Sunday, 1 June 2014

How To Deal With Bullying

This may surprise you...that I was bullied throughout my years at primary school and at least for half of the time I spent at secondary school. My memories of those times are good ones though, somehow I seem to have blocked out what the bullies did to me. But I do remember feeling worthless and like what I did wasn't good enough. I think everybody goes through that phase whether bullied or not. But it's especially harder on those people who are being bullied. I have to say at the time I didn't have a lot of places to turn. I felt like the world was caving in and I didn't know what to do. The first time I told my mum - who worked at the school. I don't really remember much about the first time - which comes to show that time is a great healer - other than my bully, some of her friends (who were secretly my friends away from school), a couple of my friends and I all sat with the headmistress to discuss the bullying when it came to a crux. I'm not going to name names of anyone who put me through this hell or stood by me for the purpose of being a good person and I'm sure they have grown out of it now and wouldn't like their name dragged through the dirt...even if it is only by me. When all the dust had settled...all I remember being told on that fateful day was that they were only jealous of the attention I was getting. Jealous of someone in a wheelchair? For getting attention? I know what you're thinking! But it was Ok. I came to terms with that. People can be jealous of you for very strange and personal reasons. That is all it is. Bullying is just jealousy. It is a more brutal way of showing someone that they're awesome but that is all it is. I wish I could go back and tell my six year old self that. And what's worse is my 6 year old best friend was moved to another school because she was being taken away from me. I'm sure there were other, more practical reasons why she had to go away like her dad's job changed or whatever, but that's how it felt at the time.

When I was 11 and just starting secondary school, I encountered the first of three bullies I would encapsulate at secondary school. I know you're thinking, well surely she's prepared for these now having already been through it once. But the fact is: I wasn't. I don't know if I thought: because it's a new place I'll surely be safer here or something. But it wasn't. I didn't tell my mum about my bullies at secondary school and it took some time to be brave enough to tell my new friends about it, but eventually I did. This bulling only ceased when she actually left the school and I was happy for a few months until the next bully made their formidible way into my life. This one was because I got attention from the boys I liked. And this 'bully' happened to fancy one of them. And then magically so did I. Or that was how they saw it anyway. This boy didn't feel anything towards me though, (as far as my history goes with boys this has always been the case) or my bully and as I later found out had been dating one of my friends who I knew only scarcely at the time. Somehow, I do have a very clear picture of a geography lesson that she was saying nasty things about me in and saying 'if I thought she was bullying me, I obviously didn't know what bullying was' and I retaliated by telling her the name of the bully I'd had at primary school who unfortunately enough came to the same school as me (Fortunately we were in different tutors, and I hardly ever saw her) which shut her up. This was about year nine and by the end of year nine most of my friends who were also her friends had fallen out with her. Onto year ten-eleven when one of the girls in a little posse decided to really not like me and take one of my best friends from me. I said something that slightly humiliated this friend and she saw caause to be really offended by it and leave my friendship behind to go off with these new 'cool' people. It hit me hard at the time. But as I grew up I got to thinking 'well, if she really was that good of a friend, she'd still be here.' Or at least would have fended/fought my corner against the 'cool' posse. Some people just get so tied up in the 'trying to be cool' scene that their case is better lost than saved. And the thing is, that bullying doesn't just last while you're in school. There are so many things that I would tell my younger self now. Things that I've learnt through dealing with all of my issues to this point. There's so much I wish I'd known back then. But that's the thing about life. People criticise to make themselves feel better about themselves. You shouldn't rise or oftentimes lower) yourself to their level. You learn stuff along the way which would be easier had you known it before, but you've just got to keep learning because who knows? All this stuff could come in useful someday. I hope there never comes a time I have to write about how I coped with bullying again, but I cannot say that I won't for definite.

So I hope this has helped anyone who finds themselves in a similar position to me. Write to me if it has. You can either leave it in a comment (publicly) or email me @ stephcarfrae@yahoo.co.uk if you'd like to keep it confidential. But it is important to tell someone - anyone - even if it is me - to get it off your chest and find help. I may not respond in the way you want me to or wish I could - but I am only saying what I say for your best interests. Keeping it inside hurts and the sooner you get it out the better. Hope this has helped.

Steph

XxX

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