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Go ahead, label me different.

I’m proud to wear the title.

Can you spot the girl most likely to be ridiculed and called a hateful name?

Not hard to figure out. And no, it was not the young African-American girl who received the majority of school yard harassment. It was me, Susan Lostocco Nadathur, the girl with the cat glasses. The so-not-cool glasses were bad, but can you believe the dress? It was cute when I was five, but at ten—definitely fashion challenged!

All right, so my mother wanted to keep me young forever. But sadly, I was forced to go to school. Which was no place for a painfully shy book worm like me. And yeah, I received my share of ridicule – which brought its necessary changes in behavior. Like peeing only before I left for school. And squeezing my legs desperately together come late afternoon. And then running home to wet the bathroom floor before I made it to the toilet. Embarrassing, yes. But I would have chosen the disgrace of peeing in my pants any day over the risk of entering the school bathroom. That was where the enemy—the mean girls—waited to launch their attack.

School was a horrible place for a girl like me. A girl who couldn’t afford to dress in brand-name clothes, who liked to read and stay to herself. But you know what? I survived. And ironically, I am who I am now because of who I was.

I was different. Just like you. And that’s why my story starts this blog.

I invite you to share your story. If you have ever been harassed, called a hateful name, ridiculed, or made fun of because you are different, please leave a comment. Or even better, share your story as a guest on our blog. If you don’t like to write, no problem. Tell me when you’re available for an interview and I’ll do the writing while you do the talking.

Our stories aren’t intended to solve the world’s problems, or to place blame, but to provide glimpses into the lives of people who feel different, or marginalized, from mainstream society — no matter where that society is. Any country. Any culture.

It is my hope that this forum will offer you thought-provoking experiences that result in greater understanding and tolerance of others. And if you–like me–have passed through the trauma of adolescence scarred but relatively sane, even better. Your experiences will bring hope and healing to those still walking the “Hallowed Halls of Hell” found in schools throughout the world.

To see what I’ve done since my painful adolescence, please visit my author website. www.SusanNadathur.com

I’m proud to say that despite a difficult childhood, I have found my success.

Comments
  1. Deepak says:

    Just came to your page today, Susan. Like it very much. Being different is difficult. Though, being MADE TO FEEL DIFFERENT is harder. In my case, though I must say it was me who made it different….my feeling of being inferior in my young days, made it hard for me to unlock my abilities. We all have hidden capabilities; if the world is not kind to you, you will need to find a key to unlock that treasure not only for your self but also for the world around you…Great job.

  2. You make a good point, Deepak. It’s the “made to feel different” that’s tough. But yes, we all do have hidden capabilities. Sometimes, as in my case, it was the process of being “made to feel different” that unlocked those abilities. How did you finally find your key?

  3. Dianne Wing says:

    I have a story but no time to tell it now. I just wanted to say that to my eyes you were beautiful. But I know how cruel kids can be. Bullying (and this is a form of bullying) is a major problem in America today…so sad and so unnecessary. I did survive, and I am relatively sane (lol) but I carry memories that can still make me cry over 50 years later…words can, and do, hurt. Thank you for sharing your story. <3

  4. foreverJR says:

    I admire your bravery and dedication to help others and make them realize to not feel inferior about themselves! I salute you Susan! God Bless to you and I wish you all the best and so as the people who can change because of this blog <3

    • Thanks for your encouraging comments. The world is a harsh place sometimes, but no one should ever feel inferior to anyone else. We all have been blessed with special gifts and talents. Make full use of yours to make the world a better place.

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