As a member of several scoliosis forums, I've talked with many people who are emotionally scarred from rude treatment during their school years because of scoliosis. Now they are living extremely self-conscious, discouraged lives. My experience? Completely the opposite.
One reason for that is the fact that Christ has changed me and my former classmates. Even young kids who have been saved by God's grace realize that we need to edify and encourage others, especially when they are going through tough times. And my classmates were so helpful, all through the years. There was no name-calling or hurtful comments. Of course, I'm not saying Christians are perfect, because no one is, by any stretch of the imagination. But my friends were there for me, united under the grace of God.
Now, I have heard some interesting ones here at college. Apparently, I'm known to some on campus as "giraffe girl," "straight-back girl" (courtesy of my very own roommate) :), or simply, "the girl with really good posture" (which is a compliment to me!). I don't know how I really like being compared to a giraffe, but I happen to think that giraffes are really cool animals. It would be pathetic if I got upset when people called me these names or talked about the way I look. I tend to believe the best of people, and I have always told myself that they don't mean anything negative by it. Whether I'm right or wrong doesn't matter. It's just a name. And besides, it's true. I'm different. And I happen to like it!
However, I can connect with these emotional sufferers in some ways. I have always been a little more self-conscious than the average person. But when your body is twisted like a cork screw, you tend to feel like everyone notices (even when they don't). Overall, though, I don't care. In fact, I've embraced it. That's the way God made me, and that makes me love my scoliosis and "asymmetricalness." But I have my days, just like anyone else-- days when I wish I could find things easier while shopping; days when it hurts to sit against the back of my chair because my back is twisted; days when I'm sick and just want to curl up in a ball, but I can't. None of these things have to affect me, though. There's more to life. A lot more, actually. My physical appearance is nothing. Christ has given me hope, joy, and purpose in life, no matter what I look or feel like.
I can't imagine how difficult it must be for those who now live with the emotional scars of their scoliosis. For me... there's no excuse to live that way. And I don't-- not because I'm strong, because I'm not; not because I've got it all together, because I don't; but rather, because I've been redeemed by the sinless blood of Christ on the cross. My sins have been washed away for good, and some day, I'll live in heaven forever with the very One who created the world-- the One who designed me and my spine. And that, my scoliosis friends, is what gives me joy beyond words and appreciation for the way I am.
So I'm crooked. What's your "uniqueness?"
If you're wondering what these picture have to do with anything, they're from back in the day when I was crooked. :)
Twisted and proud of it!