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Teen Truth: Donte’s Story

This post first appeared on TEEN TRUTH.

JC Pohl met TRUTH TRIBE member Donte Winrow while on the road this fall. Donte and JC learned a lot from each other at that TEEN TRUTH LIVE: BULLY presentation at Johnson Middle School in Westminster, CA. Read Donte’s powerful story!

I want you to understand that the TEEN TRUTH LIVE: BULLY presentation changed my life and the way I look at my disorder. The disorder I have is called Tourettes Syndrome and it’s not very common. The disorder forces me to have physical and vocal tics that often can’t control.

I realized I had this disorder when I was in 6th grade and it made that year the worst year of my life! It was so hard for me because I was always so embarrassed.

I still remember all the names of the people that made fun of me and tried to copy my Tourettes. At school I heard a lot of jokes and rumors about me. One of the tics I use to have because of my Tourettes was a twitch where and hit my nose. I heard a joke about my tic that was spread around the whole school. They said I would twitch because I was sniffing crack and that bothered me a lot.

Imagine living 8 years of your life having fewer friends then your supposed to have just because you have a disorder you can’t control. I always struggled with my Tourettes and the way people treated because of it. I also struggled with treating people nicely because I felt they were always mean to me.

On Thursday October 29, I heard we had an assembly at my school. They said it was going to be about life and teenagers. I immediately thought it was going to be a bunch of bull and a waste of my time. Because I was thinking these thoughts I started talking through the beginning of the presentation.

I wasn’t loud until my Tourettes started acting up. My Tourettes starts going off when there’s increased activity or excitement in my brain. I was talking and my tics from my Tourettes were causing me to make strange sounds.

Because of the strange noises JC, the speaker, got on me about talking aloud and told me to be aware of the impact I was having on the rest of the group. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

After that, we watched TEEN TRUTH BULLY and it literally made me think in a way I never thought about before.

My mind went into shock, my whole mind just blanked. After the film I was glued to what JC had to say. I loved the presentation and in the end it actually made me realize that I had to apologize for disrupting the presentation.

I told JC about my disorder, and he realized that it wasn’t my fault. He told me that we often times don’t realize what issues a person is dealing with because we never ask and the impact that we have could hurt.

That day we both learned a TRUTH about each other and we both realized we made judgments that were false.

The TEEN TRUTH LIVE presentation was the best presentation I have ever seen. It made me realize that it is okay to be different. If I weren’t different, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

If you’re not the same as everyone else, that doesn’t mean your stupid or a retard. Get over the bad comments and rumors spread about you because you’re a different person.

Be a happier person, be yourself. To get over your obstacles you need to forget all the bad. Try to go on with your life, and stop copying the people that are not going to make a difference. I believe anyone can make a difference. You just have to believe in yourself and try!