In 2002, my family moved to Britain and it was there that I face bullying. I believe it was because I am an Asian, and a Muslim.
The bullying started when I went to a primary school in North London. I was bullied by two boys. I don’t exactly know the motive behind their bullying, but my best guess would be that they simply disliked me. I was teased because of my name. My name is Soffea, sounding close to “sofa,” so they decided to call me “couch,” the American version of sofa.
I was teased because of my clothes. My clothes were not branded, and some had chicken logos, so I was teased for that, too. They also always mockingly questioned my hijab, which made me very uncomfortable.
I felt depressed and hurt as that was the time that I was trying to adjust to my new life. I cried silently, not daring to tell Mum or Dad about the bullying. Tears instantly became my best friend. I still remember how they would take my coat when it was playtime, so I would go cold when I went outside to play. They would make me chase after them for the coat, and they would rub the coat against their pants suggestively, just so I would feel disgusted and not want to wear my coat, and thus leaving me freezing.
I was also teased for my petite size, and thus called a “midget.” I was teased for a lot of things, for they seemed determined to see faults in everything I did. I would be called “teacher’s pet” if I helped my teacher; a “crybaby” if I cried; and a “b**ch” if I did anything better than them.
Every day I would feel emotionally pressured but I kept my mouth shut, because they kept saying they would stop the moment I threatened to tell the teacher. They never did. It finally stopped when my best friend Faiza couldn’t stand to see me bullied anymore. The two boys were punished with detention but I felt unsatisfied because up to this day, I am still emotionally scarred by what they did to me all those years ago.
I am still trying to forgive them, and I write this in the hope that the terrible poison that I have kept all these years would finally flow out. I forgive them. Time to let go and be happy, Soffea, I tell myself.