Issue of May 13, 2018

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Why does it have to be me?

This question always crosses my mind when I’m doing nothing, but it has never been answered. I started asking when I was in grade 3. I was a transferee student back then and was in the process of adjusting to my new school, hoping to make new friends though God knows how unfriendly I was.

We were in the third week of classes when one of my classmates saw me with my father at the city public market. My classmate approached me and asked if the person I’m with was my father. I said “yes.” He smiled at me then left. I thought everything was okay; that he already knew that my father has a disability. But I was wrong.

When I went to school the next morning, all eyes were on me and I didn’t know why. I found out later that my classmate who saw me with my father at the market told everyone that my dad was blind. Because of that, my classmates started bullying me. They judged and insulted me. I could not do anything but to just sit at the corner of our classroom and wait for the class to end so I can go home already and rest. After that incident, I dreaded going to school. It was my first time to experience being bullied and I did not tell my parents about it. Neither did I tell anyone in my family. I kept it to myself and suffered alone. I did not know how to cope with it.

It took at least a month for my classmates to forget about my father. But because of what happened, I was ashamed of my parents. Every time our teacher told us to tell our parents to go to school, I did not tell them because I was afraid that my classmates will mock my mom or my dad. Somehow, I felt guilty about it. It was hard for me to wake up in the morning knowing that I have to go to school and deal with my classmates again. The only motivation I had that time was the belief that there is “karma,” that someday, my classmates will also endure what they were doing to me.

Now that I’m already a grown-up woman, I hope that it’s not yet late for me to show the world who really my parents are and how proud I am of them.

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