Bullying: A Real Story

Sticks and stones…

I haven’t thought about this for 15 years. I have buried it deep down so that I never have to deal with the pain. The feelings I felt all that time ago have shaped who I am today. They are the reason I hesitate before entering a room. They are the reason I am too shy to talk to new people. They are the reason I doubt myself most days.

I was bullied.

I always loved school as a young child. I wouldn’t ever say I was a popular child, I mean I had plenty of friends but as I worked hard in lessons I was classed as a ‘boffin’. This didn’t bother me at all, even as a teenager I wasn’t especially interested in going to parties etc.. I was happy with who I was.

Towards the end of year 9 my whole world changed. I can clearly remember the day it all happened. I was in P.E. and a friend of mine was joking around with another girl in the class. The girl (H) had special educational needs, something to do with social interaction from what I could understand at that age. They were good friends but at one point I think H misunderstood the situation and got a bit upset.

Later that day another girl (S) came to find me, Chinese whispers had led her to believe it was me who had upset H. Taking the law into her own hands she wanted to come and set me straight! I am not really sure what came over me but instead of sensibly telling her it wasn’t me I pushed her out of the way and ran off upset.

push me

Over the next few weeks it became apparent that everybody knew what had happened. People would try to push me or trip me up as I walked along the corridors. Vicious rumours were started and people would whisper behind my back. I was still ok though, most of the people involved were not in my lessons and so as long as I was careful I could avoid most situations.

In the September I started year 10, I had chosen my subjects for my GCSE’s and was excited to start my new classes. One of those subjects was drama- guess who was in my class? As soon as I walked in my heart sank.  I was going to have to spend 4 hours a week with the one person I had been trying to avoid.

If I am honest I have blocked most of that time out of my memory. I am sure it is buried in there somewhere but at almost 15 years later I have managed to forget. A couple of memories remain, some of my darker days.

I would dread every single drama lesson, especially as they were always doubles so that meant 2 hours in her company. Somehow she had managed to turn the whole class against me and nobody ever wanted to work with me. If I was placed in a group they would ignore me and give me the worst parts to play.

Two of my so called friends were in the class with me and in one particular lesson we had to act out scenes from Blood Brothers. I was playing the part of Mrs Lyons- if you know it I was acting out the part when she goes a bit crazy! I was half way through the monologue and I froze, I completely forgot my lines! I looked to the side of the stage where my ‘friends’ were standing with the script. I looked for help but they just laughed. I was alone.

The isolation spread further than school too. Those same ‘friends’ were part of a group of 6 girls I was in. We would always go from sleepovers for birthdays and one time we were all watching a movie and eating popcorn and I went to sit on the sofa. One of the girls kicked me in the stomach and told me to sit on the floor. We had been friends for years! I was heartbroken and rang my dad to come get me straight away.

soul

My own personal hell went on for 9 months, I didn’t tell a single soul. My mum knew something was wrong but I just told her I was fine. I couldn’t see a way out of it when I had people telling me to my face that I was fat and ugly every single day. I knew I had to go to school and I so badly wanted to work hard but I was miserable.

One drama lesson I finally snapped. I had been put in a group and we were sitting in a circle dishing out parts. One boy turned to me, chucked me a tie and said ‘you can play a boy part cos you are so ugly!’ I’m not sure why that was the final straw but I burst into tears and ran out of the hall. I would have run home except I had no shoes on (we always had to take them off during drama lessons).

As I sat sobbing in the toilets the door opened and guess who came in? The one person who had started it all. She was very concerned that I was being bullied! I was in so much shock I wasn’t able to talk. All I wanted to do was scream at her – you did this! This has all be because of you!!!

That night I broke down in front of my mum. I explained everything that had been going on and she was devastated. The next morning she rang the school and explained everything. They wanted to hold a meeting between everyone involved. In who’s world is that ever ok? It certainly wasn’t ok with me and I put my foot down, saying I would not return to school unless I could move out of that class. In the end I had to transfer to food technology, most boring subject ever but at least I was free of those girls.

Year 11 was easier, I didn’t have to see any of those directly involved but it seemed like the whole school had turned against me. Nothing was ever directly said or done to me again but I knew I had nobody. My confidence was zero and I hated myself.

The phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words shall never hurt me’ is total nonsense. Words do hurt, they cut you deep and stay with you forever.

I will be broken forever.

cut you

November 3rd marks the start of anti bullying month. Were you a victim of bullying? If you are writing any bullying posts then tag me on Twitter @WhatKatySaidUK and I will retweet and share them on my Facebook page.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenna
    November 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I’m so sorry this happened to you Katy. I was bullied in secondary school too, to the point where I barely bothered turning up. Needless to say, I failed most of my GCSEs. The thing that really pisses me off now? When those evil cows try to friend me on Facebook like never happened! Over my dead body!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    • Reply
      Katy
      November 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Oh I know!! I honestly believe they don’t even realise what they did! The ‘friend’ I mentioned tried so many times to add me I had to block her in the end!! Idiots!!

  • Reply
    Helen
    November 9, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I totally feel your pain! I used to think that I was totally alone in being bullied but as I get older and I realise more that bullying is so much more common than we think, I think the bullies are in the minority but yet they have so much power!!!

    • Reply
      Katy
      November 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      I know, their power grows with fear. When I look back on it now I am not angry at the bully though- I am angry at the people who let it happen, especially those I used to call friends. Sorry to hear you were bullied too- but you are right, we are not alone x

  • Reply
    Jenni - Baby Chaos
    November 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I too was bullied, having moved schools a couple of times due to my parents work, and having to deal with being the ‘new girl’ doesn’t help confidence and sadly there were those who picked up on that and well…bullying is awful.
    It is so sad that there are very few people who haven’t been bullied at some point in their life… schools need to be better at dealing with it.

    • Reply
      Katy
      November 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Schools definitely need to be better at dealing with it! The fact they wanted me to sit in a room with them all makes me feel ill! It would have made it 100 times worse! I don’t know what the answer is but there definitely needs a new way of thinking! xx

  • Reply
    Honest Mum
    November 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    This post and what you went through made me so sad, school and kids can be so cruel. I hated high school so much, I wasn’t popular and was totally misunderstood. I was deeply unhappy and it took years and years to get over it all. Sixth form was amazing, I had lots of real friends and uni too but school and how you are made to feel stays with you for a long time. Thanks for sharing this difficult post, it really touched me x

    • Reply
      Katy
      November 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Writing this has made me realise how many people have been bullied at one point or another. At the time you feel so alone but so many people feel the same loneliness. I cannot believe you went through it too, the fact you are so popular now is testament to how lovely you are and I really hope that those bullies look on and feel ashamed of the way they treated you. Either way, you won as you have a lovely family and a lovely life. xx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    November 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Darling Katy. I just want to give you the most massive hug. How could anyone be so cruel to you? You are the loveliest person. I was bullied badly at school and university. And you are completely right, words do hurt. They can scar as much as any “sticks or stones” can. And sometimes the scars run deeper. but hopefully words can heal too. So know this. You are awesome, wonderful and beautiful. I am so glad that I met you. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Reply
      Katy
      November 29, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Aww you made me cry. I wish we could have been at school together. Lovely words from lovely people can help to heal those scars. Thank you for your comment, I am so glad I got to meet you too! We definitely all need to organise a get together. x

  • Reply
    MummyandMonkeys
    December 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Aww Katy this is so sad 🙁 girls can be really, really horrible. I wouldn’t want to go back to secondary school again. I was bullied for a while, not to the same extent, but I stood up for myself once and a girl took offence. She would occasionally make her group be horrible to me. I was skinny and a lot of the girls in my year would say horrible things and call me names about it. Keep your head high! They can’t hurt you anymore :)) xx

    • Reply
      Katy
      December 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you, I’m sorry you were bullied too- and for the same reason- standing up for yourself! You are right though, they can’t hurt us now x

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    December 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Oh darling, I completely sympathie. I was bullied too. It was horrendous. Nasty girls. If I was your friend at school I would have protected you. That’s what got me in to trouble. I think you are beautiful inside and out and you make my sides hurt. Such a wonderful lady. Mwah xxxxxx

    • Reply
      Katy
      December 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Aww thanks Kat, you are so lovely I wish we lived closer to each other!! We really do need to organise a get together! x

  • Reply
    Finding My Purpose in Life - What Katy Said
    January 14, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    […] timetable, having homework etc kept me on track and got me through the every days. Even when I was being bullied I was able to focus on my school work and it kept me sane. I worked hard and got the results I […]

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Aw, I wish I could give you a massive hug. So horrible you went through this. I was never really bullied at school, so can’t imagine what a living hell you must have experienced. It would break my heart to know.if either of my girls every went through something like this x

    • Reply
      Katy
      January 20, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      That is my fear Karen, I want to make sure I give them every opportunity to do things that will make them sociable and happy in a group. Not that I want them to be super popular but I know my mother dressed me in rubbish clothes and wouldn’t let me shave my legs etc and it didn’t do me good 🙁

  • Reply
    Fiona @ Free Range Chick
    January 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Secondary school can be such a scary place. Children can be so inexplicably cruel and it isn’t fair. I was never bullied – I was lucky. Your story makes me worry about my children and their experiences of school when it is their turn. I wrote a post this week about a girl who was murdered because of the way she looked. It was about the importance of teaching children tolerance and acceptance. It is one step beyond bullying, although I’m sure that the thugs that killed Sophie Lancaster were also bullies. I clearly missed anti-bullying week, but it is so important to still spread the message about anti-bullying and tolerance. I hope you feel some way towards healed following your horrible secondary school bullying. Take care xx

    • Reply
      Katy
      January 22, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Thank you Fiona, I worry about my girls too. I hate that I cannot shelter them at school but I will do my best to make sure they are given the strength to deal with whatever comes their way and let them know I will always be there for them x

  • Reply
    Our Story- Together at last! - What Katy Said
    February 4, 2015 at 9:08 am

    […] home knowing that I would have a boyfriend to go back to. As someone who grew up an ugly duckling, bullied at school, this was the most amazing feeling […]

  • Reply
    Happy Birthday to Me - What Katy Said
    March 3, 2015 at 7:38 am

    […] finally feel like I am able to be me, comfortable in my own skin. As a teen I was bullied and had such low self esteem. I felt as though I would never meet anyone who would love me for me, […]

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