Other children in my school used to dislike this, which made them mock and bully me. Since I was a very quiet and introverted kid, I started feeling very depressed and began keeping it to myself. It got worse when a close cousin of mine suddenly passed away. I got to a point where I didn’t know how to deal with all this and began to harm myself.
I still remember this one particular incident when a group of girls cornered me during lunch break and began badmouthing me. Other times, they would write things on my desk, on the walls, fat shame me, slut-shame me - call me a ‘whore’ and throw things at me. My teachers were incapable of understanding my situation. I tried approaching my school counselors too, but it didn’t help. After the 10th grade, I even changed my school. But the situation wasn’t any different.
My father being simple and down to earth never displayed any authority, which automatically made me polite, perhaps too polite for my situation. Little did I know that I had turned into someone who didn’t allow herself to seek out for help when she needed it the most because for six years this was my best-kept secret.
And then one day, it all came out. Something that my father said, merely as a joke, triggered something inside me, and I started to cry. In the next few minutes, I navigated through my six years-long misery. They got the answers to all the questions that they had always asked me. It was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
After this, I stopped crying myself to sleep. I became free and happy. My father wished I had told him earlier so that he could have done something about it. However, he has taken measures to make things better for other children. My school too has gotten a better counselling system. Things have changed for the better.