If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that a while ago I did a post about bullying. You can read that post HERE. Before the start of this year, I had never experienced bullying before. I now realise how lucky I was. Bullying is such a horrible thing to go through and is a topic that is very close to my heart. Some people don't even realise bullying is still going on, they roll their eyes and just think the victim can't take a joke and needs to lighten up.
This is not the case at all! Bullying can happen for so many different reasons. It can build up gradually or happen suddenly. It can get better and then worse. Some people are affected more than others, but nonetheless, it's this an important topic that needs to be talked about. Being bullied can make you feel alone, vulnerable and scared. It's a really unpleasant thing to have to go through and can really knock your confidence. No one should have to go through bullying. Period.
Although I have talked about my personal experience with bullying before, bullying can take so many shapes and forms, with so many people being affected differently. Which is why I wanted Severina to share her personal experience with bullying, for this week's #SpeakUp post. Severina is so brave for sharing her story; I'm so proud of her for overcoming such a hard point in her life and still managing to see the positives. I really admire her for this. I hope you find this post helpful or reassuring if you are going through something similar right now. You are not alone and worth so much more than the bullies words.
Hello, my name is Severina! For the speak up campaign; I want to share with you a topic which is very close to my heart and a topic which is perfect for this campaign, bullying.
We are all taught what it’s like to be bullied and the signs to look out for if someone is being bullied. Throughout school we are constantly taught what it’s like to be bullied, the signs to look out for if someone is being bullied and that bullying is wrong. We all know someone who has been bullied or gone through bullying ourselves. However, despite this and schools having anti-bullying policies, bullying is still a major problem in school and people don’t often realise the devastating consequences it can have on the victim.
I was bullied ever since I joined secondary school until I left secondary school (5 years in total) and being bullied was one of the worst things that happened to me. I felt worthless and alone. However, I learnt a lot from being bullied and I want to share and use my experience to help others who might be in a situation I was in. The 3 most common forms of bullying are; physical, mental and emotional bullying. I mainly went through emotional and mental bullying; I was fortunate in the sense that I never experienced physical bullying.
I was always the “odd on out”, your classic misfit. I didn’t have a huge group of friends, and I didn’t feel like I fitted in. Unfortunately, this made me vulnerable, and I was an easy target for people to go for.
It started out just as little things, people who snigger when they would have to sit next to me in lessons, I was always left without a partner and when I was paired up with someone they would often groan or laugh to their friends. I was called names such as freak, rat (before I had braces I had crooked teeth) and I was repeatedly told I had no friends and that no one liked me. This repeatedly happened throughout lower school.
When I moved up into Year 10 things became a lot worse, and I was bullied in several of my classes, those two years of doing my GSCE’s were the worst years of being bullied. I have a naturally bubbly personality so at times (without meaning to) I can be loud, I also like trying to get on with everyone so I would try and talk to different people. However people saw this as annoying, and people began to bully me for that. I was repeatedly told that I just annoy everyone and that no one likes me. People also pretended to be my friend just so they could laugh about me with their friends, behind my back. Even worse, when people knew I was being bullied, they said I deserved to be bullied and that it was my fault for being annoying.
“There’s a part of me I can’t get back, a little girl grew up too fast”:
All of this started to have a huge impact on my wellbeing. My confidence and self- esteem was destroyed, I really hated myself, and I began wishing I was a different person in the hope that it would end. I would frequently lock myself in the toilets and break down crying, and I would often cry myself to sleep at night. I stopped talking in class and wouldn’t participate at all. During these two years, I hit rock bottom as I was constantly feeling down and school was upsetting me.
Two years on, I’ve now finished college, ready to hopefully start university in September. When I got to college, I was no longer bullied, and I was finally free. I was a lot happier at college, and my esteem and confidence slowly came back. However, I still dealt with the repercussions of being bullied and I’m aware of the long lasting effect it’s had on me. I sometimes get scared talking to people, especially if the conversation isn’t going anywhere, as I’m worried that people don’t like more or that I’m annoying them.
Despite going through awful, dark times I did manage to stay positive and look on the positive side of things:
Teachers began to notice I wasn’t feeling myself and that I was being bullied. Over the years I’ve had some incredibly lovely and supportive teachers who helped me when I got bullied. I was lucky as these teachers did everything they could in order to help me and to stop me from being bullied.
I learnt who my true friends were. Despite being bullied and not having many friends, there was always someone who would stick up for me. I had friends who I could always talk to, and they did everything they could to try and help me
Being bullied made me stronger and it shaped me into the person I am today. I now try my best not to let people walk over me, and I wouldn’t tolerate anyone who thinks they can treat me like dirt. I know I don’t deserve it, so I won’t stand for it.
Being bullied was awful, I felt worthless and alone. However I learnt a lot from being bullied, and I want to share and use my experience to help others who might be in a situation I was in.
I learnt that kindness is everything. I’m always kind to everyone, and I would never be deliberately horrible to anyone. I also look out for others as well because no one should ever have to go through what I went through.
To anyone being bullied here’s the advice I would give:
Tell someone! You might feel frightened or that no one will help you, but it is SO SO important that you tell someone the situation you are in. Tell a family member; a trusted adult or a teacher. Schools have a duty of care and anti-bullying policies which they must follow; they will do something to help you and stop the bullying.
People’s opinions don’t define who you are- No matter how many names you get called or what people think of you, it doesn’t define the person you are. You are so much more! You’re an incredible person, so unless it’s nice, ignore what people say about you.
It doesn’t last forever- You might currently be going through hell and become better and you gradually, move on.
A message to everyone: I know everyone says this, and it’s something most people roll their eyes at but PLEASE PLEASE remember a joke is only funny if everyone finds it funny (including the person on the receiving end of the joke). There is an incredibly fine line between having a laugh and laughing at the expense of someone else. If you repeatedly laugh at someone and make jokes about them, which they don’t find funny, you’re not joking; you're a bully. On that note NEVER EVER use the excuse “I didn’t mean it, it was only a joke”. I get so angry whenever I hear that phrase because you clearly did mean it. Also look out for your peers, if you see someone being bullied protect them and make them feel included, it may seem a small thing to go, but this will make such a BIG AND POSITIVE difference to the person being bullied.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and it had helped educate you about the devasting effects of bullying. Not only that but has provided you some advice if you witness or go through bullying yourself. Severina and I are happy to support and listen to you if you are experiencing bullying right now. Please do not go through it alone.
Thank you for reading, as always x