Bullying stories: My experience of bullying
Bullying should never be tolerated. Unfortunately, for Kate, it took a long time for action to be taken to stop the severe bullying she endured throughout her time at school. She has been kind enough to share her bullying stories with us today.
T/W: Discussion of self-harm and physical violence
I’m Kate and I volunteer for The Mix. Take a look at this article where I share my bullying stories and my advice for you. Hopefully this is helpful for anyone reading.
My bullying stories
Bullying at school
The first of my bullying stories starts when I was really young in school. Honestly, as sad as it is, I actually don’t remember a time when I wasn’t being bullied. I think it started because I was different and other children could tell. Then it suddenly got a lot worse when a new boy joined in Year 1. The boy identified me as his target and even bullied other children unless they bullied me. This led to most of my peers bullying me to avoid the same fate.
Bullying at primary school
When it first began, it was mainly physical. They either punched me, hit me, kicked me or stuck their fingers in my ribs from behind. There were countless bruises all over my body but I had to try to trick myself into thinking that I wasn’t in pain. Strangely, this didn’t bother me though. I enjoyed the attention I was getting and it filled up the long break times. There weren’t really any negative feelings during that time, just trying to survive day-to-day.
News of the bullying going on eventually reached the head teacher, who said they’d get parents involved. Unfortunately, that was all talk. Nothing actually changed. I later found out the teachers were scared of the boy who started it. So, to get me off my back they told me they were doing things but never did. I can’t even express how angry this lie made me, but all I could do was try and move on. There’s no point in dwelling on the past.
Bullying at secondary school
When I moved to secondary school I finally got some support from the Anti Bullying Coordinators (ABCs). Plus, the boy who started it went to a different school. Both of these things combined gave me hope that the bullying would end. But it didn’t. By then the bullying had spread and there were too many people participating for it to just vanish overnight. Having more people involved also made it more severe; instead of only physical it became verbal and emotional too.
They tried their best to help me out. To start with, I was advised to go to the library at breaks since there’s always a member of staff there. The problem was that there were also tall shelves. This meant that, hidden behind those, I was still bullied physically.
Of course, I could’ve moved schools. But, to me, that felt like running away and letting them ‘win’. So I stayed. And I developed small coping mechanisms to help me along the way. For instance, I liked collecting positive quotes and found they helped me a lot.
Fast forward a few months and I found out I was being cyber bullied too. They had started an online group set up where people posted what they did to me; it was like a competition of who could manage to do the most outrageous things. To me. The bullies also found some family photos on a website my dad created and edited loads of them to use in their ‘bullying competition group’. Eventually I decided to search for help online and in 2010 I joined a website that at that time was called CyberMentors.
Support for cyber bullying
The support I got there was amazing. After a while I even became trained to help other young people coming to the site for support like I did. Much to my dismay it closed in 2014. But I’ll never forget those 4 years I spent being a part of that community. It truly changed my life for the better.
The site made me feel good to be able to use my experience to help others. I finally had a way to channel all that negative energy from the bullying and turn it into something unbelievably positive. Thanks to those bullies, who made my life a living hell, I was able to help people who were in a similar situation.
The long-term impact of bullying
Uni was difficult for a variety of reasons. Whilst there I was surprised to find that the bullying was affecting me more than it ever did. I’m scared of libraries and won’t go in alone, can only sit in front of a wall where no-one can get behind me and avoid social media.
To be honest, I don’t blame any single person/group of people for what happened to me. It’s much much more complex than that. I am the way I am now because of bullying, and I wouldn’t want to change who I am for the world (corny, I know). Whether we like it or not, we’re all just a patchwork of our experiences – the good, the bad and the in between. And I think that’s beautiful.
My message to anyone being bullied is that you’re not the one with a problem, the bullies are. Unfortunately, they’re just projecting their shit onto you. The first step is do everything you can to stop it quickly. If you can stop it in the early stages, then hopefully it shouldn’t become as bad as it did for me. And if you can’t stop it, then don’t give up. You can get through it. If I can get through everything I did then I believe you can too. I promise it won’t last forever.
Get support for bullying
If you’re experiencing bullying, or you think you might be taking part in bullying behaviour, know that we’re here to support you. You can find lots of tips and information on bullying here. Also, you should get in touch with our support team who’s there to listen and to talk about any issue.
- BullyingUK offers advice and support to victims of bullying. Call on 0808 800 2222.
- If you're under 25 and would like free confidential telephone counselling from The Mix to help you figure things out complete this form and we'll call you to arrange your first session.
- Our Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re aged 25 or under, you can text THEMIX to 85258
- Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
By Holly Turner
Updated on 14-Jun-2022
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