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“What’s wrong, son?”

Dad could tell as soon as I got home from school that I was upset.

“Nobody likes me” I told him, as I broke down into tears.

School was rough for me as a kid. I was what most adults saw as an odd duck, and what most kids saw as unlikable and weird. It seemed like the more I tried to make friends, the more these potential friends were determined to pull back.

This day was especially difficult. Most days the other kids just tried to avoid me. This time, they’d made it clear that they didn’t like me, and…