What Makes You Different?

Discuss the November 2016 Book of the Month, Roan: The Tales Of Conor Archer by E. R. Barr.
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Swara Sangeet
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Re: What Makes You Different?

Post by Swara Sangeet »

Rachel1019 wrote:I am completely normal, or at least on the outside I am. On the inside is a whole other story. I have a congenital hiatal hernia, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and am prone to developing ulcers. I am only 23 years old, and I have had all of these problems for years. It made it difficult for me as a high school student, when I was constantly sick and missed a lot of fun activities from being sick. So, while people don't see that anything is wrong with me, they still know that something is not right with me, and I do get judged for that.
Thanks for sharing. It must have been very hard for you to say this. But I sympathize with you. I hope that you find people who accept you the way you are and cherish your friendship.

-- 10 Dec 2016, 22:15 --
Christine_B wrote:I'm visually impaired and I feel like I can relate to a lot of people who have disabilities or physical limitations regardless of what kind it is.
Thanks for sharing. I know how people tease visually impaired people. I pray that you have the strength to be thick-skinned and not care about what other people say. May you have a happy life!

-- 10 Dec 2016, 22:19 --
lacos2693 wrote:Yeah I think everyone has something which makes them different but some people are more self conscious than others. I have a squint at times, my teeth used to be crazy (looked like a beaver), I'm taller than most people I meet and I sneeze in the loudest, squeakiest way possible. I learned to just go with most things (the sneeze for example) so I can laugh about it now but some things I'm still very self conscious of.
Thanks for sharing. These traits make you special, not weird. I'm happy to know that you have learned to laugh it off, but I hope no teasing has affected you. Stay strong!

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Post by cjohns105 »

I work with a lot of people on a daily basis, and most of them are convinced that they are some way or another not normal. The reality is that normality is a social construct and, while humans are certainly social beings in many respects, many of us are thinking about the perceptions of others far too much. Most people do not see most, if any, of the things that you might think are abnormal about yourself; when they do, they latch on to these in hopes that it will distract you and others from the things that they find abnormal in their own lives.

Knowing this does not change much. I can speak as objectively as I want for others, but at the end of the day I will still be self conscious about the things I view as abnormal about myself. There are plenty. One of the things that often messes with me is the fact that I can't figure out my own cultural identity. My sibling and I jokingly call ourselves 'mutts'. We can trace our European ancestry back to when we arrived to the U.S. in the early 1600's, but because of our ancestors circumstances we can't find anything further. The family have been eternal wanderers and freewheeling with their partner selection since then. The result is that we have X times great-grandparents who were slaves and who owned them. We have Native American ancestors who were forced along the Trail of Tears. We have come from Chinese immigrants who worked on early railroads in the West under horrible conditions. We were on both sides of most wars. We were victims and perpetrators. And as a result of all this our family moves, crisscrossing the country with every subsequent generation. I am white as newly fallen snow yet tied by blood to the suffering of more minority populations than many could imagine, but somehow I have no right to lament their treatment or appreciate the enormity of their sacrifices. I really don't know what to make of all of it. We usually just assimilate to wherever we are, but at the end of the day I have nothing that is truly mine to identify with. My brother says we are the ultimate Americans, since we have nothing else to identify ourselves as. It is a weird issue of identity to have, and seems fabricated at best because it seems like such a blase concern. But its unique absence in our lives is something that often leaves me (and my brother) at a loss.
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Post by Donnavila Marie01 »

I am always different from the rest of my circle of friends, from my family and my batch mates. I am different in a sense that I have a different way of approaching challenges in life. I would say that I have faced big waves of problems in life but I remained to be sturdy. I came from a very poor family, a hand to mouth existence kind of a family but I managed to free myself from it. I also have views in life which are very different from the others making them despise me.
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Post by Erik »

I have multiple genetic issues.
Those differences have effected the way I look and my mobility. My face and body look odd compared with those of most people, and I do attract negative attention and staring when I go out. I have had to tailor my life around this by using technology wherever I can, by avoiding going out very often, and avoiding going out alone.

My appearance is the most obvious effect, but I also have pancreatic deficiency, meaning that my body doesn't produce certain digestive enzymes that break down fats and proteins for the body to use, causing me to have trouble maintaining a healthy weight and decent muscle tissue. I take synthetic enzymes, but they are not quite as good as the real thing. I'm rather tall, so that just makes me look even more spindly. I also have a seizure disorder, but it is fairly well controlled.

I've been using a wheelchair for the past ~15 years, but before that I could walk with canes. I have a rather severe spinal curvature that is causing me a lot of pain and making it hard to take a deep breath. So I'm an odd-looking fellow... and yes, that attracts the attention of almost everyone. I'm conspicuous.

The one thing I find the most annoying is how every fool out there has a camera phone... my life was much easier before camera phones.

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Post by Leparda »

Maybe I don't look different outside, but I do feel like that.
I've always been a very creative and had an imagination without boundaries, really. But growing up I felt like others around me judged me for being childish, fighting imaginary giant windmills and it really hit me hard as a kid, because no one was interested in my crazy adventure stories and stupid jokes. I was pretty much that weird kid, or the class clown. I remember when in my new class I was sitting alone and in front sat two girls I recently became friends with. So we were talking and I just randomly poked one girl and said "hey, that kitty in the calendar is so cute, don't you think?". She asked what is wrong with me!
Since then I became shy and extremely quiet. Even 10 years later now, even sitting with my best friends, I talk only if I'm asked or to carry on conversation to not feel uncomfortable. I am scared to call my mom to ask if she'll pick me up. I don't feel like I am sincere to others, but on the other hand I am scared to be laughed at and left alone again.

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Post by Tawfiqalqeisi »

Being different does not have to make you feel bad. No one can make you feel bad unless you let them. Back in school I was extremely skinny. This made people fun of me, but they were not making fun after I started winning sprinting event for the school. Being lightweight allowed me to run fast. Accept what makes you different and use it for your benefit :D
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Post by MarissaW44 »

My father has two connected toes, which he was always made fun of for when he was younger. Though many of those people are gone now my father still is very insecure about this and wears shoes mostly anywhere-- he doesn't even go swimming because it requires taking them off. As a child I never understood why it was odd, I thought it was rather cool. Just goes to show making fun of someone can result in years of self-consciousness.

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Post by Mindy_M »

I saw a few people mention that all of us have "something" that could put a target on our backs for bullying. These are what the things that make us different and unique, and sometimes people are threatened or confused by it. (Other times they are ignorant or falsely taught.) Just the same, I would think any reason to be bullied is a cause for celebration. Somebody noticed something unique about you that causes you to stand out in a crowd! As we say at my place of work: Own it! Own your uniqueness. Own the awkward you or the shy you. Own your speech impediments (which I have). Own your stage fright (which I have). Own all of those parts about you that make you angry, embarrassed, or upset. Not only will it enable you to act and react more responsibly, but it will open your mind to acceptance and the drive to do something about it.

What makes me different? I am aware more than most, I can read between the lines more than most, and I am quite apt at researching. I know this doesn't sound like anything special, however consider those facts and the fact I'm a short woman with a slightly higher voice. This means that people don't typically expect me to stand my ground. When I do, it catches them off-guard and suddenly I'm considered intimidating, threatening, rude, or cold. Nobody seems to know how to communicate with a gal who knows her stuff! When it comes to my work, personality, or knowledge- I own it! People don't always like that too much. Haha

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Post by dhwanis »

Not physically, but being an extreme introvert, I had difficulty talking to people in the past..anytime someone new came to me to talk, they would give weird looks as try as much as I want, I would not be able to converse with them. All I could do was give short answers to their questions, making them think I was rude and snobbish. Took a lot of effort to improve this.

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Post by eelavahs-jay »

I don't have any disabilities but I had a terrible eating disorder a few years back. It was never a conscious thing where I didn't eat (or puke afterwards if I did) because I thought I was fat. I developed an actual fear of food after being hospitalized for a completely unrelated issue. As a result of all the medication I had been on my acidity was through the roof, eating gave me severe pains. It was so bad I cried when forced to eat. I fought my way through it though. I'm much better these days :) I don't think it makes me different from many people but where I'm from eating disorders aren't taken seriously and people thought it was a cry for attention (something I don't even like).

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Post by Anjum »

No. I don't think that I am different. But people around me think that I am a bit odd because I like to read books! Well, I just avoid them because they have never tried to discover the world of books.
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Post by Mailis »

Well I have partial simple syndactyly on couple my toes and it is something that only few people really notice, even if I wear flip flops or open shoes. It hasn't bothered me to be honest, my mother has it and my brother has it as well. My kids again don't. I even consider my feet to be kind of cutely shaped, even considering those couple of toes. Only few flip flops don't fit that have this middle parting thing that goes between the toes, but otherwise it's painless and I rarely even remember it, I am so used to it I guess.
It is possible to have a separating operation but in my mild case it has never been that important to me.

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Post by angiejack456 »

I feel the world is becoming more and more accepting of differences because of the exposure we have to it in our media-rich culture. That's a beautiful change.

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