by Regina Jessica

**TRIGGER WARNING** – this post discusses bullying and self harm. If sensitive to these topics, reader discretion is advised.

Being an Asian has its good points and it’s bad points. Let me begin with showing everyone what it feels like to be called out in your school as the person who was being left out. Being ignored because I had, and still have, problems. Or being used because nobody knew what it’s like being a person with “special needs” like Dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, autism & Down syndrome.

As a person with both ADHD & dyslexia nothing was ever easy for me. Especially when letters I read would look exactly the same or when my handwriting being ugly because nothing looked like the correct letters in primary school. I got called out by so many teachers because of my letters and spelling errors. Sure when I was younger I didn’t see it as a problem until I skipped school for more than half a year. I realised I was different.

I wished that things would go back the same way it had been when I was younger. That innocent kid before the counselling in school that changed me. Apart from being a person with special needs, the stigma from being bullied or teased or ignored is still there. Although I bullied or teased doesn’t mean that I will back down or it doesn’t make me an easy target. Nobody likes being bullied. I have been bullied in school because I have had these problems. My counsellor told everyone that I had a problem and that I wasn’t normal. That was when I began loose friends and nobody would want to talk or sit with me. Fast forward to secondary school. I sat beside a girl with Down syndrome for 2 years it was one of the best time I had. Feeling like you had an issue because of having a special problem didn’t mean much after I sat with her.

When I stated working it was a whole different issue. The social stigma and negativity from being a person that has special needs wasn’t good at all. Most days I wanted to just pull the plug and ignore what happened, but I reminded myself that in the second year of high school I tried doing the same thing. Pen-knives were my friends and watching the blood drop from my arms was fun. In Asian culture, the social stigma of being a special person will always stay there. It won’t ever leave no matter what you do it will never change.

Everyone says that it’s nothing. However, there is always something that will be wrong or something will always make me think twice about what I’m doing. I’m saying this right now because I know there are others out there with the same set of problems or something else similar. Sometimes I wish there was a pause button on everything, but there can’t be a pause button because life goes on. Apart from special needs being a stigma in Asia, there will always be something that everyone wants to change.

Here is to all the people out there with their own problems and struggles. Be yourself trust yourself have fun and keep moving forward.