I was going to film a YouTube video about bullying, but in a weird way it felt wrong. I’m not too sure why, but putting my fingers to the keys and just seeing what comes out feels more real and feels like I’m actually getting it out of my system.
During my school years I was bullied. Not as badly as many people, and definitely very different to what people go through these days with the online world adding a constant reminder of what you’re going through, but still, it was bullying and it broke me, but also made me.
In some ways I was my own worst enemy back in school, I just REALLY wanted to be liked. But I wanted to be liked by the ‘popular girls’. It wasn’t enough to just have a few friends, I craved the acknowledgement from particular people which is very sad, but it was what it was.
When I was at school I had a pretty tough time for a couple of years. People would spit on me on the school bus. My so called “friends” could pretend to not be on the bus, so that I’d miss it, wait for the next and then sit on my own. They’d draw nasty pictures of me and pass it around the classroom. They’d spread rumours about me saying nasty things about other people, in order to turn more people against me. And they asked girls from another school to find me during the weekend and “beat me up” – the latter never actually got further than a few pushes and a couple of hits, but at the age of 13/14, this was all pretty shit to have to deal with.
I didn’t tell my parents or the teachers through fear of being a grass or seeming even weaker than they already thought I was, so I just went along with it for a while. I was very lucky to have another group of friends outside of school, so they took me in and let me become part of their group… a group of girls who have now become some of my best friends.
The main antagonist in my bullying ended up taking it too far and others started to turn against her. And this is where my sorry comes into it. As a young girl, the bullying broke me, but when it was over it made me stronger and for a while, too strong. In some ways maybe I wasn’t as welcoming to people after that. I was scared and closed-off after the bullying, so it was easier to not be very forthcoming with other girls in my year, so to anyone I dismissed I am truly sorry. In an ideal world I’d have tried to stop any bullying that happened to the people who made my life hell, but back then I was bitter and wanted her to understand what it felt like. But I was young and have learned a hell of a lot since then. Through all of this I did find the most incredible group of friends, people I trust, love and laugh with constantly. People who make me feel good.
I’m one of the lucky ones, I think. Yes, I was bullied, but I got a happy ending. I have incredible friends and I have come so far in my life that I am able to forgive anyone who bullied me and want to apologise to anyone I was ever dismissive towards. There are so many people out there who are still struggling with the bullies and need kind people around them. If anyone reading this is one of those people I just want to say that I may not know you, but in a way I am by your side, as is everyone before you who went through something similar. You are not alone and the best thing you can do now is to talk about it. I wish so much that I had told my parents, not so they’d go into school or start ringing the parents of people I was in school with, but because they’re my parents and sometimes I just really needed a hug and for someone to say “it’s going to get better”. Whether it’s your parents, a friend or even a doctor maybe, just know that you’re not alone.
Love, Cat x