Have you ever experienced to feel ashamed because of being malnourished? Have you felt those eyes looking at you when you're one of those children who's always on the list for feeding program? We're you too frustrated to be healthy? What did you do to be healthy like others?
I was a malnourished child during my childhood and teenage days.
I am here in this big mango tree, at the back of our school. I always stay here when I am sad. And yeah, I am sad now.
I am Angela, a grade 8 student. I am always bullied by my classmates cause I am so thin and always got sick. Yeah, I am malnourished and weak.
Since I was a child, I am always like this. So thin body and always sick. I never experienced to be healthy. I want to be fat, really. But I don't know why my body was like this. Maybe, I got this from my mom who's a thin woman and my father is not a that big too. I don't want to be like this, maybe my metabolism is fast and I already explained to my classmates why. Any explanation yet they won't believe me and they didn't stop bullying me.
"Angela, Ma'am Doque was looking for you. She said the feeding program will start. You are one of them." Our class president called me.
Yeah, you read it right. I am in the list for those who need to be provided for foo in a feeding program. It also added for my classmates to bully me. They hurt me my telling me that I need to eat more in a feeding program. Sometimes, I will not go to the classroom where the feeding program was held. It is because my classmates always laugh at me during feeding program.
"O-okay, I will just follow later." I replied.
"Yeeeeeehhh!! She'll eat healthy food now. You will get fat, at last girl!" I did not noticed our other classmates behind our class president. Now, they are laughing at me. I bowed my head cause of shame.
"Don't you have food at your home? It's like you're not eating, girl. You're so thing like a stick." They laugh again.
"You know, you're not tall and you're so tiny plus your thin. You need vitamins." Matt walked towards me and hold my arms.
"Oh, be careful Matt, you might pull of her arms. Pfft!"
Again, they didn't stop laughing at me.
I got hurt by their treatment towards me. They are so cruel to do this to me but I can't do anything.
"You go Angela, you need to be feed. I know you're so hungry. Happy eating." It was Matt and he push me towards the door.
I left the room where my classmates were laughing. I went to the feeding program room. When I came back to the room, they look at me and smirk. Then they went to my table. I just write my name on the attendance sheet and went to Aling Dina, the one who serve the food, and then went back to the room.
"Oh, here's Angela. What's your viand now Angela? For sure, it's delicious like last time. Am I right?" It was Trixie, the niece of the Principal.
"I remember, Angela was always in the list for feeding program since elementary. But look at her, she's still the same. I think the feeding program is not effective for her." They all laugh again.
"Yeah, she just got a little taller but still she's so tiny like a stick. You know, barbeque stick?" I was about to cry. My tears were almost to fall.
"C-can you please stop?" I plead to them to stop. I went to the corner of the room. And there I started to eat.
"Go Angela, eat your food. It will help your stick body to be healthy. Right guys?" They again laugh as if they didn't know that I am hurting.
"Yeah, that's why she's not approved to joined our P.E sports. Maybe Ma'am Sheila got afraid that she might got hurt during the game. How sad." They continue to bully me.
I put the spoon and fork with force. My tears are almost falling. I stood up.
"Will you please all stop? Please stop! You're all so cruel, don't you know that you're hurting me by those words? And your laugh? How cruel you are all. Why do you care if I am in the list of the feeding program? Why do you care if I am thin and like a stick. Is it my fault? You know, I tried to eat like a pig for me to get big and healthy, but no matter what I do, I didn't get fat like you. I want to be healthy like you but what can I do if my body will still remain like this? Vitamins? I did in take any kind of vitamins just to have a healthy body like yours. You don't have things to do, you always bullied me because I am thin. Why? Don't you know, that I am suffering this since I was a child? How can you be all so insensitive.?" I can't stop my self to burst out the pain to my classmates so I shout all the pain to them.
"W-we're so sorry Angela." Maybe they got ashamed of what they did. They all bow there heads and stop laughing. They maybe thought that I am serious now.
"Is there I can do? All I can do despite your bullying was to forgive you all. No why? Because there will be no changes if I will get mad at you and have hatred in my heart. Just please stop bullying me. I might not take it anymore. I am tired." I left them inside the room to throw the pack lunch that no food inside cause I ate all the food.
I was also a malnourished child when I was a child same with Angela. My siblings were healthy but I am not. I am a petite child. So thin and an anemic child. I am also in the list of the feeding program every school year. I am happy cause I can eat delicious foods but at the same time, I am ashamed because I am the only pupil in the class who is in the list. So every time of feeding, I will be excused. My classmates will always call me "payatot", they also don't like me to play with them.
I don't know why I am thin and malnourished that time. Maybe because I don't like vegetables. But I ate cabbage and sayote, that are the vegetables that I eat but other vegetables make me vomit. I don't like the taste of other vegetables. My father also told me to eat vegetables. One time my mother cooked vegetables, no meat at all. They forced me to eat, I am crying while eating cause I really don't like the taste.
But when I was in high school, I tried my best to eat healthy foods because I am the smallest high schooler. Every flag ceremony, I am always at the front. And I didn't able to enter sport because I am weak. My classmates always do things funny to me because I am small. Maybe because they felt like they are superior because of their heights.
I was frustrated to eat more. Cause I want to be healthy like them. I want to enjoy my study in high school and one of it is to join sport feast games. So, I did my best to eat foods that is not good taste for me. I always pud in mind that it is good for me.
Since then, I eat proper meal. Until I saw some changes though I really didn't get fat but at least there's a little changes in me. I was happy with my little changes. It gave me a little confidence unlike before.
If you have someone you knew that is not healthy as you, please don't bully or laugh at her/him. They might be suffering from something you didn't expect. Instead, give them the courage to do things for them to be healthy.