Emme is five-years-old.
She got glasses when she turned four.
It was the day she turned four.
No one realised before her four year health check that Emme could hardly see out of her left eye. So Emme, like thousands and thousands and thousands of other kids around her got glasses. It wasn’t just glasses for Emme but patching, daily for several hours at a time to correct the eye that forgot how to work.
It’s not a big deal is it? I mean look around you, everyone has glasses, children and adults, teenagers and the elderly. It’s so common place you don’t think twice about it.
Until your four-year-old comes home crying from pre-school, her glasses twisted and warped.
Four eyes they called her.
One of the kids stepped on her bright pink glasses.
They called her"four eyes". Image: iStock.
It could have been an accident. You have to think the best don’t you?
Another kid asked her what was “wrong” with her. Was she a pirate-head? Is that why she wore a patch?
Pirate-head. Four eyes. It’s easy to dismiss them as silly phrases but when they leave your child weeping they cut to the heart.
When I shared Emme’s story with friends, what happened stunned me.
Other stories, other tales of hurt and sorrow, of bullying and nastiness came out, some from people I’d known for years.
A six-year-old told she was “fat”.
A nine-year-old told she had no friends.
A 13-year-old girl tricked into believing she was popular and whispered about daily until the bullies broke her.
These were stories of survivors, stories of people who had been subjected to relentless bulling who had not just survived it but overcome it and how years later they wanted to reach out and help a sad little girl teased for her bright pink glasses.
"Other stories, other tales of hurt and sorrow, of bullying and nastiness came out, some from people I’d known for years." Image: iStock.
Here are their stories:
“They told me I was fat”
Anita is 29-years-old.
She’s pregnant with her first child and coming to terms with her changing body, something that’s harder than she thought as she finds it brings back memories of her childhood bullying.
“I was tiny,” she recalls. “So looking back, realistically I know that they were just being nasty, but it stuck deep.”
“It lasted for years.”
It was a group of girls at her primary school who began the bullying and didn’t let up until her teacher found her crying in the bathroom and she confessed that the girls had been telling she was “fat” since the start of term.