As a culturally diverse society and as human beings we are completely diverse and therefore will develop different strategies to fit in with the different people we connect with. This goes back to childhood, to parenting and to our experiences; from our parents to their parents, through the generations and the environments they grew up in.
For example, a child who is particularly bright may be picked on because of his or her abilities in school over other children, or the child who has a disability and is picked on because he or she looks different and is therefore perceived differently.
The child who is picked on because he or she is bright may work particularly hard at home but give the impression that in school he or she is like everyone else. The child with the disability may see her disability as someone else’s problem, if she’s secure in herself, but another child with a different disability, may see themselves with the problem.
As individuals we are unique, but these situations are not. I don’t remember being bullied in school, but I do remember being isolated and stared at in and out of school because I walked differently to everyone else. My coping mechanism was to withdraw, to protect myself.
Whereas some of us will work relentlessly through their challenges, others won’t and may live in isolation, blaming themselves. In school, I struggled to keep up and fit in because of my disability and although I didn’t give up on school, school gave up on me.
I struggled with homework and school work because no one was helping me, given my difficulties. For many years I saw myself as being responsible and carried the guilt. Of course, when I look back my inability to make headway had nothing to do with me. It was never my fault, or responsibility.
It took me a lot of years to understand that it was never my guilt to carry. They were responsible.