Just some background before you read my letter

I have been a victim of bullying.When I was in grade 5 we moved from Lenasia which was a predominantly Indian area to Robertsham. I will never forget my first day in my new school. Some of the other Muslim kids asked ‘how can you be Muslim, you’re so dark?’ They came to the conclusion that I was a ‘black Muslim’. I didn’t even understand what they meant. When I went high- school it was even worse. I was picked on because I was ‘dark’ I had curly hair and my dad was a revert and it was a Muslim school.  I struggled in grade 8 and I blamed my parents for putting me in that school. I started rebelling against my parents, I did everything they told me not to do. I consumed alcohol, had bad friends, ran away from home and even attempted suicide. I remember questioning myself some nights about the colour of my skin.

A letter to my teenage self

Don’t worry about those that pick on you because they are not permanent in your life.

Don’t let people dictate what ‘being beautiful’ is because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone sees beauty differently. Colour doesn’t matter because people will love you as you are

Don’t give in to ‘peer pressure’ you don’t need to bunk school or smoke or drink to ‘fit in’ because you were meant to ‘stand out’

Don’t hold grudges against your bullies because it doesn’t stop them, it only makes you feel worse. Instead, try and find ways of dealing with your emotions.

For all the times, you tried to take your own life because you felt that no one would miss you…. Your family would miss you…even though you may not realise it…. you mean more to them than you know.

Your life should not revolve around your friends because they are not permanent in your life…as you move from primary school to high school then to university and then to work, you lose many friends along the way so don’t hold on to them so tightly.

Appreciate your parents as they are the only people in this world that truly care about your well-being.

Break-ups are not the end of the world…let them go…you meet your soulmate when you start university J

Lotsa Love

Tas (the older you)