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Bullied and alone: don’t be a bystander

At the age when you are in Year 2 and 3 in primary school you’re told if you think you’re being bullied tell someone or speak to somebody about it, but then at that age you’re so young naive and childish you never truly understand at what point you tell someone, ‘I think im being bullied.’ It’s one of those things that you get called a silly name, you say sorry to each other, hug make up and giggle about it so you never feel like you need to tell anybody because of a fear you will get told to stop being silly, or it’s a child thing or it’s just a phase so that’s what I did laughed giggled and thought it’s just a phase or this is normal for a child. However this wasn’t normal, little did I know this would be just the start of a long journey, a nine year journey in fact, that I would begin to take from such a young age I just didn’t realise how much it would change my life, but more about that later…

Year 2 and 3 went past as if without a care in the world I made friends we had silly fights and thought everything was great. Year 4 and the second tier of your Primary School came thick and fast, again bullying you were told speak to someone but what if people didn’t see the bullying or if they did they wouldn’t say anything with fears of being called a snitch or a liar. Losing the only friends in primary school you had was the biggest problem, unfortunately that’s what happened in this year, I was physically and mentally bullied, I didn’t fully understand why I just knew something wasn’t right and only when three boys in my class came over to me in a playground one tripped me over so I fell backwards while one pulled my hair and tried to drag me across the floor, yet nobody saw it happen. No staff no friends to stick up for me or tell someone so I was just left to cope and wonder what had just happened and why on my own. Year 4 came, the rounds of the mental and bullying verbally, silly insults like you’re ugly or picking up on what you wore on your non uniform days and silly things which to some people meant nothing but to me it was the start of a long line of insults, seclusion and feeling not wanted or not fitting in. I remember being this age I was punched in the chest which left me with a large and a series of bruises which inevitably I had to tell someone about and embarrassingly had to show someone for evidence that it was done, however thinking now the bully would be spoken to and it would be the end, it wasn’t. This continued yet again if not worse than before I would have things purposefully aimed at me during break times and this was a continuous thing until the end of Year 4 into Year 5.

Year 6 quickly approached and arrived with that bought the phase of the girls being into how they looked, make up, hair, fashion and looking their best however from the off I knew I was different. Make up held no appeal to me I would be completely behind on what people were wearing and really didn’t care about being the same or being ‘in fashion’ as it were and maybe that is what singled me out from the crowd for this name calling from the end of Year 6. I started a diary. I began writing down every insult people called me whether it was something petty like ugly or bitch or anything else then as I came to the end and into secondary school I would tally every time that insult was used. I would go home and think if these things are not true why are they being said this much and this is where I entered the cycle of believing everything someone said and then sitting crying about why me. Years 7 and 8 were no walk in the park, I would have my bag taken, I would have people making silly comments towards me and the age of rumours had approached and I fell into a lot of what rumours did occur. I would be taken the mick out of for what I wanted to do when I left school, who I was friends with and my hobbies and interests. I decided to keep this to myself when you would think by this point I would have realised it’s time to talk to someone and tell them about what was happening but I didn’t I would go home and find an immediate release of emotion whether it was on myself or in a diary form whichever way was quickest and easiest to vent.

Year 9 came and I was fast approaching the start of my GCSE years and this was the year I found most difficult. I started missing a lot of school because I didn’t want to go in and face people saying comments and making snide remarks about not only my height but the weight I started to gain during school which inevitably left me in in a horrible position. I turned to food as a comfort when I was upset about a comment then I would be called fat but instead of starving myself I would eat again and I ended up at a place I never thought I would come back from. I was self conscious, depressed and people when I walked over at lunch would just walk away and I wanted to know why I was so different and why this had started in the first place. This was the year of Facebook and social media which took on a world of its own, one day I logged on to have been sent a link to a Facebook page with the name we hate —— (my family’s name) and on there was 20 or 30 people posting comments about not only me but members of my family as well. This broke me, this was the time I knew this was my life and there was no turning back or it ending so I turned back to the hiding away and secluding myself as I thought if people didn’t see me they couldn’t hurt me… boy was I wrong naive and silly to have believed this back then.

Year 10 and 11 came, the GCSE years, the years of choosing colleges and prom. Choosing a college was never a hard choice for me, I knew I wanted to go to a college nobody else would want to go to, one where I could have a fresh start and not having to be reminded daily of what had happened to me for years on end. I chose a college about 40 minutes car away from home and 2 hours travel by bus and train every day there and the same home. It was a lot to think about but it was the right choice for me, these two years I really suffered the most I had people try and push me down stairs I couldn’t wear make up or do anything different with myself because people would question it and question why and people say she’s just trying to fit in. This hurt me even more I was trying so hard to be someone I wasn’t because I thought it would help but it did nothing but make things worse. I left the school years behind me and thought it was a fresh start. Little did I know things would stay the same for one final year before they got better and back came the social media, where I had a video posted online of people asking me questions and making snide comments and remarks about how I looked which was then posted online for everyone to see.

So that’s my story I have missed out a million things but writing them made it difficult and I would need to write a book to describe and express my emotions about everything that happened. It’s been a long and tough year for me I managed to lose almost 4 stone of weight that I gained during my school years due to the effects of bullying, I met some incredible friends who have helped me through the tough times and I’m less self conscious then I was and my confidence levels are ever growing… People need to realise if you’re being bullied, have a friend who’s being bullied or a family member, even if you just see something being said or done to someone you don’t know, stand up and make a change, tell someone. There is someone out there who cares for each and every one of us whether we see it or not. Don’t let someone else go through what I did, some people pay the ultimate sacrifice and take their own lives, don’t just walk past and leave that person you see being called a name pass you by. You don’t have to be friends with them to stop them going down a path of upset and distress… every single one of us is loved by someone.

I hope this gives you an insight as to why I decided to start helping others and I hope my story helps others as well. Things do get better, there’s always a light somewhere, whether we are close to it or not.

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