Inma Franco (1999, Badajoz) suffers from a disease that causes facial asymmetry and has suffered bullying. In order to show himself how he is, he turned to social networks, and now he has thousands of followers. It tells everything in Accepted (Plan B).

You were born with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome. What causes this disease, what does it consist of?
Saethre-Chotzen syndrome affects the cranial bones and especially the bones of the fontanelles. Fontanelle bones close when a baby is about one year old, and they closed at three months.
And what’s wrong with that?
That causes the brain to grow, but the head does not. And when the head does not grow, the brain runs out of space, there comes a point where it can no longer grow. Little by little the senses are lost, and when it is already in an advanced state, you become a vegetable.
They operated on her to correct that being very small, right? With seven months …
S. They detected Saethre-Chotzen syndrome at three months and at seven they decided to operate on me.
That operation lasted 10 hours and was only the first of several he has had to undergo. How many times have they had to operate it in total?
Ugh … Hope it counts. I think five.
In one of those operations they even put screws in his head …
S. I had to carry those screws in my head for a whole year. My mother tightened them a little every day with a special screwdriver.
And despite all that he says he had a happy childhood …
Yes, within what is possible I consider that my childhood was happy.
Your problems started in adolescence, right?
S. It was especially in the passage from 6 of primary to 1 of ESO. My companions, I don’t know why, they changed a lot, and I didn’t change, I was still me. I turned, yes, a little more timid, more closed.
From what you count in your book, you did everything to try to fit in. Sometimes you even stopped being yourself to try to please others. Did it work for you?
No. I tried to change, in the face of criticism I tried to change my personality, my tastes, to change everything, to see if at least that way I could integrate, because apparently they didn’t like my way of being. But no, it’s not that they didn’t like the way I am, it’s that they just judged me by my appearance.
They called you brutal things because of your physical appearance …
S. I was tagged as The bitch. That nickname was given to me in 1 of ESO, a friend sent me a post-it in which he called me “slut” from the whole class. There I started to roll that nickname, and I stuck with that label.
One of the most terrible things that he tells in his book is that when he went to his teachers and the school counselors asking for help, shouting for help, no one helped him. Rather, it was the other way around, wasn’t it?
S. From the first moment they constantly suggested that the problem was in my house. “But do your parents treat you well?”, They asked me. “But are you comfortable at home?” It was as if they wanted to discharge the responsibility of the school and transfer it to my house. They told me, for example: “Some students complain that your hair is very oily, you have to wash it more.” And no, my hair was not greasy because I did not wash it, but because I had to put a lot of products on my head that have affected my hair. My mother bought me the most expensive shampoos, but the day after I washed my hair it was greasy, dull.
Before entering school, they actually forced him to spend a kind of hygiene control before the school counselors to see if you were clean enough?
S. In third year of ESO, the counselors told me that they had to see me every morning to see if I was fit to enter class or not. And I every day at eight in the morning waiting for them, because if on top of that I was late for classes and they put me late or absent, they didn’t even take into account that I was with them. They see me and “Yes, yes, you can go to class now.” Like this, every morning.
I thought there was more awareness in schools regarding the issue of ‘bullying’ and harassment. However, you have felt very unprotected by the educational staff, right?
It’s true that the first year at that school, when I passed by a corridor and people started pointing at me, I went to the head of studies and he helped me. But that was the first and only time they did it. Later, when we took a school trip to London and my mother, seeing that she was having a terrible time, went to talk to the school: they told her that I was the bad one. All the teachers turned against us and protected each other.
They left you isolated in the middle of the class, in a kind of ghetto. I was very impressed by a passage in her book in which she reveals how the English teacher, one day when there was a mess in the class, threatened the students by saying that whoever did not shut up would be seated “next to the one she was with. you don’t want to sit down. ”
That was the most painful for me. First, they pushed me away, I was in my place and people left and I was left alone in the middle of the class. And yes, it hurt me that in the middle of the class the teacher let out such atrocity. When he said it I was looking at my table, raised his head and looking up I saw that everyone began to laugh and murmur. It made me want to say, “I’m still here and I have feelings.”
Did there really come a time when you didn’t want to go on living and the idea of ​​suicide crossed your mind several times?
S. I had a really bad time, I saw everything too black. They made me believe that I was the problem, and there came a time when I no longer needed people to tell me, I told myself. “All this happens to you because of you, it is your fault to be like this. It is not the fault of others, you have it, you are the problem,” he said. The counselors had told me that whatever I did in life I was never going to be successful, that I was always going to be a problem. And I internalized it in such a way that I didn’t see a way out, the only way out I saw was to throw myself out the window.
And how did he get out of that nightmare?
One day I fell apart, and I am usually a person who does not express his feelings with the people who love me so as not to hurt them. I started crying by myself and started talking to myself. It was a very long conversation, asking myself questions and trying to answer them. At that time I had started with a YouTube channel because I thought that maybe there people could know me as I am, not as they said I was, and I started making videos. YouTube was like a way out, a way of trying to get out before getting to the worst. I also talked to my parents and told them that I wanted to change schools, that the one I was in was having a hard time. And among all that, I began to see a small light.
I imagine that being able to record yourself, without the pressure of having someone physically by your side, allowed you to be yourself …
Sure. I would record myself alone in my room, without anyone seeing me, I picked up the camera and started talking, I would tell my life, this, that … And since I also like to edit, then I would edit the videos. At first, when I started posting the videos, there was a bit of laughter from my people. But little by little people were arriving who did not know me and who apparently liked my videos, and people from the town who said: “Well, look, it is not as they had told us, it is different.” Little by little that was giving me the opportunity to go out, to open up and to show who I am.
In one of those videos, he found enough strength to relate the ‘bullying’ he had suffered, and that video went viral. Was it some kind of therapy?
I wanted to tell it for helping people who might be going through the same thing and also for helping me love to release everything that was inside, for taking pressure off me. The video was divided into two parts because it was a bit long, and apparently people liked it a lot, a lot of people watched it. And many people then contacted me, told me their story and told me that the video had helped them.
When now in your town you come across some of the people who made you suffer so much, how do they react?
My father works in a candy store, and I have even had to dispatch some of those people. But I haven’t spoken to any of them since. I have forgiven them, but I prefer that they do not speak to me or speak to them myself. If we meet in the street, the only thing that crosses is the glances.
Some of those people, when he posted his videos denouncing the ‘bullying’ he had suffered, accused him of being a liar …
Yes, a lot of people, not only from my class but from the institute, write comments saying that what I was telling was a lie, that I was a liar, that what I wanted was to gain fame, that that never happened … Of course it did. , I have lived it.
Have you heard from your teachers again?
I have not heard from them since. Only when I changed institute, the following year, did I meet a teacher I had had before, but nothing more.
No one has asked you then, sorry?
No. From the teachers I have not received anything. And neither of the students, on the contrary. A boy who in high school threw my things on the floor all the time, when I started making videos, he suggested that we record something together for YouTube. Of course not.
Did you stop studying for two years because you couldn’t bear the pressure of going to high school?
As everyone told me that it was not worth studying, I began to think that maybe it was not really worth it. And that’s why I stopped studying ESO for two years and went to work. In those two years that I was working I realized that, man, working is cool and everything you want, but it is not cool to work on something that you really do not like. And I thought it would be good to do a career, even if in the future I ended up working on something other than what I had studied. I found the Bachelor of Arts, I looked at the subjects and I loved them all. And I decided to give it a try. I have done the EBAU and I would like to do Hispanic Philology.
And what would you like to work on tomorrow?
Although it is very difficult, my intention is to become a language and literature teacher in the future.
You have been offered surgery for cosmetic reasons and you have turned it down, right?
Yes, it was offered to me after the last operation. My parents told me to think about it, to analyze it because maybe it could be good for me. They tried to convince me to have surgery, but being clear that the decision was mine and that they were going to agree with what I decided. And in the end I decided that no, that I did not want to have an operation just for aesthetics, that I would only have surgery if it was for health reasons. And the truth is that I do not regret it. Now I’m getting to look in the mirror and like what I see.

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