The second guest blog post comes directly from India from Advik.
I grew up in the UK as my parents immigrated there back in the ’60s. All throughout my adolescence, I was discriminated against at school, in the playground, in my neighborhood because I was Indian. After a while, I gotten used to it and simply ignored it.
Then my #epilepsy came in. In my second year of secondary school (high school) , I had my first seizure. And it was at school. Professors and colleagues panicked, an ambulance was called, parents came rushing and, you know already, more.
I woke up in the hospital with an IV and a few meds.
Over the year, I had several other seizures at home, at school, in the supermarket and so on. In total: 28 seizures that year. At school, people started making fun of me, imitating my seizures in a cry for attention. And the year went on like that.
For my third year, I went abroad to the USA. It was an entirely different experience, although the discrimination was present there also: for both being an Indian, as well as having epilepsy. In total: 8 seizures that year.
Coming back to the UK was strange. Seeing the rigors of the UK school system, differences in behavior, everything was weird.
But something weirder happened. In my second day of school, I was called to the Headmaster’s office. He told me that the parents of a colleague asked the school to kick me out of school because I might endanger their daughter.
The Headmaster told me a meeting with those parents (and their daughter), my parents and several professors was scheduled to take place the next day.
There are two things I remember from that meeting: I and my colleague sitting in the corner looking stupefied. The second was a remark made by my Maths teacher and strongly supported by (her) parents and two other professors: Education is not for me because he has epilepsy.
My parents pulled out of school and home taught me. I took my A levels and moved on. I never went to college or studied for additional certificates. When I was 22, I moved back to India, first living with family, and started my business with money borrowed from my parents.
Since then, I started several businesses that failed, one that had success and I sold it. Right now, I manage the tech support team for a call center, after 7 years in the company. And I am still discriminated because I have epilepsy.