You Sound Like Darth Vader
Kids can be cruel, but they can also be utterly hilarious. I remember getting called nicknames at school as well as at home. I, personally, never found any of the taunting or verbal teasing embarrassing or shameful. Although I did when it was aimed at my eczema, but even then, ninety-nine times out of a hundred it used to amuse me. I couldn't help but find the name-calling funny.
Addressing teasing in my experience
I think a big part of me being able to take the joking was that I was from a big family and you had to shout to be heard. We showed our affection towards each other by poking fun. It was part and parcel of growing up in a noisy household.
In this current climate, we often hear words like abused, bullied, marginalized, etc. My point with this article is to validate that those experiences do happen and are serious but it was not the case for me, personally. I view my experiences with this in the past as good fun. You could argue that the joking crossed the line at times but who doesn't cross that line from time to time? I feel that growing up in the environment I grew up in, gave me the strength of character to be able to deal with some of life's hardships.
The classic nicknames about my asthma
My nickname at home was 'asthma' given to me by my dad, of all people! It was used as a term of affection. My older brother's friend, Joseph, used to call me the asthmatic ant. A reference to my size and my respiratory skills. Or lack of skills! Joseph did not think up this beautiful and poetic insult all by himself. He nicked it from a show called, 'Blackadder' which was airing on the BBC at that time. Someone at school told me I sounded like Darth Vader. I cannot remember my response to this but I probably said something sarcastic like, 'Nice observation! Care for a crisp?'
Coping and changes
Sarcasm was the way I would generally deal with things. I never, and still don't, fully understand why people say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. It helped me get out of some very tricky situations in life.
As I got through my teens and into my early twenties, my asthma was under greater control so it became less of a focus to others around me. In fact, the only time it ever came up in conversation was if I was seen taking my inhaler. And that was rare because I made sure to use my inhalers when I was out of sight- in a toilet cubicle or whatever. Nowadays, apart from my close friends and family, no one is aware that I even have asthma. This is probably a great testament to the improvement in treatments and medication. It seems that more and more people have asthma, which may be due to many factors that could be genetic or environmental. The pollution in our world is extremely high, but it gives me some comfort to know that kids that have asthma now will be treated with much better care than I had. That's got to be a good thing!
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