Manisha Tailor supports the National ‘Stand Up to Bullying’ campaign | AtTheMatch.com

In support of National Stand Up To Bullying Day, Swaggarlicious CEO Manisha Tailor has chosen to share her personal story and experience of how the impact of bullying can have on not only the victim, but on the immediate family and how much it can change your life. Manisha now uses the power of football to run a Mental Health and football project in partnership with Wingate and Finchley FC.

“Imagine going back in time to July 17th 1980 and spending 9 incredible months with the one who makes you whole and complete – my twin brother.  Blaming the fact that I was born in a bridge position and due to the lack of supplies, that my brother took, I was always doomed to remain tiny and only hit 4’9 as an adult, before I even entered our beautiful world, 2 minutes later than he did!  This though was the beginning of a bond, closeness beyond imagination.

“Imagine growing up and not having to worry about feeling sad, lonely or stressed as you knew you had a protector, someone who would move mountains for you without giving it a second thought.  A life that meant you didn’t develop independence in thought or action and your behaviours followed that of your twin.  Imagine this wonderful feeling of care and love, yet so oblivious to knowing what was to come and the impact it was going to have on your life forever.

“Imagine sharing the love and passion for something so powerful with someone that is part of you, something that has the power to change and transform lives – the love for football. The beautiful game had become our lives and little did I know that IT would become instrumental in how I was going to cope with what was to come.

“Imagine just turning 18, standing in universal studios in America, and your twin begins to tell you that he is seeing things, hallucinating and has no idea what is happening to him.  My mind in utter confusion and just wanting to return home to London safely.  On returning he explains that he can no longer live at home, that he feels he must move away from me and the family.  From ME?  My heart had sunk.

“Imagine being told that you can no longer go out, unless it was to go to university, because of fear.  It was what HE feared would happen.  With lack of support in dealing with the situation, it deteriorated.  Now he had lost awareness of who he was, of his surroundings, family and ME.  He didn’t recognise me.  His twin sister.  How can he not know who I am? How?  Suicide attempts, temper, going missing and being kidnapped, I thought had seen it all.  Trying to work part-time, complete my teaching degree at university and take care of my sister who was only 5 years old at the time, along with my mum and dad, and understand what was going on – what would you do as an 18 year old?

“Imagine the day you get told that you are no longer allowed to care for your family member at home.  I remember it so vividly, it was in November 2000.  The day that your twin is sectioned under mental health, diagnosed with schizophrenia. The day that I felt that somebody had ripped out my insides – quite literally.  I felt sick to the bone.  All these years I had someone to protect and guide me, now I was lost.  This was the day I lost my smile.  This was the day that I fell out of love with football.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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