This is a story I never told anyone. Or at least not the entire version. Now as I am writing this, I know I will have a hard time whether or not to post this and know that if you are reading this, it is a very big deal for me and probably means more than you can imagine.
When I was about 12, I changed schools to go to this very big factory-like school, called the European school of Brussels. I was really excited to go there as for about ten years before that, each time my mom would drive by it I would go "one day this will be my school". And there I was fulfilling one of my dreams.
I come from a very cool family, very chilled out, my parents always encouraged me to be myself and do what I wanted (they let me go as Robinhood to school everyday when I was in preschool, my mom made me two suits to make sure there was always a clean one for me to wear, now if this is not like the best mother on Earth, well, go away), I had a lot of autonomy and independence from a very young age and I learnt a lot from it. Until I joined this new school, in the two different schools I attended, I was a bit mocked but I suppose as much as every kid is once in a while mocked by its fellow classmates. And it was because I was a little bit different, I was not a girly girl like everyone else but I had friends, they lived with it, I was fine with it. I was also a bit of a nerd, being in the top 3 people of the class all the time.
Anyway, I arrived there in that big private industrial school renown for its quality courses and all. As it was private, the children there came from an upper socio-economical group and for them, having clothes bought from a second-hand shop or even home-made clothes was so uncool. In fact, anything a tiny bit alternative to what they knew was not okay in their lines.
So my first day arrived and I was so thrilled! As it was my first day and I joined after half-term break, a student was assigned to show me around. Her and her friend tried to fool me but I was over it, I still wanted to go on with it. I was sort of the new kid, the weirdo. I arrived there with my baggy clothes when every girl there was wearing tight jeans and make-up. It was like a whole new world before my eyes.
I made like two friends in the first few weeks (the two already proclaimed weirdos of course but we didn't care). I was still a big nerd getting top grades in every subject, the year ended, I had survived my entering in the world of rich kids. Year two started, it was all cool. Until year 3 or 4, that new guy arrived in our class. He was like the "rebel", he sat at the back like me except he had the worst grades, I remember during maths tests I would finish my quiz in 15-20 minutes, then take his copy and fill it in for him. I was always too nice to everybody. And that guy, despite my kindness to him, picked on me, he used to push me around but never anything serious. He got expelled at some point.
But then the picking on started in the school bus. Everyday as I got in, it started. The names, the statements that were made about me, out loud, a whole bus full of kids laughing everyday at me on my way to and back from school, sometimes I'd even get beaten up for no reason (actually no, there was a good reason; "move I want to sit there, on my own"). Everyday I went back home desperate, every night I would cry myself to sleep and every morning I dreaded that bus ride. And everyday I wished I had the guts to end it.
I stopped being a nerd, I lost every interest I had and I got depressed. I was not the good kid I used to be and I still remember my mother telling me I was becoming stupid, my teachers thought I was stupid because they knew I had the potential. And you know, it's so hard because they don't mean to be hard on you, they just don't know what is going on but somehow you can't tell them. So every day you have to put up with it. It is so hard. You hate yourself because people are not happy with you and all these hate words from bullies get to you and it starts to crawl under your skin, they help the self-hating by confirming it. And you're there thinking you're such a hateful person, such a disappointment to everyone around you because they want you to succeed and they watch you fail. And they tell you you're a failure, you're reminded every day, but they have no idea what is happening and what is causing this. And you want to run away from all this.
I chose to stay.
I graduated, got my Baccalaureate eventhough my parents highly doubted I would.
I had a really shit summer after that, everyone expected me to go to Kent, to study Osteopathy and everyone expected me to know what I wanted to do with my life. And I was rushed to find something when I decided not to go through with Kent. When I just wanted to enjoy the fact I would never see the horrible people that ruined a part of my life. I went to study Photography in Brussels in the end. It got better eventhough there was still that one guy pushing me around.
The following year (last year) I decided to drop out and take a gap year. I went to therapy to sort my head out. And I chilled. Or I tried.
I now am here at University. I don't know if I'm proud but I am quite happy to be here.
I have waited and now things are way better. So I guess what I'm really trying to say is that, IT GETS BETTER.
Check the itgetsbetterproject on youtube!