A place where you have been beaten, had your work sabotaged, your lunch stolen, your bag bombed with paint. A place where you've been isolated and excluded, jeered and bullied. Every single damn day.
A place where your teachers didn't have a clue about your past, about how unbelievably tough things had been for you. A place where you never felt safe.
A place where you met true friends, people you can turn to now. Fellow introverted quiet geeky types happy to play cards, or read journals about social justice, or discuss the latest current affairs programme.
A place where you completely and utterly failed at anything remotely sporting like. But tried hard. Every single time.
A place where your mind flourished and you developed your sense of humour which becomes your tin hat, getting you through life.
You leave thinking you are ugly. That any beauty you possess is merely a reflection of the inside.
You look at this photo over 20 years later and it will take your breath away.
You were beautiful.
They were wrong. You weren't fat or ugly.
You are beautiful.