when they ended, it really hurt... it dug deep. After having surgery that took me from my dreams of playing any sport in college, breaking up with a long-term girlfriend, and learning my last term of high school dropped my GPA below scholarship levels I thought I was losing all my value as a person again.
At this point something wonderful happened and I would hope and pray that it can and will happen in each of your lives if you are reading this now: I found peace. instead of thinking about everything I was doing, I thought about all the things I no longer had done. I used to read when I was growing up, something that I loved! So instead of going out to a friends house for a night, I went and read a book of my own choice. I used to love to learn, and would dedicate myself to working with people! So I found a part-time job AND volunteered in places that helped me practice those skills. And guess what? That work and volunteering led me to earning back the scholarships I thought I lost when my grades dropped, and I finished a degree in management! I thought that my family wasn't valuing me for the longest time, because they never celebrated around me... but I realized that often time I found happiness in THEIR smile and laughter, and I made it a point to call a family member once a week. Then twice a week. And now almost daily I try to talk with them to see how they are doing, to seek their advice, to hear what I can do to help them or be around them.
All these things might seem particular for me, but if I never took that moment to take some deep breaths. To think about what I could do differently instead of what I was doing wrong. To reach out to family and to resources around me (things like this website). TO believe in myself! These things may seem impossible at times, but even just small steps in the right direction can be SO wonderful. And I have faith that you can do these things. I believe in you. I may never meet you, I may have met you, but I believe in you! I will admit that I am quite the Star Wars guy. I imagine life working in ways like the Force, and that I am like Luke Skywalker trying to find balance through all the chaos. A New Hope (Episode IV if you know them by Episodes!) is my favorite, and often time I use it as an example in talking about these types of situations in life. A new hope, creating hope, finding hope is so important throughout your life always. I would strongly encourage you to reach out to someone you trust, and if you are having problems with reaching out to someone you know?
This website has an awesome resource tab that I NEVER had growing up, that you guys are so lucky to have! So where am I now? Well, I'm on good terms with my mom (something I never thought would happen!), she regularly checks in with me and offers help and advice with what I'm going through (again, never imagined it!), I'm managing full-time in a team-environment and getting to help people develop work habits I wish I had at a younger age, I'm taking care of my grandparents who unfortunately now are in very old age and need a hand (the same one who helped me through my struggles) and EVERY day they both tell me how much they love me. That's something so BIG I want to tell you something.
You, reading this... you. You are LOVED. You are VALUED. You are WONDERFUL. UNIQUE. It may seem corny, but I hope to be someone that can help in every way I can after what I've gone through. I didn't want to share too much, and still I ended up sharing quite a bit, but that's because I hope that after you've read this you can be more comfortable reaching out for help with this battle. So many people have gone through the fight... sometimes we don't look like it, but everyone has their battle wounds. And what I hope from the bottom of my heart is that you can realize that you have SO many allies, and we just want to help you as much as you want to be able to move forward from it.
Hi, I am 22 years old girl. Since 5-6 years I am suffering from depression. This is a severe depression. I get medication from psychiatrist. My problem is that everyday is like a battle for me and I am fighting from my mind and body. These 5-6 years are hell for me and my family.
My parents are extremely good parents, they supports me very well. They try so hard so that I come from depression as soon as possible. I trouble them too much and I feel guilty because at in young age I am not able to take care of my parents. I done my graduation and pursuing post graduation. This is not my achievement. It is their achievement. They were working so hard so that I was able to clear my graduation. Every parents have a dream to look their child successful. But in my case I am not doing anything which make them happy and satisfied. I know I am burden on my parents.
Why I am born in this family?? They are good people and they deserve happiness in their life. Because of me they are not living their life. My siblings and cousins are in good position, they make their parents happy. Why I am suffering from this unbearable pain??? Even I don't have enough strength for commit suicide. I am good for nothing. I DO NOT know what to do!!! I am feeling like worthless.
We are sorry you are hurting and feeling worthless. You are not worthless. Your words show that you are a very worthy daughter:
You love your family.
You are thankful for all of the things they've done for you.
You want to please them.
You want to take care of them.
You honor them in your story by pointing out how good they are.
Any family would be proud to have a daughter who treats them in this way. You may not feel like doing much work now, but you are still healing. Healing takes time. You can, however, follow the advice of Mother Theresa and do small things with great love.
You can hug your family and thank them for helping you. You can help someone with one of their chores. You can do one assignment for school. It only takes one tiny thing to make a huge difference in your day and change how you feel about yourself.
You don't feel like you are good for anything, but you are wrong. You are someone's daughter. You are someone's sister. You are someone's friend. You have talents and thoughts that no one else can share with the world. Only you can, because you are unique.
There is a good future with many blessings ahead of you. You have to stay strong and get through this tough time before you reach it. Stay strong, dear friend, and keep reaching for healing. Keep taking your medicine, and find someone to counsel and encourage you. Try to think of the positive things in your life. Healing will come. And it will feel so good when it does.
This story is from one of our supporters. She has had some bad things happen in her life, but is working to turn it around and lead a positive life. She is valuable just the way she is. So are you. Read her story.
I'm a 16 year-old girl who now lives in Brisbane, QLD. I would like to share my story with you, even though it ruined my life and still is in a way. When I was two or three years old, I was touched by my brother, and not in a good way. I remember the exact day. It happened on a regular basis. I was afraid to speak up, so it happened until I was 9. I got post-traumatic stress disorder.
I went to school and everyone bullied me because I was so quiet and would not talk to boys at school. Meanwhile at home it wasn't so great either. My brother started getting really violent and my other brother was getting in with the wrong crowd. Mother took in street kids, and my sister and I saw a lot of stuff we shouldn't have as kids.
When I hit grade 8, I went to a different school than all my friends and it was hard. I would do anything to fit in. By grade 9, I was having major troubles at home and school. At school I was getting bullied and at home my mother had a boyfriend and all he cared about was smoking weed and my mother, so I felt left out.
Because of the stress, I started smoking, then cutting. I also started wagging school, drinking, smoking weed, and running away. Last year I started school again and getting my act back together. I'm now on depression tablets. I don't drink, smoke weed, cut, or run away. Everything I used to be is gone. I still have some major problems with boyfriends, but I have not stopped helping myself. It took me several tries to find the right therapist. So don’t give up. Keep trying because you can feel better. I'm also getting good grades in school. Don't think miracles don't happen because I got a second chance in life...you can, too.