My father worked long hours, often seven days a week. He did go to my primary school once to see the headmaster when he manhandled me.

My mother came into secondary school with me once and I was asked to name the worst offenders which I did. Four boys were brought to the headmaster’s office and later caned.

I don’t think the headmaster knew anything about the bullying until my mother came to the school. I could have handed him a long list of the people in my class who gave me hell.

I remember him saying to them that they’d made me so miserable that I didn’t want to go to school, but they didn’t care. Apart from one of the boys who more or less left me alone after this, the others were just as bad. In fact, the bullying was worse after the headmaster caned them :— they blamed me for getting them into trouble. The girls also blamed me and were just as spiteful. They made me feel as if I was worthless.

I wish my mother had taken me out of that school, perhaps to a different school. I would have given anything to be able to walk away from that place for good.

Related: Anti-Bullying Week 2013