Childhood bullying has been covered a lot in mainstream media in recent years, and with good reason. It would seem that childhood bullying starts younger and is more aggressive than ever before. I’m not so sure if childhood bullying is actually worse than it was 35 years ago, when I was bullied, or if it’s just that it’s no longer dismissed as “kids being kids”. There is an old adage that says “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. It’s a lie. Words do hurt, y’all, and when those words are hurled at a child over and over again, they start to believe them. I was made fun of… a lot. At the age of thirteen, I sliced my own wrists while seated in the hallway outside of the library of our junior high school because I felt worthless and unlovable. Because bullying has taken the limelight, there are now strategies for preventing childhood bullying. No kid should ever feel worthless and unlovable like I did.
I am affected by the AEC syndrome of ectodermal dysplasia. The ectodermal dysplasias are inherited disorders that involve defects in the hair, nails, sweat glands and teeth. When a person has at least two types of abnormal ectodermal features—for example, malformed teeth and extremely sparse hair—the individual is identified as being affected by ectodermal dysplasia. The nfed.org is an organization that empowers and connects individuals affected by ectdodermal dysplasias through education, support, and research. HealthIQ will donate $1 to nfed.org for every quiz complete that happens.