Names Can Hurt
Everyone (or at least everyone I know) has had to deal with teasing in their life. It's part of being a kid. But when you are really different and that difference is obvious, the teasing starts early.
The movie Peter Pan came out when I was 4 years old. At that time (and for most of my life), I wore a prosthesis in the shape of a hook. A whole bunch of us went to see the movie for this one boy's 5th birthday (Great party by the way!) and the second we walked out of the theater, it started.
This is just like the hook I wear.
The kids began talking about how they had their very own Captain Hook. They asked me why I never told them I was in a movie. And of course, every time we played Peter Pan, I automatically got the part of Hook.
That was just the beginning. Every time a movie/tv show came out about something with robotic parts, I got a new nickname - Transformer, RoboGirl, Bionic Woman. The worst ever though came in 7th grade (12 years old for those of you who don't do school grades like the US). That was the first year we had sex ed in school. The boy I was hopelessly crushing on decided that a great new nickname for me was Hooker.
So how did I deal with all this teasing? I can tell you it wasn't easy at all. My mom was a big help (though I didn't really think so at the time). The "ignore them" advice, well let's just say it didn't work too well. I don't have that kind of personality. But she also said that if I couldn't ignore them, I should turn the tables on them.
And Captain Hook became my identity. For 7 years I dressed as him for every Halloween and costume party. I would sign notes as Captain Hook. When I got my first email ID, it was capthook :)
Once I did that, it became easier to deal with. Though it took a lot longer for it to stop hurting.
This will be me one day.
For almost 2 decades, I have been going steadily blind. My doctor has predicted that if some muracle surgery (LASIC won't fix it) doesn't come to light in the next 15 or so years, I will no longer be able to see at all when I'm in my 50s. My birth mother was blind by age 20, so at least it's going slower for me.
So what am I doing about it? I'm preparing. A couple of years ago I started teaching myself how to read Braille. I've looked into the cost and training of a seeing-eye dog (my mom used to raise and train them). I am basically doing everything I can to make it as easy a thing possible. Not an easy task.
The Braille alphabet.
What about you? If you had to chose to have one major difference,
what would it be? Would you want the time to prepare for it? How
would you prepare?