The lonely playground

The playground is lonely when you have mouldy legs, the other children give you a wide birth. My mother told me; it was down to the parents; they didn’t want their child near me in case my eczema was contagious.

I was already a loner, wondering around the playground every day on my own, waiting for the break to be over to put an end to the isolation. It’s hard watching all the other kids play, when they won’t let you join in – and maybe I didn’t want to join them. I struggled to talk to people, it was like my mouth would open, but no sound ever emerged. I couldn’t make friends, I didn’t fit in. It was hard being a nothing at school, like I was a nothing at home.

I’d suffered with eczema since I was three months old, cracked bloody, weeping skin in the creases of my limbs. In class I sat next to a radiator which caused my skin to itch more, I would scratch at my skin, then while I sat at my desk my legs would weep and the skin behind my knees would stick together, making it difficult to straighten my legs.

Sit on your own

My mother told me she asked the school to move me away from the radiator, but apparently the school was flooded with complaints from parents, refusing to let their child sit in a seat I had sat in. They didn’t want their children to catch what I had. They didn’t want their children to sit near me.

So, I remained in front of the radiator, knowing that none of the kids wanted to be near me and wishing I didn’t have mouldy legs.

It was only when I was telling a counsellor about this that it suddenly dawned on me, why would she tell me? I mean if it was true, would you tell your child that? Would you not think about the impact it would have on your already quiet, shy and lonely child?

If I had a child and that situation arose, my child would not be sat by the radiator, if parents complained and no child wanted to be near mine, I would have changed schools. What I wouldn’t have told my child is that nobody wanted to be near them!

I think my mum has got something wrong with her, to be so cruel. She never did anything to help me with the bullying, she just added to the word that the kids taunted me with. She made me feel worse, she never tried to help me or tried to make me feel better.

I am beginning to see how my mother, was never kind, compassionate or caring. All these years she has told me, convinced me that I am cold, heartless and selfish and all the time she was all of those things. Maybe I take after her, I don’t know if I am like her, but that would be my worst nightmare. My aim in life is to be nothing like her.

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