Today I'm doing a blogpost which I've been debating whether to do or not for almost a year now. It's very personal and I wasn't sure if I should be sharing this all with the World Wide Web let alone the many people from school who read my blog - Hello hello I shall see you's in September. As you can guess from today's blogpost I'm talking about bullying and I've decided to separate bullying and depression into two blogposts because they are both quite important. In this blogpost I'm gong to share my bullying experience and some advice with you's. A slight disclaimer before I begin, Like I said before, alot of people I know in real life know about my blog and might come across this and if anyone from my old school reads this I just want to say that not everyone there was like some of the unnamed people I talk about, Infact there was alot of friendly people I wish I could've got to know better. And finally, If you are one of the bullies and are offended by this well I hope you understand how offended I was by your actions.
I really wanted to discuss bullying today because alot of my readers are around the same age as me so to be honest any of my readers could be experiencing bullying right now. I don't want to care about what people think of me anymore, I don't even care if I get crap from anyone for writing this blogpost because this blogpost could help someone. Also one last thing mild swearing warning. Yes I do swear in real life sometimes although never on my blog, but sometimes swear words are necessary like this situation so I hope you's are not offended by my mild bad language. By the way I often refer to the person being bullied as the "victim".
So lets start off with the question "Why do people bully ?". Well there's are three answers to this question.
One is because the victim is different. Their skin's a different pigment or they have a different accent, They dress differently or maybe they wear glasses, They have an usual hobby, They're intelligent or not very bright, They're curvy or petite, Their hair, Their sexuality, Their family, The list goes on & basically the bully decides that they don't like that you're different or eccentric so they're going to make your life a living hell. We look like sheep already in our school uniforms and what not, but when we have to put up with being expected to "fit in" and being given crap when we're not ? That's taking the biscuit tbh.
Answer two is if you're an "easy target". You might be shy, Very polite, Have low self esteem or be "passive" and from the bullies' point of view you're manipulative, Easy to take advantage of and make fun of and hurt. This is so wrong and speaking from experience it's in my opinion one of the worst reasons to be bullied for because you're often too afraid to tell a teacher if you're this type of person. Please remember that bullying is NEVER your fault and do not let ANYBODY tell you it's your fault as a result of being "passive" and "not standing up for yourself" because it's not.
Answer three is that the bully has their own problems, Which is usually the case. Maybe the bully has mental health problems or disorders like ADHD and if this is the case your school or wherever has no excuse not to solve the problem and also the bully is more likely to realise why their actions were wrong and apologise. The bully might also have problems at home. I find that in most cases of bullying I've heard of and witnessed that the bully most likely has low self esteem themselves and is bullying and bringing other people down because they want to be "accepted" and become more popular. And by the way Mean Girls situations happen in real life. Sometimes girls in particular think they're better than everyone else and think its ok to patronise and laugh at you. It's not.
I thought that I'd briefly share my bullying experience with you's although it will be probably end up being like four paragraphs long !
So I started secondary school (in First Year.) in September 2011 not too long ago when I was 12 and a half and I decided to take a risk and go to a completely different school to everyone I knew and it was a relatively new school that had about 60 students in my year. The month before school began, most of my year found each other on Facebook through a page someone set up so when I went in on my first day I went in with a positive attitude that I was going to be confident and not shy & I ate lunch with a group of girls some of which I'd chatted to on Facebook. To explain things quickly, At the start of the year none of the girls & lads sat together except a group who went to primary school together & there were two groups of girls. The politest way I can put it is that the girls I sat at lunch with sometimes seemed to think they were better than the rest of us. Slowly that group got bigger because girls from the other group joined in and my self confidence was gone because it was clear from the first few days that I wasn't really wanted in the group, Some of their attitudes & personalities weren't very nice and I was basically following them like a sheep and was patronised alot especially when I stood up for myself when the patronising and mean jokes got too far. I was sick of it the patronising the fact a few of them always made excuses to avoid me and eventually I stopped hanging around with them.
I began eating lunch with numerous other people but I still couldn't understand why some of the people in the school were so rude. They'd blank me on the corridor when I'd say hello or it would be ok to talk to me in class but at lunchtime I was invisible. One Saturday night that October I was texting Lucy after midnight, who was my only best friend at the time, and all of a sudden I started getting calls calls and more calls from a random number. I can still remember texting her to say that if I didn't reply it was because I was afraid that I'd answer the calls by accident. I tell my mam everything and by the following Tuesday I couldn't bottle it up any longer, I told her and she listened to the voice messages which were like 'Grace you will die tomorrow night' or 'hello can I talk to Grace -mysurname- please' in a mockery English posh accent which I got taken the piss out of for sometimes (I have a slight twinge Dublin accent because my mam's dublinese. The teases didn't bother me though it was nothing bad.) and there was also giggles in the backround. The silly people didn't have private number on so we went straight to the Gardai with it because we knew it was probably one of the girls from school, but to this day we still don't who did it. I changed my number after this but as you'll soon find out I thought I trusted certain people and stupidly gave them my new number.
As the year went on I tried making new friends. There was one or two people I was getting to know but I stopped hanging around with them because they were being discriminative against some types of people, and other things they said I didn't agree with because I knew it was wrong. I guess she decided that she didn't like me for this because she and her friends often made my life miserable when nobody was around. I made some lovely friends but they weren't in my base class so I didn't get to see them very often and I sometimes didn't hang around with them at all because I was afraid they might end up not liking me either, because I basically had and have 0% self esteem. Most of my lunchtimes were spent in my base classroom, my class tutor would sometimes come in and yell at me for eating in the classroom and threaten me with notes or detentions so I'd eat my lunch in the toilets then. The teachers just got used to me eating alone in the classroom ! When I was on the corridors without my friends two of the girls that didn't like me would jeer saying "Hiii Grace" in a mockery voice. Once one of them took the other girl's phone and pretended she was her & texted me saying telling me liked my hair and other compliments. The girl who owned the phone texted me later saying that it wasn't her earlier and also that she didn't even like my hair - I felt so humiliated. I felt even more embarrassed when I later found out that they had been at a sleepover with several other girls. At this stage I felt done - I felt like everyone hated me so I just hid in the classroom or toilets every lunchtime. I was one of the people who worked in the school tuck shop & people often thought they could take advantage of me by pretending they'd thrown in the money to pay for pot noodles and whatever because they thought I was gullible. There was nothing I could do, I got so annoyed that one day I went and told the teacher in charge of the tuck shops who then came around the classes and warned everyone over not throwing in coins or pretending you had. Everyone knew I'd 'ratted' but I didn't even care anymore. I began feeling even more depressed than I usually did and my meltdowns became almost daily. After my sports day I felt so down I stayed at home the next day and told my parents I wanted to move because I hated school and I didn't want to go to the school I was in anymore.
After that I forgot about wanting to move. I couldn't concentrate or study so I did very badly in my summer exams. In June I bought a Blackberry because everyone in school had one & chatted on BBM so I thought I'd make friends through that. BBM caused more shit than before and made my life hell. People were nice to me the first few days but soon things went back to normal because leopards don't change their spots. I had BBM just over a week and I'd already blocked two girls. "Grace I thought you were nice" my ass, I wasn't putting up with shit anymore. After I blocked those two girls myself and my family decided I was going to move schools. My mam had already suggested this at Christmas but I'd told her I would stick it out but I had given up putting up with everything and it was time I got out of the hellhole. Luckily I got into the school where all my friends are but I wasn't allowed to tell everyone until I officially found out in August. Before that I'd put up a BBM status saying I couldn't wait to find out the news in August and people from school got annoyed when I wouldn't tell them what the news was.
When I started my new school the next month, in September I got alot of backlash from people from my old school. I had deleted a good few of people, but I soon found out that they could contact me other ways using my BBM pin calling me names like "bitch" and other things. Obviously things were being said around the old school because even some of the people from my old school who I kept on BBM, cos I thought they were harmless, sent me mean messages. Something as simple as putting up a BBM status about how excited I was cos I could finally do my eyeliner "#fkdyspraxia"resulted in messages like "oh I bet you're very happy with yourself" - it was silly and immature. I ended up deleting BBM and blocking most of them on Facebook. Some people can be so immature. They might've thought it was only a bit of jeering, a bit of fun, nothing serious at the time but since I went to that school my self esteem has dropped to zero and has never risen, I've always got bouts of depression but since then most of the time I feel depressed. Maybe it's not just all because of First Year, but alot of it is. The worst thing is that the teachers never did anything about the bullying which irritates me so much because I know that I wasn't the only one getting shit from those girls. And I suppose I still remember everything like I'm still there, putting my twin block retainer in in the toilets, but I really need to forget it like it never happened.
I'm not great for advice but I thought I'd share a few tips for people experiencing bullying.
One is please please tell someone. If you don't feel comfortable going straight to the school about the issue tell someone at home whether its a parent or a sibling who can then monitor the situation and help you through it and tell the school if the bullying is getting worse. I told my mam everything all along there was no incident she and my dad didn't know about and my parents went into the school about the situation numerous times.
Two is make it hard for the bully to bully you. There is safety in numbers if you're around other people especially if the bully feels those people will judge them for bullying they won't go near you especially if they care about their popularity and whatsoever. The bully is more likely to intimidate and tease you when you are alone and they are surrounded by people who think they're funny when they give people shit. Also don't give your number to people you don't 100% trust or give the bullies access to your social networking sites if you think you are being bullied.
Finally three is not to change yourself to avoid being bullied. I was stupid enough to buy a particular phone just to fit in. Don't start dressing a certain way start a different hobby wear more makeup or stop wearing makeup just to fit in. Also if you're being bullied for making YouTube videos or blogging please don't quit just to please the bullies therefore letting them win. Think about it if you've fifty, One hundred, One thousand or ten thousand followers or subscribers then think of those numbers compared to the bullies. They're no comparison. Excuse my really bad language here but F**K THEM ok who cares about what everyone else is doing or not doing. Who gives an apple and an orange about what everyone else thinks of you. Pick the people who like you for yourself who YOU are over those who consistently judge you and give you crap.
Bullying is wrong and although it will never become extinct altogether we can make cases become extinct. If you see someone being constantly jeered at, Shunned, Made fun of online and its not just banter and it's clearly bullying make the brave move and do something about it. Tell a teacher you trust, Find the person alone and ask if they're ok and encourage them to tell someone who can deal with the situation or if you're confident enough confront the bully yourself while the incident is happening. There are many things we can all do to stop people getting bullied online and in our schools. Personally I think we should be educated a bit more about what bullying is what is isn't could you be a bully, etc. but that's just my opinion. I see bullying sometimes in school and I know it's not 'banter' or 'just a joke' because you don't have 'banter' or 'friendly jokes' with someone you hate - like do you think we're all thick saying "ah I'm only messing" - but I genuinely don't have the confidence to speak up even though I know it's wrong which I feel bad about. The worst thing is that some of this teasing and jeering is just accepted by everyone as if it's normal ! As much as its none of my business, No matter how many classes there are on the matter bullying is often just accepted and generalised. It annoys me so much, people don't understand how their actions can affect someone. They don't even care how cruel their "joke" was, everyone just gets used to the same people getting the same shit from the same people day in day out. Sorry for that rant, It's just that people are often bullied right before your eyes and you don't even realise it's occurring.
I hope this blogpost helped some of you's or encouraged you to take action against bullying avoiding it occurring to yourself or others. I hope none of my readers ever have to go through bullying because honest to god nobody deserves it. As always my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
if you need to talk.
See you's soon,