My name is Ashley Carter. I was Bullied for the way I look. I’m eighteen years old and from Taunton in Somerset. I’m an Anti-Bullying Campaigner and I share my own experiences of being bullied because of my Treacher Collins syndrome. The syndrome effects my face: I was born with no ears, no cheekbones and a receding jaw. I have had over thirty operations including three Jaw Distractions, Cochlear Implants (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids). When I was a baby, I had to have a Tracheostomy as I swallowed my Tongue and went blue. The only way the doctors could save me was by putting in a Trachy.
Growing up was amazing as I have wonderful memories with my family. That is until I started primary school, which was the toughest and most emotional part of my life. I went to two different primary schools. Within a week or two of starting the second school, the bullying began with two boys. I just started getting things thrown at me, bottle lids and food. It got worse as the months went on, to the point where they would physically pin me up against the wall, trip me up in corridors and playgrounds which did upset me a lot. I remember cycling to a friend’s house, that was five minutes away from my own. As soon as I entered my friend’s street, the two boys that were bullying me saw me and started chasing me home. This chase lead to me nearly getting run over.
The bullies took over my life, I didn’t open up fully to anyone until later on. It effected both my Confidence and my Mental Health.
I used to come home every day from school crying to my parents. I would see my Mum get upset and tearful about the situation, which really hurt me. The school did nothing to begin with, their solution was to move me into another class with new friends and teachers. I started to enjoy it, however when I went out into the playground, I would have to see the bullies again.