Ever felt completely worthless because some piece of scum bullied you? I know I have; multiple times too.
If you have read my post “Life Lessons That Shaped Who I Am Today“, you will know that I have spoken about a percentage of my bullying experiences at high school. Let’s be honest, that is where most bullying starts. I find that it’s not very often kids get bullied in primary school, with the odd exception of a few.
I’ve always seemed to be quite shy and reserved around people until I get to know them. Just ask Mr J. When we first met, he tried and tried to get more conversation out of me but I was just so shy to have a proper conversation with him. Twelve years later and I think I’m doing OK now. I think it’s mainly my personality that makes me this way, but I know that past experiences have tainted me and made me very wary.
So, on my first day in high school in 1999, a boy a few years older than me started to bully me. I’d never met him before and he didn’t live in the area of the town that I did. He just picked me out to start bullying me. He used to shout things, throw things at me… He even purposely walked into me in the school corridor and knocked me into the wall. My parents always told me about standing up for myself and to have a go back if someone had a go at me, but I just couldn’t. He was a boy, he was older than me and he was bigger than me; to put it simply, I was scared. At 11 years old on my first day of high school, I was scared. That’s no way to start high school. I didn’t want to go to school because I was in fear of what I would have to endure that day but I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on and honestly, for a while no-one knew. Just me, the bully and the friends of his who laughed every time he did it.
When my family did find out what was going on it wasn’t me who told them, it was my cousin. We’d always been close and we were in the same year at school too. He was with me on this one day at lunch time when the boy came over, running his mouth. My cousin told him to go away and leave me alone. He left, but still shouting things as he walked away. How I was glad that I had my cousin there that day. We were walking home from school but I was still so scared that I was sure the boy was following me home. Luckily, my cousin and I had to walk close to our uncles on the way home, so we went in. It was this day that my parents found out about the bullying. It felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t have to carry alone anymore. The school was told what was happening and they promised to keep their eyes open. I didn’t tell them who the boy was because I didn’t know who he was, just that I knew he was at least 2 years older than me. However, little did I know that the next week, the best thing but the worst was about to happen…
It was the end of the school day and it felt great that the boy hadn’t bullied me all day. That was until I saw him coming up the hill from the science block when I got outside. I was with my cousin again and he told me it would be ok. I tried to get out the school grounds but I wasn’t fast enough, he caught up with me. He shouted abuse at me but my cousin told him to back off or he would make him. He simply said “make me” before forcefully pushing me to the tarmac. The force of his push made my head bang on the floor.
Luckily for me, just as he did this, some teachers came out the school and saw what he did. They sent him to the headmasters office while they walked me out of the school gates. I hoped I’d see my dad or uncle waiting in their car out front, but I knew I wouldn’t because they would be working. Although, one of my older cousins was there waiting. She took us back to their house and then walked me and my other cousin home.
After this day, the boy never bullied me again. I always wondered why he targeted me. Maybe it was because I was shy, maybe it was a dare as he walked past or maybe he saw me as an easy target. I’ll never know, but I’m glad it ended.
I wasn’t bullied again until roughly 2003, when I started to get prank calls to my mobile phone. The person occasionally said abusive things but more often than not, remained silent on the other end of the phone. I stopped answering my phone unless I knew who it was that was calling me, which was mainly 3 people; my mom, my dad and my best friend.
This went on for weeks when the prank calls started to come through to my parents home phone. Again, the person was saying abusive things as well as threatening me; saying that I had to watch my back because they were watching me and I would know when I was going to ‘get it’. My parents said that it was a boy on the phone but I had no idea who it could have been. I’d never really went out of my way to offend anybody and always apologized if I just thought I had offended someone. Never mind having any idea how this person got my phone numbers, as I only ever gave them to my friends.
It was obvious that it was someone from school as they knew where I was, what I was doing. My parents reported the phone calls and abusive messages to the school, but what could they do? I didn’t know who was behind it.
It all came to a head a few weeks later, when my parents received a call where they said that on the Friday after school they were going to be waiting for me outside the school gates and I had better look out. I was terrified! So terrified in fact, that I asked my dad to pick me up from as close to the school gates as he could get. When I walked out of the school gates, I saw a massive amount of students all hanging around the front of the school area waiting for me.
Can you imagine getting these kind of abusive calls and walking out of the school to find all those people there, just waiting for you to come out and looking around them not knowing which one of them was responsible? Can you then imagine looking around those people again and spotting your best friend standing in the crowd? Not the greatest of experiences, I can tell you that.
I got in my dads car and he went into the school offices to report it all again, even though I didn’t want him to leave me on my own. I was so scared that I actually locked myself in the car.
I was sitting there in the car with the doors locked and physically shaking, terrified that one of these people were going to try to attack me. Knowing that again, it was a boy who was responsible.
It was roughly 10 minutes before my dad came back out of the school and not one person had moved. Before my dad got back in the car and drove away, he shouted something to the crowd; I have no idea what because I was trying to shut it all out.
13 years on and I still don’t know for sure who was responsible, even though I have my suspicions, or know for sure how they got my phone numbers.
I never did anything to either of these bullies.
I know they won’t but if either of my bullies read this…
Bully number one and two, I swiftly flip you the finger and say “Ha, you didn’t win. I’m a better person than you are. Look where I am now, you lowlife scum.”
Everything that has happened to me has taught me to appreciate the people who are actually there, not the people who pretend to be. I’m here now with a great life and that is all thanks for Mr J, who I know will always be there for me, no matter what happens.
Let’s face it too, bullying doesn’t only occur in high school. There is a lot of workplace bullying in the world too, where you would expect people to know better and act more grown up. Instead, they choose to bully co-workers or customers just like they are back in the playground.
If you are being bullied, just remember that the grass is greener on the other side of things. Bullies don’t win. In my experience, let someone know what is going on; a family member, close friend or school teacher. Having the support from my family on both of my bullying experiences helped me through, as I knew I had the love and support from them.
I know it’s easier said than done as I have experienced it, but try your hardest to show these bullies that whatever they say or do, it doesn’t affect you. You are the better person.
If anyone reading has been or is being bullied and would love to share your story, you can leave them in the comments below or you can send me an email from the contact page. Something that I would love to do is put together a post of your stories.
I’d love to hear from you.