Friday, 18 November 2016

Bullying: My story

With Anti bullying week coming to a close I’ve had plenty of time this week to reflect on my own childhood experiences. I would say there have been two periods in my life where I have been bullied and one where without realising it, I was the bully.

My first day of school!

In year two of primary school there was a girl in our class who was just different (let’s call her Mary). One of the ‘popular’ girls in our class started this thing where if Mary touched you then you had ‘Mary germs’ the only way to get rid of these germs was to wipe your hands on someone else and say ‘Mary germs no returns’. I can guarantee that Mary knew this was happening. Now for a long time I was Mary’s friend but as more and more people in the class started doing it then I did as well for fear of being left behind and becoming unpopular. Eventually teachers found out and the whole class were sat down and our teacher talked to us about bullying and introduced us to the phrase ‘if you laugh with a bully then you are a bully’. I’m glad to say that after this it stopped and I remember things going back to relative school normality. 'Mary' if you are reading this then I really am sorry that this happened to you.

I was never a slim child, despite attending swimming classes and being on the netball team I just wasn’t slim. A few years ago I picked up some holiday photos from when I was about 8 years old. It was a photo of me in a swimming costume and I was just horrified at how I looked. I was never bullied for my size in school; it was actually my friend’s brother who came up with the nicknames that still makes me wince today. ‘Whale’ was his favourite but ‘Boom’ was the other (that one had a song to go with it).  Because he was my best friend’s brother, there was no escaping it, sadly it caught on a bit, and his mum thought it was amusing and didn’t discourage it as such so it continued. I never really remember it stopping.

The second time I was bullied was year 9 & 10 my parents were splitting up and I threw all my efforts into my school work and I loved English, I loved reading anyway and everything I did in that class I just seemed to be good at it. Of course my classmates weren’t going to let that go unnoticed! Sadly, their constant barrage of name calling and negative comments made me really dread going to a class that I really loved. At that time in my life I really needed something positive to look forward to (we had English pretty much every day) sadly, it became a daily struggle. Luckily in 2010 I got my GCSE results with 2 As in English and I was finally free of those people.

My end of school prom, a few weeks later I would find out those GCSE results.

I hope that by sharing my story it gives you the chance to reflect on your own life. I’m glad bullying has an awareness week, I don’t think it’s something that’s talked about enough in life.

Love,
Laura.

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