My name is Fatin. I am 16 years old. In my previous school, there were students who would bully and tease me. I didn’t feel comfortable there, so my dad decided to send me to this school, which is specially catered for those who have vision impairment. He sent me here because he is friends with a few teachers from this school. This is also a boarding school, so I believe my dad wanted me to learn to be more independent.

There are 3 of us who are disabled in my family: my mom (physically), my dad (vision impairment), and I. I have a vision impairment: my left eye is blind, but my right eye is normal. When I was born, I did not open my eyes yet. After a month, I opened my eyes, but my mom noticed that my left eye was just white. My mom brought me to the hospital, and the doctor diagnosed me with retinoblastoma (eye cancer). When I was 2 months old, my doctor said we needed to operate out my left eye. So now, I wear a glass eye in my left eyesocket. Until now, I would go for a check-up every 6 months.

I wasn’t physically bullied, but I did receive verbal abuse. Due to my condition, there were people who did not want to befriend me. They threw around comments how I’m disabled, handicapped, I must be a burden to others, I’m different from “normal” people. In the past, the disabled were not given much recognition. Only in recent times, people are acknowledging the capability of the disabled.

There were times when I would respond back, asking why they wanted to be so mean. But most of the time, I would keep quiet. If I’m not too tired, I will try to meet up with my friends and tell them about my problems. Another option would be to visit the counsellor. I’m grateful that I have good friends, both from other schools and this current school as well. I have two good friends in this school, Fatiha and Hafizah.

If I could advise those who are being bullied, I would remind them to not fight back. If we fight back, we are the ones that will look dumb. For example, the bullies might say that we’re not smart. But we ourselves know that what they are saying is incorrect, so why must we fight back? Just let it be, don’t say anything, and don’t react to them. My mom used to tell me, “if we acting badly towards others, we are actually acting badly towards ourselves.” If we said that other people are dumb, we are the ones who will look uneducated.

In terms of my interests, I used to take part in sports during primary school. I played handball and netball. I also played futsal during secondary school, but I was only joining the club and not competing. Currently in this school, I take part in shotput. This year, I managed to achieve a silver medal at state level.

I am also active in ICT. There are ICT competitions for those who are disabled, and there are 4 categories: visual impairment, physical impairment, hearing impairment, and learning disability. I represent our school in the visual impairment category. When I first started taking part in ICT, I initially just tried out because many students were saying about how ICT was the best. Who knew, but thankfully I was able to represent the school at state level and win the gold medal. And in God’s will, I’m able to represent Malaysia for the Global IT Challenge. The Global IT Challenge will be held during 23-30 November this year in Busan, Korea. Training for this competition has already started. In the beginning, I felt that studying ICT was difficult, but with practice I slowly got the hang of it. If there is a will there is a way, it depends on whether we want it or not.

My ambition is to become a lawyer or a computer technician. I enjoy reading the news, things that are currently trending. Whenever I read about cases where justice was not found for the victim, it makes me question the situation.

I want to become a lawyer so that I can help obtain justice for the victims. I feel that many people in this world are suppressed. I want to be able to help, maybe firstly by representing those who are disabled. My family is my inspiration. I am very close to my family.

Both of my parents are disabled, and I see them being teased or bullied. I feel that this behaviour shouldn’t happen. All of us are humans: we are not more than others or less than others. Why must we then hate on each other? My teachers are also my inspiration. They are the ones who motivate me and increased my awareness towards what is happening in our world.

“If you want the rainbow, you have to deal with the rain.”

This year, my psychiatrist diagnosed me with Depression. During one of the days during the Raya holidays, I had a bad mental breakdown. I felt like I wanted to commit suicide, I felt like a burden to everyone. Thankfully I made my intentions known to my ICT teacher from the year before. I texted my teacher, saying, “I can’t take this anymore. I feel like I want to die.” My teacher replied, saying she wanted to take me to the doctor the next day.

If we counted the Raya holidays plus the days I didn’t attend school, I was already missing from school for a month. I told everything to the doctor, who then referred me to the UKM hospital. Now I attend counselling with a child psychiatrist at the hospital. My mood constantly changes. There are times when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when my emotions are all over the place, and sometimes when I don’t know what I’m feeling.

Initially when I told my parents about my diagnosis…. Who is able to accept that their child has such a condition? They were also thinking, “why suddenly? Why now?.” But after a while, they accepted it and they help take me to the hospital for my appointments. My doctor said my condition has since improved, but I do still struggle with low self-confidence.

I want people to understand that those of us struggling with our mental health are not possessed. It’s our thoughts and our minds playing tricks on us. Actually, people who are struggling with their mental health do not necessarily want to kill themselves. Instead, they want to kill something (or kill what they feel) that is inside them.

During my appointments, my doctor would tell me “if you want to feel sad or cry, let yourself do it.” If we express our emotions, we will be able to feel relieved after. You can allow yourself to feel sad, but please don’t do things like harming yourself or thinking of suicide. You can keep a diary to jot down what you are feeling, this can help. So that whenever we are mad or down, we won’t take our emotions out on others – but we can pour our emotions out in our diaries. The diary is able to act as a counsellor to us. Sometimes, there are emotions and problems only God is able to understand. If we feel sad, we can also talk to God about it because He can understand us. For me, I’m not really a writing diary kind of person – I prefer to draw instead. I like to draw views and cartoons.

For the upcoming year, I am still thinking if I want to get involved in sports again, or focus completely on my SPM. I am also considering if I’m able to study other languages. Currently I study the Malay and English language. If I have the chance, I would love to learn Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Thai language.

To anyone who is reading my story, I hope you remember to stay strong. You are not alone. If you feel down, please don’t do anything bad to yourself. I have already done many things that I regret. All of us have a function in this world, this is why God created us. Maybe not now, but one day, we will be able to know our function and place in this world. Don’t be affected by what others are saying, because this is your future – not the future of others.

I’m very thankful to all the teachers who have helped me, taught me, and introduced me to the world of ICT. For sports, I feel like that there are so many others who are more gifted. In the world of ICT, I’m thankful that I have found a place for me.

I also want to thank my teachers who taught me, from having zero knowledge to who I am today. If it was not for my teachers, I would not be able to achieve 4A 1B for my UPSR. Without them, I would not be able to be chosen as “Best Student” among the girls. I’m thankful to all my teachers: in kindergarten, primary school, and secondary school – all who encouraged me to learn and love the English language, helping me to obtain A’s for both my written and oral test. Without them, I would not be able to be where and who I am today.

Bahasa Malaysia

Nama saya Fatin. Saya berumur 16 tahun. Di sekolah lama saya, murid-murid akan cakap kata buruk dan mengejek saya. Saya kurang selesa di sekolah itu, itu sebablah ayah hantar saya ke sekolah ini kerana sekolah ini khas untuk mereka yang ada masalah pelihatan. Ayah saya hantar saya ke sini kerana beberapa cikgu adalah kawan ayah saya. Sekolah ini adalah sekolah asrama, jadi ayah saya juga hendak saya menjadi berdikari.

Dalam keluarga saya ada 3 orang OKU: saya, mak saya (segi fizikal), dan ayah saya (masalah pelihatan). Saya ada masalah pelihatan: sebelah mata kiri buta, mata kanan normal. Semasa saya dilahir, saya belum buka mata lagi. Selepas satu bulan, saya buka mata dan mak saya nampak mata kiri saya putih saja. Emak membawa saya ke hospital, dan doktor kata saya ada retinoblastoma (eye cancer). Semasa umur 2 bulan, doktor kata mata kiri saya mesti buang. So sekarang, saya pakai mata palsu. Sampai sekarang, setiap 6 bulan saya akan pergi check-up.

Sebab masalah saya, ada orang yang tidak mahu berkawan dengan saya. Mereka kata saya OKU, cacat, mesti menyusahkan orang, tak sama dengan orang lain – komen-komen macam ini. Dulu orang OKU tak ada iktiraf sangat. Baru-baru ini, orang nampak kelebihan orang OKU.

Saya tidak kena buli fizikal, tapi buli mental. Kadangkala saya akan balas balik, “kenapa nak jahat sangat?”. Selalunya, saya akan diam. Jika saya tak letih sangat, saya akan menjumpa kawan dan meluahkan masalah saya kepada mereka. Atau saya akan jumpa counsellor. Saya bersyukur kerana ada kawan baik di sekolah luar dan sekolah ini juga. Saya ada dua kawan baik di sekolah sini, Fatiha dan Hafizah.

Jika saya boleh memberi nasihat untuk orang yang dibuli, saya akan kata jangan lawan balik. Jika kami lawan balik, kami akan nampak bodoh. Contohnya, mereka cakap kau ni tak pandai. Tetapi kami tahu kata itu tak betul, jadi kerana kami mesti balas? Biarlah, diam saja, dan tak layan. Mak saya kata, “jika kami kata buruk kepada orang lain, kami cakap buruk ke diri sendiri”. Contohnya, jika kami cakap orang lain yang bodoh, tetapi betul-betulnya kami yang bodoh.

Waktu sekolah rendah, saya memang terlibat dalam sukan. Saya main bola baling dan bola jaring. Semasa sekolah menengah, saya main futsal. Tetapi saya tidak pergi bertanding, saya join kelab saja. Sekarang di sekolah ini, saya main sukan lontar peluru. Tahun ini saya mendapat silver medal di Kuala Lumpur untuk peringkat negeri.

Saya juga aktif dalam ICT. Pertandingan ICT ini ada 4 kategori: visual impairment, physical impairment, hearing impairment, and learning disability. Saya wakil untuk visual disability. Pada tahun lepas, saya mula cuba-cuba saja kerana ada ramai orang cakap ICT bestnya. Mana tahu, saya ada rezeki. Saya tak menjangka saya dapat menang dan pergi ke peringkat negeri kebangsaan. Kebangsaan menang juga, dapat gold. Tetapi tahun ini, Alhamdulillah, saya dapat mewakili Malaysia untuk pertandingan Global IT Challenge. Global IT Challenge akan diadakan pada 23-30 November 2019, di Busan, Korea. Training untuk pertandingan ini sudah mula. Mula-mula saya fikir belajar ICT macam susah, tetapi kerana saya terus belajar bersungguh-sungguh. If there is a will there is a way, it depends on whether we want it or not.

Cita-cita saya adalah untuk menjadi seorang peguam atau juruteknik komputer. Saya suka baca berita yang trending. Contohnya seperti membaca kes keadilan untuk victim yang tidak ditegakkan. Saya berfikir “kerana perlu macam itu?”. Saya rasa nak menjadi lawyer supaya saya boleh membantu mendapat keadilan untuk victim itu. Banyak orang di dunia ini, saya rasa mereka ditindas. Saya hendak tolong, mungkin saya boleh tolong dari segi orang OKU. Inspirasi saya adalah keluarga saya family. Saya sangat rapat dengan keluarga saya. Kedua-dua ibu bapa saya OKU, dan saya tengok mereka ditindas, atau orang lain mengejek mereka. Saya rasa sikap ini tak patut berlaku. Saya rasa manusia semua sama: tiada yang lebih, tiada yang kurang. Kenapa kita mesti benci antara satu sama lain? Cikgu-cikgu saya juga adalah inspirasi saya. Mereka yang membuat saya sedar dengan apa yang berlaku dalam dunia kita, dan juga memberi motivasi.

“Jika kami nak lihat pelangi, kami juga mesti ada hujan.”

Pada tahun ini, psychiatrist saya diagnose saya dengan depression. Ada sata hari semasa Raya tahun ini, saya ada mental breakdown yang teruk. Saya hampir nak bunuh diri, saya rasa saya menyusahkan orang lain. Nasib baiknya saya telah mesej cikgu ICT saya dari tahun lepas: “saya tak tahan lah cikgu, saya fikir saya nak mati.” Cikgu kata dia hendak membawa saya pergi ke doktor hari esok. Kira cuti raya dan masa saya tak pergi ke sekolah, saya dak tak pergi ke sekolah selama sebulan. Saya ceritikan semua yang saya merasa kepada doktor itu. Doktor merujuk saya ke Hospital UKM. Sekarang saya masih pergi kaunseling dengan doktor child psychiatrist di hospital itu. Perasaan saya selalu berubah. Kadangkala saya happy, kadangkala saya sedih, kadangkala emosi saya campur-campur dan saya tak tahu apa yang saya merasa.

Apabila saya memberitahu ibu-bapa saya… Siapa yang boleh terima anak mereka ada penyakit macam ini? Mereka pun berfikir, “Kenapa tiba-tiba, kenapa sekarang?.” Tetapi lama-lama pun, mereka boleh terima dan bantu membawa saya ke hospital untuk rawatan saya. Doktor kata keadaan saya baik sikit, tetapi confidence saya memang rendah.

Kami yang ada masalah kesihatan mental bukan syaitan. Fikiran kita dan otak kita sendiri yang bermain dengan kita. Sebenarnya, orang yang ada masalah kesihatan mental, mereka bukan selalu hendak bunuh diri sangat. Mereka bukan nak bunuh diri, tetapi mereka nak bunuh sesuatu yang mereka rasa dalam hati mereka.

Semasa rawatan, doktor saya selalu pesan kat saya “kalau awak nak sedih atau menangis, menangis saja.” Jika kami meluahkan perasaan kita, selepas itu kita boleh berasa lega. Kalau rasa sedih, bagi rasa sedih saja. Tetapi jangan lah buat benda macam self-harming, fikiran bunuh diri. Kamu boleh menyimpan satu diari, ini boleh membantu kamu. Sebab jika kita marah kita tidak akan lepaskan emosi kepada orang lain, kita boleh lauhkan emosi dalam diari. Diary ibarat kaunselor kita. Kadangkala orang lain tidak akan faham emosi kita, kecuali Tuhan. Jadi jika rasa sedih, meluahkan kepada Tuhan sebab Tuhan saja yang akan faham. Untuk saya, saya bukan seorang yang tulis diari sangat – saya lebih suka melukis. Saya suka lukis pemandangan atau kartun.

Untuk tahun hadapan, saya berfikir jika saya nak masuk sukan ke, atau saya fokus belajar untuk SPM saya. Saya juga boleh belajar bahasa lain. Sekarang saya belajar Bahasa Melayu dan Bahasa Inggeris. Jika saya ada peluang, saya hendak belajar bahasa Jepun, Korea, Cina, dan Thai.

Kepada sesiapa yang membaca cerita saya, stay strong. Anda tidak keseorangan. Kalau kamu rasa down, tolong jangan buat benda bodoh. Saya dah pernah lalui semua benda itu dan saya menyesal. Kita semua ada fungsi di dunia ini, ada sebab Tuhan ciptakan kita. Mungkin bukan sekarang, tetapi satu hari kami akan tahu fungsi kami dalam dunia ini. Jangan peduli kata-kata orang lain, sebab ini adalah masa depan kamu – bukan masa depan orang lain.

Saya sangat bersyukur kepada cikgu-cikgu saya yang menolong saya, mengajar saya, dan kenalkan saya kepada dunia ICT. Saya rasa sukan, banyak orang lebih hebat dari saya. Tetapi dalam ICT, saya rasa ada tempat untuk saya. Saya juga hendak cakap terima kasih kepada cikgu-cikgu saya yang mengajar saya dari tiada pengetahuan sehingga hari ini. Kalau bukan kerana cikgu saya, saya tidak akan dapat 4A 1B untuk UPSR. Tanpa mereka, saya tidak akan dipilih sebagai pelajar paling cermelang antara pelajar-pelajar perempuan. Saya berterima kasih kepada semua cikgu saya, sekolah tadika, sekolah rendah, sekolah menengah yang mempengaruhi minat saya belajar Bahasa Inggeris dan dapat membantu saya mendapat A untuk ujian lisan dan ujian tulis saya. Tanpa mereka, saya tidak akan sampai ke tahap ini.

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