I have heard some of you lot tell me how inspirational you think I am for keeping going and keeping smiling through my current escapade. The funny thing is that - to me - cancer and heart failure are not the worst things I have ever had to deal with. I have got professionals medicating me and keeping an eye on me, as well as friends who make me smile, feed me, water me, apply hugs, etc. I may be on my own but I never feel lonely.
I grew up knowing I was different from everyone else - and trying my hardest to be the same as them. My pesky sight made it a lonely existence at times - a *very* lonely one indeed.
I would say that around 5 of you were around me during the loneliest times (one of you being paid for the privilege). I am not joking when I say I came closer than you will ever know to killing myself during my first term at Secondary school. To be honest I consider myself lucky that I didn't have the internet at that time otherwise I might not be here now.
Being bullied is bad enough - being bullied for something which you hate about yourself anyway is the cruelest thing anyone can do.
I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of "we need to tell the children of today to be kind to each other".
Instead - we need to *show* the children of today that they are valuable, that their differences are what makes them special, that -even if they are not academic - they can still succeed.
Bullying is worse than cancer. After all, cancer may eventually kill you but at least you have people fighting it with you. Nobody fights with you when you are being bullied - there are no specialists with degrees coming out of their ears working on cures for bullying - there is no fundraising for research into what makes children and adults (I was also the victim of bullying in my last job) bully others less fortunate than themselves.
If you would like to borrow my mental and emotional scars that came as a result of bullying be my guest. I will gladly lend them to you.
Bullying should *not* be seen as a "rite of passage" through life. It should be both seen as and treated as a serious crime (I think you will find physical and verbal assault are both classed as criminal offences - and there is such a thing as "corporate manslaughter").
You may think I am overreacting but - if you had had my experience of it and treated some people badly as a consequence of it - you might think very differently. Bullying leaves scars which last a lifetime - and some scars from it never heal.