This week is Anti Bullying week which is a major issue that effects many people all over the world. It is a subject that is talked about a lot in schools and bullying may be targeted towards someone’s appearance, personality or beliefs, but whatever it is it’s wrong. If everyone was the same life would be boring. Diversity is what makes the world a better place.
My disability is very visual, meaning if I met someone, they would know straightaway that I had a disability. When I was younger, I would be aware of people staring at me and judging me due to my electric wheelchair. I would hear comments that I found hurtful, however thankfully I can’t remember most as I was so young. When I first got my nasogastric tube when I was 8 years old, I did feel that pupils in my year treated me differently, but I can’t remember anything hurtful getting said. It just hurt to not be included as much. I think the first time I felt like I was getting bullied was maybe in primary 6 or 7 when two boys in my class thought it would be ‘funny’ to tip my electric wheelchair on its two back wheels whilst I was walking home from school. They would just hold me like that for what felt like ages, why am I sharing this story? Well thankfully this didn’t carry on for very long because I spoke to my parents and I also had my amazing best friend who stood up for me.
I still got called names unfortunately until I was about 17, the common name was Robot or people would discuss ‘how funny would it be if Claire rolled down a hill?’ Which I still don’t really understand why that one was so funny. Names are the most hurtful form of bullying I feel because people might not see how you feel about them. For me, looking back, I wish I had spoken out more about the name calling or stood up for myself. I kind of just laughed it off and wouldn’t tell anyone how I felt about it.
The reason for this post is not for people to feel sorry for me, it’s in the past and I am more a look to the future kind of girl. I’m writing this blog post to make people aware to just think about what you say before you say it, even if someone seems okay doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting. This year Anti Bullying week is focusing on choosing to respect people over bullying which I definitely support.