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I know exactly how you feel Nate.

I started getting cystic acne at a very young age (about 11) and had it all through junior high, high school, college and early adult years, despite my many, many visits to numerous different determatologists.

I was made fun of almost daily at school. My parents and sisters were of little help at home. It got so bad that I became totally ashamed of myself. This shame has stayed with me throughout my life and yes it has "crippled" me in many respects.

Although I no longer have cysts, I now have acne scars to contend with. You are right when you say that people treat you differently when you have acne (or acne scars). I am automatically disliked and still made fun of (behind my back) by many people who don't even know me. People see my bad skin as a weakness and use it against me. I have to work so much harder to get people to respect me That I often just feel like giving up.

I'm sure alot of what I feel is related to my low self esteem, but once you are "crippled" by the negative reaction of society to something beyond your control, it is very hard to just shake it off and bounce back. I imagine if I had had a mentor or someone who really believed in me despite my acne during my formative year, I probably would have overcome the reaction of peers, teachers, and strangers and may have come out only slightly bruised instead of crippled.

I admire those of you who can shake it off but think you ought to be able to empathize with those of us who haven't been so lucky.

[This message has been edited by U4IA (edited 11-08-2002).]

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