Growing Up Different

Updated on March 21, 2018

My Disability

I was born with a rare physical disability called Sacral Agenesis which affects the lower half of my body. I am missing about half of my spine including the sacrum which is the reason why I'm only 4 feet tall at 20 years old! I also have permanently dislocated hips which have made me unable to walk so I use forearm crutches 24/7.

School Life

When I was younger and in elementary school, I feel like making friends was a breeze. I used my wheelchair and crutches back then so that was the only difference that kids saw when they looked at me. My height was never a problem because in third grade, there was no height difference between me and my friends. The best part about elementary is that young kids are hardly judgemental.

Then came the glory days of middle school and high school. The days where fitting in and being cool was "crucial." Moving cities around this time didn't help at all either. I went from having five good friends to none. Although, I was the new kid so I waited it out. After a month in my new school, I finally found one good friend. It was nice to have somebody to walk to classes with me and to talk about cute boys but there was still that competition to be cool. High school was when I tried way too hard to fit in. I started focusing more on what could make me fit into the cool crowd more than academics. Mentally, it became so unhealthy that I made the decision to switch to online schooling. My grades started to rise and I become content with my two good friends.

I realized then that being popular is not life or death. Removing myself from the environment where kids were so judgemental was the best decision I made in my teen years.

I'm now just finishing up college but throughout my two years, I made so many friends. I never once had to try to fit in and I love that. I truly believe the reason for that is, most people going to college are older and more mature. There is no judgment and there is no "popular" crowd.

Needless to say, elementary school and college are my favorite times to look back on.

Changing My Mindset

When I was younger, I was a very happy child. My disability never stopped me from much and I rarely ever even considered myself different except when I couldn't run or participate in certain activities. Although, I had friends who were okay with staying by my side and not having to do exactly what everybody else was doing so that was amazing.

My social anxiety and insecurities started around the same time I started middle school. Things changed so fast and suddenly I was just trying to get used to the stares and whispers. Trying to be like everybody wasn't working. I had to realize that I would never be like them and that I had to be okay with that. I had to be okay with me. I started retraining my negative thoughts to positive. Every person who stared at me, I'd smile and say, "Hello!" I'd look in the mirror and tell myself that I was beautiful.

When I started doing online school, that's when my head started clearing and I truly started focusing on me and my happiness. I didn't have all of that pressure of fitting in anymore so that really gave me the time to learn how to love myself just the way that I am.

I had to be okay with me.

After High School

Today, I am happy and independent. Even though school was rough for awhile, I survived and graduated from high school a few years ago. Shortly after, I applied for college in hopes of getting my Certificate in General Office. I should be graduating this summer!

As far as my disability goes, it hasn't slowed me down a bit. I am in a much better place with myself and can actually look in a mirror and feel good about what I see. I even got my own apartment a few months ago so I'm living an independent life. Life is good right now.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Amanda Burnett


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Readmikenow profile image


        12 months ago

        A very inspiring story. I'm glad you have the courage to share your story. I'm friends with a person who has been disabled since birth and he has done very well for himself. I asked him how he does it and he said something I'll never forget "People may think they know my body, but they don't know me. When they know me is when they realize; I'm more than my body." Enjoyed reading this.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        12 months ago from Norfolk, England

        You sound a very strong young lady. Good luck with your graduation. =)

      • Rochelle Frank profile image

        Rochelle Frank 

        12 months ago from California Gold Country

        Great thoughts, Amanda!

        Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you have risen to meet your challenges, even though you still may be physically short.

        If it is any consolation, I think middle school and high school is often challenging for many young people in many different ways even though their trials may not be physically evident. We all have to learn to be okay with ourselves.

        I'm sure you have many adventures awaiting you in life, and yes, you are beautiful.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)