What a bad feeling to stay behind one year. I felt like I let myself down.From teasing my sister’s friends and classmates, now they are my classmates. I must admit I wasn’t always nice to them during break time nor during lunchtime. In fact I was never nice to many pupils. No wonder why I didn’t have many friends. I was often reported to the nuns, teachers and just like that I became notorious. My name was synonymous with troublemaker. My teacher in particular was losing the little patience she had left with me.
I always craved attention when I was little, I just loved the spotlight. This type of attention however wasn’t good for me. I was always getting in trouble. The reality was I was struggling in school, academically as well as socially. I must take some responsibility for my poor behaviour. I was still young, about 5 or 6.
When I was home, I was always told off by my mum. I also sensed my father’s unhappiness in Switzerland. It was a stark contrast, my mum and sister adapting very well in Geneva, whilst me and my dad weren’t. I just wanted to return home. A feeling equally shared by my father. We knew it wasn’t possible. That’s why me and my dad had a very strong bond: We both didn’t like being told what to do, were stubborn and were trouble. My poor mum had the patience of a saint.
School was becoming a challenge for me each day, but I was trying. One day, to my horror, the unthinkable happened. So I was struggling with completing my tasks as per usual. I could sense the teacher approaching as her heels were getting louder and louder towards my direction. She checked my progress and each time she came by, I obviously didn’t progress because I just couldn’t understand French still. I could understand it orally but not yet read it. Each time she came by, she was shouting louder and louder at me. The once beautiful rose, became a poisonous oak instantly. Shocked and panicking, I simply froze which earned me staring and mocks from my classmates. I wanted to disappear and hide from my humiliation. Little did I know the worst was yet to come shortly. When everyone handed their tasks, I remained on my chair alone while everyone were lining up to go outside for either break time or lunch time.I’d remain behind yet again. My teacher stood up and approached me once again. I felt like a trapped rabbit in a cage with no way out. She saw red. Standing next to me, I could hear my heart beating and took a deep breath and looked her in her eyes. As she screamed at the lack of my work completion, she reached my hair. My mum that day made 2 ponytails at each side of my head. I felt my head shaking on one side up and down as she pulled my hair harder and harder. Once her deed done, she left me alone. I touched my hair immediately at first worried about how my hair must look after being pulled so hard repeatedly.
I looked around wanting my mum or dad knowing full well I was alone. I wanted to cry but opted to sob quietly instead. The last thing I wanted was having the whole class pointing at me and laughing. The pain I felt that day stuck with me for the whole day, perhaps for the whole week.I still remember that day today as if it happened yesterday. I became withdrawn in class and at school too. I quickly became aware that groups were forming in the class; those who were well ahead academically usually stuck together, those who were the teacher’s pet also stuck together. Girls who had a certain popularity picked their friends to play with that day. Now people like me, who not only struggle academically and also troublemakers, were often disregarded by the teacher and classmates. I became used to being the outsider. All I knew back then, this type of treatment from the teacher would get worse. It seemed I even became accustomed to it and didn’t talk to no one about it, not even my parents. I didn’t know what I found worse, my teacher’s physical/emotional abuse or my parent’s reaction to what was happening? Lost, angry and hurt my troubles, including my poor behaviour, would simply increase from then on.