They bully me because of my disability...
I’m James from west Belfast and my story is gonna be about bullying.
I’m 14. It began when I went up to the shop when I first got out, when I got out from the garden, cuz my mummy let me out. She was a bit scared to let me out. I got out and went up to the shop because I knew people, but I didn’t know they were gonna like… bully me if you know what I mean.
I had to stay in the garden from I was a wee baby. It was horrible, I didn’t like it, got bullied in the garden too. Kids bullied me in the garden and all. Threw stones at me. Trying to call my bluff like I’m not going to hit them. They were trying to put my head away. One day there was this wee lad like, a kid, but he knew what he was doing, if you know what I mean. I got him a cracker. He ran right across the gate and I grabbed him, he jumped. I says ‘You better stop annoying me’ – but he didn’t leave me alone like.
They bully me because of my disability, they think it’s funny to pick on people, because they think disabled kids can’t breathe like, can’t live. We’re not allowed to live. Down syndromes, flippin’… autistic kids and wheelchairs and all that there, we’re not allowed to live, we’re not allowed to breathe. Makes me feel sad… it actually does like.
Kids with disabilities, they’re not allowed to be accepted or anything, in society. It’s not right. There should be more done about it, there should be changes put to it. Like stop… for kids getting bullied and all. There should be a law brought out that kids with disabilities shouldn’t get bullied. Needs to be change, I don’t know. Go to big people, like, higher people and ask them to see.
They think it’s funny - kids with disabilities, they think they’re funny. There was this one time I was up at that shop. I was just doing my own thing, like minding my own business when this wee lad pulled down my trousers and exposed me… and everyone laughed. My mummy went up crying her eyes out. Then he just laughed in her face, he thought he got away with it. After that I was minding my own business and they took my phone. I was wanting my phone back, cuz it was my phone. I was like ‘Give me my phone back or I’ll go round to my mummy and get the police’. They gave me my phone back eventually, but they tortured me first.
It’s not right getting like a hundred pounds worth of tracksuits and all and then getting them burnt. Then getting a hundred pounds worth of shoes and getting them wrecked. People flick feg butts at them, cuz they think it’s funny. My mummy is only on the brew, she’s not like everyone else. People’s mummies and daddies work you know. My mummy says, ‘I try hard to get all that stuff, but it just gets wrecked’. It’s not right. Getting feg butts flicked at something that’s brand new.
There was this one time I had my coat and all, they flicked a feg butt at it. The only coat I had at the time. I don’t know why I ran about up there. It’s because I didn’t know anywhere else that would accept me… I know now, like the Falls, the walkway, anywhere like that… but now I know.
On the worst day I felt upset, thought I was gonna cry like. You wouldn’t wanna know. I’ve been through hell and back. I’m telling you Rory. It’s not all lies, I wouldn’t have come up with it for nothing. It makes me feel horrible, it makes me feel upset. It makes me feel a wee bit like…horribly sad, terribly sad. It’s sad. Then they use things against me, they bring my family into everything. They don’t even know my family. It’s sick.
I turn around and they flick feg butts at me behind my back, then I turn around and like…you don’t know who done it. They wouldn’t do it to your face, they do it behind your back. Horrible horrible people. Then they expect me to talk to them after it’s happened, like ‘Oh, you alright there mate?’ – I’m not your mate, I don’t wanna be your mate. I don’t wanna talk to you, why are you talking to me? That’s what I feel like saying to them. I don’t wanna talk to you’s after what you’s did to me.
I’m getting a wee bit emotional here like. It’s good to get my story told. It gives people a chance to understand people. People with disabilities have a right to live, they’re not animals. They’re not people just to be thrown away. We’re people. Just like everyone else, we have a right to be in society. Flip. Get all this from my mummy so I do, but like, you know what I mean. I get shivers down my spine. It is difficult.
Living with a disability it’s actually… it’s alright like. I can’t help the way I get on. It’s not my fault. I didn’t ask to have a disability, I didn’t ask to be here. I didn’t ask to be like… the way I walk and all, I can’t help it. The way I get on, the way I dance with the crowd and all. See ever since I left that shop, I haven’t looked back. Ever since, I have made a whole lot of new friends up in Falls and all, down walkway and all. I’ve thanked them for that like. Down in Divis, people down in Divis know me from I was a wee baby and all.
It’s not fair like, people deserve to live. See what they call me and all, ‘You’re disabled, you’re nothing but disabled, you’ll never know nothing, you’re a rapist’. I’m not a rapist. They say my 2 brothers are rapists, my brothers aren’t rapists. They’re dickheads, that’s the thing that gets most to me, that’s the thing that wee lad uses against me, to try and make me go nuts so I can react. I don’t know why he hates me, I’ve never done anything on him.
Vulnerable and weak, they think it’s funny. It’s not hard, it doesn’t make you hard. See if it was someone else, it would be a different story. Someone else would just go up and punch the head clean off them.
I am strong. I can’t fight like, but I can talk. Last night I bumped into him, he says ‘Look who it is, Fatty McFat’. I turned around and says ‘What?’. He hit me a big slap once round the face. My mummy gave him chances after chances because my mummy’s just scared… He has people who could come up to our house and wreck the place. They’re all bullies, the whole lot.
They put up a photo of me holding my niece when she was only born. Then they put up the photo and says ‘I touch kids’. My niece like? They wouldn’t like it if it was themins. See that there like, that’s wild. I’m gonna be sick. I’m trying to forget about it.
I haven’t looked back, I’ve made loads of good friends. You understand, that’s the good thing. My mummy will tell you all the bad times too. She went up crying her eyes out going ‘he’s only a human being, he’s only trying to fit in with society, he’s only trying to be like everyone else’ I’m only trying to be happy and… belong.
R: What are your hopes for the future? Better, better, better – a better understanding for kids with disabilities. Not to be made fun of. People said it was only stupid slaggings – it wasn’t, it was slaggings that could put your head away. Then people bully me and think it’s funny. I don’t know why it is like, I think it’s because they think they’re hard. But you’re not hard bullying a disability kid are ya? It’s not hard!
They should teach people in schools about kids with disabilities – that they can’t cope like everyone else that they take everything to heart and that they can’t control themselves, it’s not their fault the way they get on. They didn’t ask to be here, they didn’t ask to have a disability. I feel that disability kids get used, even my mummy says. I don’t think anyone really cares about them. I think they get used for slavery – I don’t know why I came out with that but.. it’s not their fault they didn’t want to be here in this cruel world.
Like see my story will it be put into a book? Like all of our stories together? Yeah And like put out to schools and all? Yeah Mad. That would be good.
R: How do you feel about that? Hopefully it changes somethings. Change people, let people understand a lot better, that kids didn’t want to be here with disabilities, but they have to cope with it. I’d say to other young people who are getting bullied to keep their head down, keep your head down. Don’t do anything back, I learnt the hard way. Like I stick up for myself, but I wouldn’t go too hard into it, like I know things about people’s families, but I would never bring it up, cause what’s the point.
My advice would just be to try your hardest just to get through life, because no one gets out alive. That is true like, no one gets out alive in life. It’s true – no one gets out alive.