How I moved on from bullying
I’m Kate and I volunteer for The Mix. Last year I wrote my story of being bullied which I want to add to this year. I hope it helps anyone reading.
What does it feel like to be bullied?
Imagine this: You are a student at school and it’s a usual break time. With no lessons and nothing to do you feel a bit lost. Suddenly people surround you, they start off by shouting insults, but as more people arrive it becomes a fight to protect yourself or your belongings. You get scared, not knowing what could happen next and being unable to escape and get help. All you can think about is a wish for lessons to start again and the structured time with teachers there.
This starts to happen every break time and lessons become a safe place. This may make you different and therefore more of a target, but how can you enjoy the breaks when other children do such awful things? Sometimes lessons are hard too, the pain of bruises remain and the worry about breaks or explaining missing items make it hard to concentrate. Eventually this becomes normal, every break time something happens so the worry reduces but this doesn’t make the fear or isolation go away.
Now imagine having all this happen to you. How would you feel? What would you do?
Now learn none of this is imaginary, it’s all real and happened to me.
How to get help for bullying
I know telling someone is hard, but it’s the first step so think about who and how to make it easier. If it’s too hard, something you can do is start writing down everything that happens to you. Make sure it includes when it was, where it was, who was involved and what they did. It can be really helpful to show someone what’s happening and its evidence to help a school identify those doing it most. Another thing you could do is look for your school’s anti-bullying policy for advice.
Next think about what you want. It’s you who is being bullied so only you know what it feels like and what you want to change. Think of some things you’d like to change and ask someone to help make them happen. By this point I would suggest having one person you can talk to regularly so you learn to trust them. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask them for what you want, it may not be possible but if you don’t ask it’s a definite no.
If you’re still struggling, it might be time to think of what you can do yourself. One thing is to try a club such as music, PE or revision in break times. It may not be your interest but it’s something to do and a safer place to go. I also recommend a book called Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It’s not advice and won’t help directly, but it beautifully explains what bullying is like and shows a story of hope. Plus, there is also a book called 365 Days of Wonder full of the kind of quotes I love. Finally never give up, if my experience helps anyone with anything, I want it to tell someone bullying is so much worse later than at the time. I don’t want anyone to struggle as much as I do now, so please find things that work for you.
How kindness helped me
I haven’t forgotten those who helped me. It’s mainly other adults and their words to me which I remember. Unfortunately I also remember the bullies and what they did, but in a way I see being bullied as a kind thing when it comes to all the things it’s allowed me to do. My view on kindness is that a small amount of effort can make a big difference and that sometimes the best way to get this is to help someone else first who then may help you in return.
Turning bullying into a positive
I want to be clear about one thing, bullying is never good because despite these positives I still struggle with the effects of being bullied. What I believe is possible is overcoming what happened using positive things. The way I did this was various volunteering roles with The Beat Bullying Group, who ran the original CyberMentors website. I have many stories I could tell including helping others, meeting celebrities and media work. CyberMentors don’t exist anymore, but that lead me to The Mix and writing these articles. I’ve not fully overcome everything I experienced so will keep working until I have.
What I’ve learnt about myself from being bullied
I know I am who I am. I accept myself how I am and change myself for myself not for anyone else. It’s given me the determination I have now, I know if I can get through what happened to me I can get through how it affects me now too even if that is hard and often something I forget. I’ve learnt how to turn a negative into a positive and that sharing my story can help others.
Finally it’s taught me not to judge anyone like I was. I know what it’s like being different and that everyone has differences for different reasons. I’ve been through enough to become the person I am now, and know everyone I meet has their own story of things they’ve got through. What’s important is knowing how much difference it can make to someone if you don’t judge them for how they are.
If you or anyone you know needs support for bullying, get in touch with our team for free and confidential support.
Head to our bullying hub page for support and information.
The Mix are running this year’s Anti-Bullying Week campaign in collaboration with Molang and would like to thank them for their support.
Updated on 18-Nov-2021
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