I was a happy and outgoing child who had lots of friends. Young and older. I didn’t love to play much because my father had forced me to grow up. Remember I talked about it in my previous post – to my younger self – I’m sorry. But now we had moved on.
to new problems.
When I was about 11 years old, My mom was in a better place financially and so she decided to send me to a boarding school. I remember the day we first visited the school and we both fell in love with it.
Right at the entrance, you could see my future decorated with the beautiful Motto. The lawns inside were all beautifully decorated and well gardened with beautiful flowers all over- whoever attended Nyakoe Highway understand what I mean.
I first met Madam Irene – the secretary at the time and she handed me my interview exam. 3 subject exams, almost five hours later I handed in my papers and joined my mum in the tour of the school. See, the interview results didn’t matter to my mum. She had made up her mind. She would have me in this boarding school whether I passed or failed. If I failed, she would have me repeat Standard Five. Well, I passed the interview and got admitted. I could already see how beautiful my future was going to end up. I wanted to be a Neurosurgeon – although I barely knew what that was about.
I officially joined my new school in January all excited and managed to make a good number of friends in the first few days. Some of them were my relatives and it was much easier to adjust seeing as I was the shy girl struggling to find my place in this world after my father rejected me for the girl I am.
And then, everyone I knew somehow realized I was “fat.” Not plus size, not with a few extra pounds, not plumb. Just Fat. Aka ” Kanono”. A group of boys in my class- including one that was way bigger than me, would come up to my desk, hide my books, steal my pens when I was outside, break my ruler while calling me names as everyone watched and if I dared cry, the whole class would start laughing at me.
No one cared what I felt. They sneered when I walked past them. The kids called me names. The teachers called me names. The people I was supposed to confide in would make me run – movement by running _ as was the rule in the school compound, then start laughing and teasing me. How was that supposed to build my confidence? I doubt they will ever know what impact they had on my mental health. They even tried to use me as an example when trying to explain a “Fat” concept.
No one wanted to be friends with me anymore. Every attempt I made was always met with a bunch of rumors people made about me. My confidence was an all time low. I couldn’t even answer a question in class without stummering. So once again, I was face to face with rejection.
My father was probably right. I got bullied even by the other older girls in the dormitory. I was the Dorm prefect at the time and everytime I said something serious, everyone laughed. Not because I was funny but because, to them I wasn’t good enough. Our bathrooms had this open plan and I got even worse bullied when taking baths. So I started isolating myself and had my baths in the dark. When no one was in the bathroom. I was called names for being big bodied as a child by children. What was my fault in that?
My grades dropped so much and my teachers started to talk to my mother. They told her I was lazy and refused to participate in any activities in the school. Well, the head teacher even said I had a secret boyfriend because I had taken a picture with a boy from our class _ the one person who didn’t actually bully me. Thanks Bis. The headteacher got the 411 from the same people that always started rumors about me. Hahaha now that I think about it, it’s funny. As far as I can remember, it’s around this time that I drafted my first suicide note – God forbid. I couldn’t confide in my own mother. She had problems of her own that I knew too well. So I slowly fell into depression that would keep ghosting me even as an adult.
The bullying did not stop when I joined secondary school. But this time, I was a little prepared thanks to my older cousins that had told me what high school bullying was like. I fought my own bullies in Form one. I beat them up.
Sorry not sorry. I was Fat after all and I used it to my advantage because I looked even older than most of them. I didn’t involve the teachers or anyone. I took the law in to my own hands and disciplined my own bullies. No regrets.
I know alot of people who went through the same thing or even worse and are scared to even voice it out. Some still traumatized from some of the events in their childhood. Some still believe that they are Fat and useless. Some kids that are going through it today. Listen up little buddies, don’t let your weight define you. Don’t give up. It gets better. Don’t let them get to you. They just want to break you. Hang on in there. No one knows your story. They don’t even know half of what you’ve been through and they are so quick to judge you. You are beautiful. I know you are. I was too. I just didn’t get anyone to remind me that.
We’ve all heard of suicide cases in school going children, bullying plays a big role in that number. Children are being pushed into eating disorders, depression and suicide attempts.
To parents and guardians, I know no one likes to see or even think about their children being bullied let alone that your child could be the bully.But let’s face it, it happens. However, there’s a good chance your children will not walk up to you and tell you that they are being bullied or teased by other kids or that they are bullying other children. You just have to observe some behavioral changes and or withdraw from normal activities and quickly step in to help them. They need help.