As lock down continues, many of us are struggling with things. Whether its financial, jobs or mental health, the pandemic has probably impacted everyone in one way or another.
These strange times give us time to reflect on things and one of the things that I have always supported is anti-bullying. No matter the reasons, no matter who you are, bully is never OK and never justified!
Most importantly, I wanted to do something I have never really done is share the accounts that I have suffered personally in the hope that in some way, I can help others.
As a child I experienced years of bullying for no apparent reason. Many people will probably think that this was at school, but actually it was the street I lived in. For years, teenagers who were much older than me felt it was justified to bully me and family. The relentless bullying, name calling every time we left the house and even from them outside the house shouting names and threats and over the fence whilst we were in the back garden were constant, but not just one person but by many!
What did we do to cause this…..the simple answer is nothing. On regular occasions it resulted in not just name calling but things being thrown and physical contact. There were times my parents would come out to take us in to stop it and would also get abuse thrown at them.
This went on for years and even people who were ‘friends’ soon jumped ship to join in. There were times where I wanted to move away to get away from it all. One of the biggest events was an unprovoked attack by one of the bullies who jumped me whilst I was doing my paper round. Luckily, someone saw it and came out the rescue.
There was the next problem, the bullying then became a feature of my paper round which wasnt even in the area that I lived in, although not overly far off.
For much of this it would be hard to go anywhere for fear of abuse, being followed whilst having names thrown. There was one nickname which they felt was necessary to insult us with time and time again to the point where they would mimic sounds and behaviour of that animal in a bit to bully.
As a child it was hard to comprehend why they did this, the reasons and why our tears and having to stay indoors didnt make them realise their actions were causing hurt. But it made life as a child particularly hard no matter how hard my parents tried, it just never stopped.
The next fear I has was that it would be spread to school and people would find out. Luckily, I went to a different school so that didnt appear to happen.
I am sure that many have experienced something like this but in addition to this I want to remind everyone that some times bullying isnt as obvious as it seems.
In year six I had a teacher who also felt that it was OK to bully and she was the deputy head! In this instance she felt it was OK for me to rub the board clean each day. OK, so that not so unusual right?
How about this, this teacher made me sit at a desk facing away from the rest the class looking out the window. She then put me on different levels of subjects with no support and no time given to help.
Whilst everyone else was able to answer questions, check if they were correct for us three it was entirely different. We were clearly treated differently and for no reason. She then said that I wasnt worth teaching because I would never get anywhere. Why would you say that!
I decided to write about my accounts because I want those who did this to understand just how hurtful it can be and that despite everything, the pain, the upset and everything else I was determined not to let it hold me back.
I hope that responsible read this and understand that what they did was not OK and it was not right and to realise how it felt to be treated in such cruel ways but ultimately, it hasnt stopped me going out there, having a successful career in L&D, Radio, event management and wrestling.
So, if you are being bullied you’re not alone and dont hold yourself back no matter how hard it may be. If you have bullied or you are doing it think about your actions and the trauma it causes.