Dealing with Loneliness

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I never had many friends. I was always the loner kid, sitting in the corner, not talking or even looking at anyone, you know? The one with the glasses, the braces, the ‘uncool’ shoes; the classic victim. For as long as I could remember I’d been picked on. Whether it was someone thieving my books, or pushing me over ‘by accident’, there was always something. The awful thing was, nobody seemed to care. The teachers chose not to see it, and my parents just told me to deal with it; “just ignore them” was one of their favourite lines. So I built up a wall. I learnt to keep out of peoples’ way, and just do what they told me to do. I never drew attention to myself in lessons; pretended that I was dumb, that I didn’t know anything. My teachers despaired of me, I think; after all, wouldn’t you? So when I started secondary school, I saw it as an opportunity to start afresh. No one knew me, I could be a different person, and maybe people wouldn’t be so mean. And at first, it worked. I had a group of friends, which was a novelty for me, seeing as it had never happened before, and I made more of an effort in lessons. My parents didn’t mind that I was going out every night to hang out in the park. They were just relieved that I wasn’t still a loner. I actually spoke to them at home, told them about my day; they were amazed. Over the next few months, my popularity increased. I found myself in the middle of a large group of friends, and it was fascinating to me that these people actually wanted to be around me, to be my friend, to talk to me; and this time, they said nice things, not insults and threats. I never told any of my new friends about the bullying at my primary school. I guess I thought that if I told them, they might change their opinions of me and maybe think that I wasn’t so cool after all. About half way through my first year at secondary school, a boy started at our school. When we were told in assembly, the name rang a bell in my memory, but I couldn’t put a...
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