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.