I would run home from school. Hide away when I was at home. I was scared to go outside. I was afraid to walk to and from school knowing I would likely bump into them.
The bullies took over my life. I was skipping school. I was keeping myself to myself and shying away from my friends. They had no clue. They didn’t know what I was going through.
From reception to college
It felt like it never stopped. From the injury in reception class I told you about in my last post (you can read about it here) to the fear of wearing shorts during PE and any out of school sports clubs I was part of, because I knew being super skinny was seen as a reason to target me.
I was so glad when I left education. I couldn’t cope. The bullying dissolved whatever soul I had left and turned me into someone I didn’t like. I was a smiley child. I was someone who loved being with others, but the fear of being seen by anyone I knew would bully me, ruined my life. It ruined my childhood.
The more and more I was attending school, the worse the bullying got. I loved primary school, but the bullying overshadowed this. I was called names. I had hot drinks/food thrown at me. I had my school chair lifted from underneath me.
I didn’t need this. With everything else that was happening in my life, I didn’t need this. I needed help. I needed someone. I needed someone to listen. I was fearing for my life and fearing I was going to lose my family members.
I had to become untouchable
I needed to stand up for myself. I needed to be the person I was. When I left school and struggled to find the person I was, I gave my time to others. This is a big reason why this blog is so centred around using my story to help others.
Helping others helped me
Volunteering saved my life. It gave me a reason to use the bullying and have a voice. The voice you all now read/hear today.
The bullying may have seen me attempt to run away from home, become reliant on my home as an escape (when I was there) and judge the person I was, but I needed to go through it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t experience this.
Volunteering was a way for me to understand this. It was a way for me to be able to turn something bad that happened to me and use it as a guide for others to seek help, to speak up and to embrace the traits and flaws that were used as targets.
Helping others gave me a sense of freedom. I have a voice so open I can be who I am. I’m free of what happened. I’m free of those who decided to torment me and make me feel small.
Just before I moved to Leicester, I bumped into my bullies.
“Hey John! Wow, haven’t you gotten big!” – Whilst they laughed, I smiled and moved on.
Bullying has no place. Those bullies have no meaning to me. I live the life I want. I’m the person I always wanted to be. All they do is give me motivation to help someone.
I’ll always remember
I will always remember what happened to me and how I felt. From the names about my teeth pointing out and I was underweight, the fact I was a mummy’s boy (still am and proud) and because I was a popular kid in primary school; those experiences are now influences. They’re no longer dark moments. They’re my light. They’re light for others.
I’m not the same person. I’ve grown up. My voice will continue to shout-out about the experiences. I’ll continuing standing proud to have gotten through it.
Bullying is shit! It’s not a nice feeling.
If you’re being bullied, remind yourself that you are worthy and you can have control. Speak to someone close to you. Write down your feelings. Don’t be on your own.
I defied my bullies and I know you can too!