Friday, 17 April 2015

Dealing with Bullying

Today's post is much different to what I usually write about but, after taking part in the lifestyle blogger Twitter chat last week, I decided that if this post helps one person- it'll be worth sharing.
I was badly bullied in high school, to the point where I nearly had to move schools in order to escape it, and I want to talk about my experiences and how to deal with bullying incidents if they happen to you.

Photos of me from when I was roughly in year seven. Left to right- in Cragside, holiday in France with my dad and sister, with a member of Maximo Park at Split Festival in Sunderland.
I'd had a group of friends from primary school who were all going to the same high school as me and I was really looking forward to it. On my first day, I'd been put in a class with only two people I knew- both of whom had never been particularly kind to me. Some people clearly hated me from the start and I came home from my first day of year seven in tears. I was a late developer and had very wonky teeth, so people made fun of that as well as rolling their eyes or telling me to shut up whenever I spoke/made a contribution in lessons, this is why I'm so quiet and have had problems with anxiety. After this it turned more physical. People threw gluesticks and highlighters off my head in lessons and said I was 'ugly hogface', whilst making Anti-Christ hand gestures at me. This happened most lessons. I told my teacher but she did nothing except ask them if it was true- obviously they said no. It was then me who got in trouble for 'lying'.
I was pushed and shouted at in the corridors and soon most of my friends drifted away from me. There was also this charming boy in my form class who used to open doors near me, slap me in the face and then run away whilst people laughed.
One of the girls who I used to walk to school with used punch and kick me on the way to school and shout at me to 'fight back' and not 'be such a weakling'. This happened for about ten minutes everyday for a couple of years.
Even though all of this was going on around people- no one stood up for me.

Due to constantly having my appearance made fun of, I tried to make myself 'prettier'. I tried using different make-up and styling my hair but ended up so frustrated that I couldn't follow hair tutorials because they always went wrong. I grew so fed up of being made fun of and not being able to alter my 'ugly' appearance that I started 'punishing' myself for being 'unattractive'. I used to scratch at myself with my nails and beat myself with my hairdryer . I cried every morning before school and every night when I got home. I even remember hiding under my bed so I wouldn't have to go to school.
It only got sorted out because my head of year (who we'd told countless times about the bullying and she'd done nothing) went on maternity leave and the replacement head of year let me move forms as well as inflicting consequences to the people who'd bullied me.

This is just a short extract of my experience, but I don't want to dwell on it leave everyone feeling miserable and sorry for me.

How YOU can help

  • If you see someone being verbally or physically abused, get someone to step in, or step in yourself to defend them
  • If you are being bullied/abused depending on how serious it is, either call the Police or just ignore them and walk away. These people get joy from retaliation so if you just laugh it off, then they may grow bored. I know ignoring it is extremely difficult, though. Involving the Police won't work for school problems as it isn't seen as serious, but is the right path for situations like domestic abuse. 
  • If you don't feel comfortable telling someone you know, charities such as Mind and Childline have emails and helplines where you can talk to an expert about how you're feeling. 
  • Spread awareness. The more people who know about these issues, the more people who can help to stop bullying for good

Helplines
Childline

If anyone is feeling down about any of the issues I mentioned and wants someone to talk to, you can email me- hollyoliviacreates@gmail.com

Until next time, 

Holly Olivia x
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6 comments

  1. I didn't take part in the chat today but I just wanted to say, I hope you know how brave you are.for overcoming this and.moving forward from this period in your life. I'm sorry this happened to you but know that you are the strong one!
    Rebecca | The Two Twenty Somethings
    Xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I won a award from my old school last year for my blog and I had to go up in front of everyone to collect it, which was really awful and scary but felt amazing afterwards, because I'd shown everyone that I was bigger than them and had achievied things.

      Holly Olivia x

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  2. I suffered from a small amount of bullying while i was at school. Its a terrible thing to happen to you but at the end of it you become a stronger person. Sadly, I feel for the bully as they usually have issues and thats why they act out. Just got to remember you are the strong one for not turning your pain onto someone else.

    Jenn | Enter my Prairie Charms giveaway!

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    Replies
    1. It really is awful! I read somewhere that a third of teenagers bully someone everyday, which is a scary statistic. Some of the people I had issues with, now have other problems which shows what you said about them turning their pain on others!

      Holly Olivia x

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  3. Well done for writing this post, it must have taken a lot of courage! People really do need to realise they can help when they see someone being bullied!

    www.saltandchic.com // UK Fashion Blog

    You could win a pair of brogues worth £85 in my giveaway! Enter here

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! People do need to take it seriously as it can ruin people's lives and confidence. I also used to get comments made about my weight a lot so I still don't feel comfortable wearing things with short sleeves as my arms are so skinny.

      Holly Olivia x

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