Bully. No thank you.
I felt I was vanishing. But I was able to come back stronger than ever and want to tell my story.
David Fabbri was born in 2003 in the Florence region, to mother Giada, and father Ugo. In truth, his dad’s name is Hugo, because he was born in Colombia but as soon as he arrived in Italy, as well as changing his surname, they took away the H. “To ‘Italianise’ it, unfortunately… I say ‘unfortunately’, because he cared about the ‘H’ and still does, so, bureaucracy aside, to me he remains dad Hugo”, says David.
David’s story is one of diversity. An invisible diversity that must be accepted first, then explained and experienced. “When I found myself completely alone that day, with four violent guys blocking my way and beating me in front of many helpless onlookers, I felt I was vanishing, yes, vanishing is the right word. It was as if my spirit was leaving me through the pores of my skin and was flying away. I was a zombie. Incredulous and traumatised by that horrible experience, I was unable to react. My body didn’t want to move because my brain was sending a constant message: ‘YOU ARE USELESS’. But that was not the case.
David is a young boy and, like many others, has an invisible difficulty that does not allow him to cope with some situations as others might: SLD, Specific Learning Disorders. For this reason, at school he uses a computer, a tool now common in the classroom, but he is the only one in his class and that is why some schoolmates have started to isolate him and mock him. They even became violent and started beating him up. At present the environment around him does not react, his family tries in every way to protect him. But protecting him is unfortunately not enough. David is living his first adolescent years in fear of others, to the point that it has become a fear of self.
Today David speaks like a smart adult who knows the value of the future, because he has chosen to look for that future. Thanks to the strength derived from his choice, his awareness, his questioning, and the decision to make that choice, David now wants to share it with others.
He tells his story by looking backwards. Sometimes with difficulty and at times with a lump in his throat because behind his words is a past that looks more like a scar. But he does it for others. For young people like him, or younger than him, because he knows how terrifying it is to be alone. How important it is to find the strength to speak up, to climb out of that dangerous fear that makes one stand still and nurture the desire to seek an end to it all.
He made a short film to tell what he experienced, he started attending meetings and meet people. Now he gives advice to those who ask for it and was awarded a Merit of the Italian Republic for shedding light on what is known as bullying and which for many is a torture with no way out.
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An individual who, navigating a personal journey through their own diversity, turns it into a strength for themselves and others, becoming a source of strength, energy, and a point of reference.