At the age of 18 mos I was diagnosed with a condition called Retnoblastoma (cancer in the eye) and had to have my left eye completely removed. I have always lived with this and have a prosthetic eye made by the most talented Ocularist.
I went to 2 different Catholic High Schools in Ottawa. The 1st was from Gr 7-9 and I hated everything about this school. The friends I have made throughout my life have accepted me for who I am. Unfortunately those at the 1st high school I went to decided it was comical to bully me for this condition. I was called names like Cyclopse, 1 eyed freak, etc.. I am fortunate to have a strong personality and stand up for myself and was able to over come this and especially with the support of my parents (and family).
When I was able to switch High Schools from Gr 10 to my graduating year in Gr 12, I had never been happier. It was the change in atmosphere to allow me to start over and for some reason, the environment there didn't even see a reason to bully anyone. It was like I traveled to a totally different place where Bullying was not tolerated. I have always been a very social and bubbly person so for me it was hard to know that someone did not like me for who I am.
I am now married with 2 beautiful children and to a man who accepts me for me. I have always been so greatful for the people I have in my life and the friends I have made along the way.
I can't stress this enough that every parent needs to understand the importance of talking to their kids and paying attention to their behavior. Every kid is different and I was strong enough to talk to my parents about what was going on in school and with that I was able to over come it and deal with it properly.
It is VERY hard to believe that bullying is where it is at these days and that makes me terrified to know that my daughter will be starting school soon. But this also makes me confident as a parents knowing I have gone through bullying and know that communication with your kids is the most important thing.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.