"I WASN'T going to listen to them telling me my life was worthless."
At 56 years of age, Thalidomide survivor Trish Jackson thought she'd heard just about every insult the world could throw at her.
"But then I was in a chemist a while ago waiting for a script and this man looked me up and down and said "what, did you chew your finger nails and forget to stop?"
"It's just horrid."
Born with no arms, six little fingers and multiple holes in her heart, Mrs Jackson admits her appearance is "confronting".
But it hasn't stopped her from do anything and everything she can possibly think of.
"I tried indoor skydiving the other day which was awesome fun."
Mrs Jackson spoke to students at the Scots PGC College in Warwick this morning.
Having suffered a lifetime of bullying and ridicule, Mrs Jackson has a story that will have kids clinging to her every word.
Bullying is a topic particularly pertinent to school kids, and Mrs Jackson is an expert.
"I get bullied every time I go out in public," she said.
But learning to rise above it doesn't come easy.
"I had to realise it wasn't my fault that they were bullying me," she said.
"You have to talk to people and don't suffer in silence. The more people know, they more they can do to help."
Her words have inspired children and adults all around the country.
But she doesn't give everything away at first glance.
"I wear a coat over my arms so when I tell my story they can listen to my words first," she said.
The drug that keeps on giving
Knowing her deformities could have been avoided gives Mrs Jackson every reason to be bitter, but she's not.
When her mother popped a Thalidomide-containing morning sickness pill that drug companies and doctors insisted was safe, she had no idea she was pregnant.
But by the time Mrs Jackson was born, the damage was already done and her doctor had destroyed all medical records.
Mrs Jackson calls it the drug that keeps on giving because the effects of Thalidomide continue to worsen with each day.
"I ended up in hospital a few weeks ago because my heart decided to do some punk rocking dancing instead of normal beating but we've fixed all that up now."
Despite living in constant agony, Mrs Jackson has found ways to get through the pain.
Art as therapy
A passion for drawing and painting pulled Mrs Jackson out of her darkest time.
"I've never been a sad person but a few years ago I really hit a slump," she said.
"I was living in constant pain and I just didn't want that to be my life and I couldn't see a way out of it.
"I decided I needed to get something out of my mindset."
That's where the art came in.
Using her foot with incredible precision, Mrs Jackson creates pictures of lizards, birds and other creatures.
"I became occupied on what I could draw each day instead of focusing on the pain," she said.
"It's very therapeutic."
Progress in schools
Schools today are strides ahead in their disability support compared with when Mrs Jackosn was a student at St Margaret's in Brisbane.
With no disability carer and no services, Mrs Jackson relied on friends and her mother to carry her around the school and help her get around.
"My mother gave up her lunch hour every single day I was at school, she would come and take me to the toilet."
These days, things are much better.
"Schools have definitely improved in terms of their disability support."