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So What If I Look Different?

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Channel: storybooth
Categories: Society / Culture   |   Motivational   |   Psychology   |   Social Science  
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By Pierce | Ready to "wear it out loud?” Merch store open, SHOP NOW: | Subscribe: | Record your story @ or our iPhone app for a chance to get animated. Comment, like, share this story.

Pierce was born with a rare syndrome called Tilted Disc Syndrome. It only effects 1-2% of the whole population, and unfortunately he ended up in that tiny percentage. It's a condition that causes his eye to rest in an awkward and somewhat unnatural position. When he was three years old it became more pronounced and when his parents took him to the doctor that found out what it was, and they also found out that at that age, there was nothing that could be done about it.

So, growing up through his childhood years, he had to deal with the fact that he looked different than the other kids around him. The fact that his eye was a little bit off kilter, and he, therefore, looked different than the other kids, caused him to get bullied - a lot.

Kids were cruel, they straight-up called him ugly, or wouldn't play with him, saying he was blind and couldn't join their games. This bullying, that happened all the time, got him to the point were he hardly trusted anyone, and just stuck close to the few friends he was able to make and who didn't care that he looked different. This caused anxiety and depression.

It was right around that time when the book WONDER came out, and Pierce read it cover-to-cover. The book gave him a lot of needed inspiration, convinced him finally that even though he had been born with this weird and rare syndrome, he was still beautiful, unique - truly one of a kind - even though the other kids were the ones who were blind, too blind to see the real person behind his weird looking eye. Even though he would sometimes be depressed, he got through it.

He made it through the elementary school years, and finally was able to get an operation that could partially fix his eye, and his appearance - for the most part. For the first few months following his surgery he had to struggle through a lot of side effects, like getting nauseous and having terrible headaches, but finally, all of that faded away.

The operation had involved the surgeons planting metal implants around his eye socket so that they could adjust it into the right position, and those implants cause there to be some pretty weird facial expressions at certain moments. So, grinning and smiling wide for instance, would make his one eye bulge out, and if he turned his head to look behind himself, or to the side, his eye would look like it was being held wide open! Again, he thought, "so what if I look different?"

Kids really reacted badly to these few instances - called him the devil, or just ran away in fear - and that made him really really sad and caused real depression and anxiety. But, in those moments, he would think back to WONDER, and what Auggie Pullman would say - YOU BE YOU AND YOU'RE AMAZING! And looking different does not make him different in a bad way. He's still an amazing and beautiful guy.

Pierce carried that message to himself through middle school, and it helped him get through it. Now he is a freshman in high school and his attitude is "So what if I look different?" - he may have had a tough time growing up, and people may have made him feel like a freak when he was younger, but now and moving forward he stays proud and strong in being himself and he knows that that is what will get him through life in the best possible way.

All that matters is that you know that you are beautiful on the inside no matter how you may appear on the outside.

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