For those who are victims of bulllying here's a video for all of us.
What he says is all too true. To this day I am still frustrated that schools do not take the issue of bullying seriously. Often it's dismissed with one sentence; " They're just being kids."
Childhood is not always an idyllic time where its all about innocence, play, and fun.
When I was a kid I found it hard to be around other people as I was feeling so insecure about myself. I always thought I was a burden to my family as I was sickly and always coming down with something that forces my parents to rush me to a hospital. And when I stayed there all I could think about was how inconvenient my existence is for the other people around me.
I would sometimes sneak around so I could see the latest printout of the hospital bills that my parents had to shoulder because no insurance company would pay for my condition.
It made me feel like I was a little thief for taking away all that much from my family as I knew full well my father would be applying for another loan to pay for the treatments they had to administer for me. I felt like a leech sucking them dry.
There were nights when I couldn't sleep and then I would hear my parents in their room talking about me and my mother crying. I'd go back to my room and cry myself to sleep too because I didn't know what else I could do.
When I was five I had to wear very thick glasses that magnified the size of my eyes and make them pop out like big, floating eyeballs which always surprises people who saw me for the first time. And those big eyeballs on my face makes other people uncomfortable maybe because it made them feel like I was staring at them and burning a hole through their soul. I was sent to a blind school because I couldn't see very well but I didn't feel I belonged there. I was the only one who could partially see.
I insisted on being sent to a "normal" school despite my eye condition and I guess that was the real tragedy. I was assigned to sit down in the front row despite my big size because I can barely see the writings on the chalkboard wall. This must have frustrated my classmates so. To this day I still wear those thick glasses.
There were so many things I was not allowed to do. As a kid and growing up without experiencing those little pleasures make up what childhood is all about I felt like I never had a childhood. I was told not to climb trees less I would fall and hurt my back. I could not run and play because too much strenuous activity might affect my heart and I'll be back in the hospital again. In my mind I was not allowed to have fun.
Navigating through life's ups and downs while being literally kicked, punched, and taunted as you go along the way by your peers and be called a lot of things simply because you are different makes growing up such an ordeal. Being different they could not understand me. What they could not understand they had to break and abuse.
Frog, crazy, Quasimoda, the hunchback of Cebu, weirdo, and a bunch of other words I could no longer remember. Yes, those are the words they used to call me, to describe me, to break and hurt me.
Sticks and stones may break your bones indeed but words cut so much deeper and the worst part is that they linger.
There were so many things I wanted to be but I always stopped myself from aiming for something higher because I thought I could never attain it. I did not have the means to get it.
I wanted to be a nun but even at such a young age I felt like there was nothing really out there but it still didn't fully stop me from searching for something.
Then I wanted to be a rock star because I saw a video of Bon Jovi's concert and it looked so fun especially when he was dangling through a wire flying over the audience and belting out "Living On A Prayer". Then I realized I could not play the guitar and was told that if I learned it I would go through excruciating pain and my fingers will be bruised and nicked which will cause infection and I'm allergic to Penicillin and all it's derivatives so my parents might have to take me to the hospital again and they'll be paying a bunch of bills and other whatnots. So I abandoned the dream of becoming a rock star. To this day I still couldn't play the guitar.
Then I wanted to be a doctor because I dreamt of helping other sick children like me. Often when doctors come in to examine me they always felt cold and so distant and I thought I could do a better job and have an entirely different approach. Then I found out that being a doctor costs so much. We don't have that much money especially when my parents were paying back loans left, right, front, and center.
I tried to think of another alternative so I turned my head to my books and then I said to myself that I should be a genetic engineer. I thought then that since it had the word "engineer" to it then maybe I need not go to medical school. I was wrong.
There was also a time when I wanted to be a lawyer. I thought maybe if I become a lawyer then I can have the legal means to stop these people bullying me and I can send them all to jail. Much like being a doctor or a genetic engineer though I found out that being a lawyer costs so much. We don't have that much money especially when my parents were paying back loans left, right, front, and center.
I, having the knowledge that I was different with so many limitations felt defeated. I was the one who killed my own dreams.
What can a young child do to get through all those negative thoughts and the taunts?
At 13 I didn't think about taking someone else's life. I thought of thinking my own life. The scars of that stupid action are still visible up until this day. Then after that failed attempt I tried again and again. Three times I failed.
Get over it is easier said than done.
I never belonged to any group growing up. The "nerdy" people would not even take me in. Yet despite that I am still here. Trying, improving, and trying harder.
To this day the pain is still there, the insecurities too. The scars of the past still etched in the psyche and there are days when the old thoughts try to grab hold of me, desperately trying to unravel what I am consciously trying to work at today, pulling me back to the dark abyss I was stuck in, telling me I will never amount to anything and nobody will really love me in the end.
But I try my best not to listen anymore. I try not to let it get me now. I've come so far. I'm going to hold on for dear life.
To know more about the author read: An Insight Part I (The Early Years)