Maybe They Should Teach Compassion In Schools, The World Would Be A Kinder Place

Photography by Gregory Crewdson

Photography by Gregory Crewdson

As older people around me seemed to talk about it with sadness in their eyes, I couldn’t figure out quite yet what was going on.

I was six years old when I got bullied for the first time. You may assume I was overweight or that there was a physical diversity on myself. As a matter of fact, no. I was a perfect child, smiley, funny, extroverted and I knew how to read and write by the age of four.

The first time a kid made fun of me was a week after I received the news that my mother had passed away. It wasn’t a real thing for me. I mean, I was six years old, all I knew about life was that I had to go to school to get to play in the afternoon with my dog and my sister.

When I went back to my regular life, still waiting for my mother to come back from whatever trip she was doing, my teacher told the other students that my mother had died. From the back, I could hear them laugh:

Loud. Evil. Meaningless. 

Ha ha. You don’t have a mother. 

I suppose, now, looking back, the teacher thought about death the same way that I did: it was going to be reversed. To her, my mother’s death was the equivalent to say I wouldn’t have a Barbie to take to class on Friday. The reality of those words made a hole in my tiny little head. From there on, up until I was 21 years old, I would tell my classmates my mother was busy, or traveling, or sleeping. I wouldn’t let them know the real truth.

When I was 9, boys and girls played truth or dare and made fun of my little secret. I got more and more silent every year. When I was 12, a teacher decided it was time to tell them the truth. As she sent me out of the class, she did it behind my back and, after that, all eyes were on me.

People treated me different. They didn’t invite me to their parties, they didn’t talk to me about Mother’s Day or camping. They would never understand how the pitying look can damage a person. They called me weird and wouldn’t let me into their pijamas parties. I didn’t belong.

In a society that is full of role models and strict rules, I was shut down by the biggest pain someone can ever feel: not having anything to go back home to. 


Written by Gabriela Simionato


30DaysChallenge. DAY 13.
“Have you ever experienced bullying, damaging criticism or lost your confidence in yourself?”