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Growing Up Being Bullied

bullied

Growing Up Being Bullied

As a child I was bullied, not just a little bit but a lot. I don’t really know how it all began but one incident in particular triggered it off. I had drawn the most amazing piece of art work which the teacher put on the wall. I’d also made a mistake and spelt my name wrong. I wrote Anglea instead of Angela. My teacher pointed this out in front of the whole class and mocked me. I felt humiliated, the children laughed and some of the kids never let me live this down.

childhood

I remember being teased over and over. I was made to feel useless, rubbish and bad. I’m glad my daughter’s teachers are not like this in today’s world. I think standards must have improved over the years but the Teacher I had in my first year of Junior school really took pleasure in bringing me down and making me feel rubbish about myself. It really destroyed my self esteem and confidence.

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The bullying I suffered started off as verbal abuse but soon moved on to threats and physical abuse. I was stabbed with pencils, punched, shoved and kicked. Each school year things worsened. In year 3 a huge chunk of hair was ripped out my head. I was sure I now had the evidence to show I was being hurt, yet the Headteacher simply said I must have been asking for it. The teachers at Dodworth Junior School really harnessed the culture of ย bullying. They enabled this and made young children including myself feel worthless and to blame. As if being bullied was my fault and something was wrong with me.

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When I moved up to high school, I had a new target on my back. Those who moved up with me let everyone know I was the loser from the Junior school and the bullying soon continued. It wasn’t just me, there were certain children who like me were treated the same. High school got incredibly worse. At age 12 I was miserable. I was too scared to go on the school bus and would walk some distance to school to avoid being threatened and hurt.

My high school was pretty notorious. In a rough and tough school I had little chance. My Mother desperately asked for help and we had a meeting where she was told I must have social issues and be the one at fault. Not long after my friend Paula was sprayed with deodorant (on the bus) and set on fire. My friend John was also thrown out of the emergency exit at the back of the bus. I was terrified. What would they do to me?

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My parents announced we were migrating to New Zealand. My mum was born in NZ and we were going to start a new life. This could not come at a better time. We moved when I was 13 years old. I started a new school, Lynfield College in Auckland, New Zealand. My life changed. Lynfield was a much more financially well off area and many of my friends lived in fancy houses, some were like mansions with pools and jacuzzi’s. It was so different to the poor coal mining town of Barnsley where I had lived previously.

I still struggled to fit in with the “girls” who had formed friendships in previous years but I found my place and made friends -mainly boys but we got along and I discovered by moving areas that it was not me who was asking for trouble. It was not me who had a sign on my head saying please bully me, it was the culture and environment I lived in and the attitude of the teachers who simply turned a blind eye and did not care.

At 14 I learnt that I was not the “problem child” the teacher’s had labelled me as. I was normal, I just needed the opportunity to be around people who saw me for me rather than seeing me as the child everyone bullied. ย I stayed on at Lynfield and completed year 6 and 7. I came top in all my subjects and won awards for being an A Grade Student. It didn’t come easy. I had to work hard and I studied all the time to get my University Entrance.

My first year at University was spent in Law School. I was training to become a lawyer. I had a strong sense of Justice, of right and wrong and I wanted to do my part. However in my second year, I made a change. I went on to complete my Degree in English and Education. I then completed a postgraduate diploma in teaching and ended up working as a teacher of younger children.

Bullying is wrong and so often when it does happen, the victim is made to feel powerless, to feel at fault, that there must be something wrong with them. I see the lives now of those bullied when I was younger. I wonder how different things might have been had these children had the chance to know their worth, to see they were so much more than “trouble causers” as our teacher’s labelled us.

Bullying is wrong and sometimes from time to time I come across someone who bullied me. They send a friendly message and say Hi, do you remember me and I think Yes! I remember you and the terrible things you did. It’s like all is forgotten and forgiven! I may forgive but I will never forget my experiences. They are battle scars which are etched in my mind forever.

All I can hope for is a better future for my own child. That she will never be treated the way I was. Sadly from time to time my daughter is bullied due to her mixed heritage, but she has amazing teachers who put a stop to it immediately and I teach my child no matter what anyone says or does, she is of worth, she is precious and valued and I hope that these teachings will help build her and fortify her for the years to come.

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Were you bullied in school? I’d love to here your comments?

66 Comments

  1. Your story is so emotional. I’m really sorry for what you went thru. It’s great that the teachers are stopping the bulling when it comes to your daughter. The teachers are an example and if they do what they have to, the kids will soon learn, this is what I think anyway.

    1. Thanks Anca. I think it’s sad so many went through this in the past and sadly it does still happen today but hopefully as people speak out and more is done against bullying in schools children in today’s world will get a better experience although sadly it may not always be the case.

  2. I was never bullied, nor was I the bully. Someone said to me recently upon finding me on Facebook that I never took any rubbish from people but I stood up for others too. I think I’m the same as an adult.

    Sorry to hear what you went through.

  3. I am so sorry what you went through…
    I was bullied in secondary school….Looking back now it wasn’t too bad. It was just name calling.
    My eldest was bullied a little but the teachers soon put a stop to it. I’m so glad Sylvia’s teachers stopped the bullying too x

    1. It’s not nice to see it happening to loved ones and I’m glad we are in a village where eve when this does take place the teachers are good. Sadly its not the case everywhere.

    1. Sad to hear about your nephew. I have family members cousins who are school age who have been bullied this year and it breaks my heart! It’s not good!

  4. I’m so sorry you went through this when you were younger. It’s great you’ve turned it into a way to stop it happening to any other children though.

  5. I am so sorry to hear what happened to you and to set that poor girl on fire was awful! Bullying can happen to anyone regardless of financial status and i wish more could be done about it!

    1. Thanks Nikki. It was hard to go through as a child and I’m glad I was not set on fire. I agree it happens everywhere in all walks of life and it even happens amongst adults..not just to children.

    1. I totally agree. We had some of the worst teachers in Junior school and the high school ones turned a blind eye. I do know some of those junior teachers eventually got the sack after about 10 years which gave me some satisfaction and one ended up working on the market.

  6. I was bullied in school – I denied it for a long time, but looking back now I can see now that it actually was but as I was going through other things I sort of shrugged it off. x

    1. Sorry to hear that. I think a lot of people were bullied back in the days and I do think its better now but it still happens. I think if we can grow from it and turn our difficult experiences into something good then its not all for nothing.

  7. Bullying is so damaging to kids ๐Ÿ™ my mummy’s sister was bullied in school and as a result she developed mental health problems. I really hope I’m not subjected to it when I grow up. I’m glad you have come out the other end and know what to look out for xx

    1. So sorry to hear this! It’s not nice and can cause long term emotional problems and damage and yes it can affect mental health too as can any form of abuse. ๐Ÿ™

  8. I am yet to write a post upon this and am working out what to say precisely but… I was bullied in primary school, then in secondary school quite badly, followed by college (extreme bullying) and unfortunartly it continued into university (with a physical assault at one point). I never have ever seemed to settle anywhere and I have even found that bullying takes place in the work place as an adult, it has happened in three work places now and I feel almost broken at times.

    I too have received messages on facebook from previously bullies trying to apologise to me, I cant forgive really, why the hell should I?

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you went through this and are still experiencing bullying. It is so wrong and sad to hear it still happens. People can eb so mean. There needs to be more goodness sprinkled everywhere.

  9. I was bullied a bit at school, but it was much less so than you. I’m so sorry that happened to you but glad that changing schools made such a difference.

  10. I am so sorry to hear that you suffered at the hands of bullies but glad that things improved when you moved. Thankfully I was never really bullied, just occasional name calling that happens with kids. The kids schools are brilliant now and stamp it out very quickly

  11. I can’t believe that teachers told you that you were asking for it, that is not how you deal with bullying. I am so sorry that you had to put up with this when you were at school. No one deserves to feel like that x

    1. Thanks Stella. It is sad how the circumstances can teach false beliefs about being worthless and the problem. I think the bully/abuse mentality is that it’s okay to bully and the victim is to blame. Thats how they get away with it and how “bad” teachers rationalise it away!

  12. My awful experience of school and high school and being bullied by teachers and students was one of the things that lead us to looking into home education for my two youngest, my oldest was also bullied by teachers and students too it’s just awful but I’m glad you got at least some good experiences of school when you moved to NZ. I lived there for 6 months when I was younger around 7 years old although I don’t remember much about it, only that we used to do exercises in the morning and our lunch and shopping was in brown paper bags ๐Ÿ™‚ oh and the beaches!

  13. I am sorry you went through all that – how terrible. My childrens secondary school has an awful reputation for bullying – my girls have gone through ok – I hope my boys do too. Some teachers are vile. Even now ๐Ÿ™ Kaz x

  14. I was bullied at school and unfortunately, it tainted my whole school experience. I HATED school and couldn’t wait to leave. I’m so much stronger now… kinda wish I could go back and put the bullies in their place!! xxx

  15. I was bullied during my primary school due to my ‘overweight’ look and luckily overcome it by focusing on being on top of the class, so they can’t look down at me anymore. Hard to imagine, but people like bullies really do exist and makes you wonder why they need to be. I guess, they are there either to break or build you. Let them shape you to be stronger!

    1. Sorry to hear that. Kids can be so mean at times! I realised that many who bullied me were actually from broken homes and probably being treated that way at home too! So i imagine it was their attempt to reclaim the power imbalance from home!

  16. This is absolutely fascinating and I love that moving helped you through the tough times. I was bullied too especially in an East London primary school – it started because I stuck up for another girl who was bullied due to racism and not having enough money (who never thanked me for it by the way) and for years after I was laughed at because my English wasn’t great (being born in Russia, then living in Israel for 6 years). If they can only see me now…
    Anyway, I think it’s horrible and think that teachers can be powerless and think it’s easier to not bother or do anything. Maybe it’s the systems that need to change…? I certainly don’t want my niece growing up being bullied. Thanks for sharing your personal story.

    Alina | DIY blog

  17. What an emotional post. So sorry you went through this. I was bullied when I was very young. Around the age of 5. I remember screaming whilst my mum tried to drag me into school.It was both verbal and physical bullying by the other girl. Finally my parents listened to me and the moved me to a different school. I hope my daughter never goes through the same thing x

  18. I was so sorry to read about the bullying you experienced. I was teased a little, for my shape but never massive amounts of bullying. I am so glad that the move changed your whole life and that your daughter is not facing the issues that you did
    Tx

  19. Thank you for sharing your experience but I am sorry you has to go through that in school. Hopefully this post will help raise awareness and I am so glad that schools have much tighter bullying and discrimination policies now!

    1. Yes there are tighter policies but sadly some schools still have this issue and i have cousins being bullied badly so yes the more awareness the better!

  20. Luckily I wasn’t, very sorry to hear your experience. Great that your daughters teachers are so on top of it all. I’m sure this post will be helpful to others who have experienced similar.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear that you were bullied, it is one of my biggest worries as a parent. Children can be so cruel and even worse these days with social media and the fact that there is no way of escaping these bullies. My sons school has a very strict no bullying policy but even then, they can’t implement that ALL of the time, I just have to hope that my son keeps communicating with me. It’s hard isn’t it? xx

  22. How very sad that you went through this. I’m glad that the fresh start changed all that for you. It’s depressing that it had to come to that, although I do hope you look back on all that and find positivity from it in some way. Hugs to you, you strong’un!

  23. I’m always so angry after read something like that. I was bullied too. It was horrible. Thanks for sharing your story, I think it’s really important that someone speaks out, is what I intend to do on my blog.

  24. What an inspiring post, but I’m sorry you had to go through that as a child. I was bullied mercilessly all the way through my school life and the repercussions lasted well into adulthood xx

    1. They do. I think any form of abuse can have a lasting impact but it is something we can overcome and hopefully empower and help others going through a similar situation.

  25. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I was bullied as a child but strongly believe it shaped me as a person, and even thought it still effects me to this day, I try not to let it. Such a inspiring post. x

  26. i had to read this sad story,sad because myself growing up in a very large family and been the youngest of 10 children we were teased because of the clothes we wore ,our hair,shoes everything.what a lot of the bullies didnt know that was when myself and my 2 older brothers who went to the same school as me went home we got it 10 times worse of our dad for not sticking up for ours elves ,although we did so we got very badly hurt by him too.i look back on my life and i see these bullies now .we are all grown up we have made our lives had our children and settled down but i wonder how they would feel if now they have children they were bullied like they did to myself and my brothers and any other child who didnt fit in in the 80s growing up.i want to go upto them now and say why did you bully me and my brothers when we were younger,why were we treated so differently by you and what did we ever do to you.i now have 4 beautiful children and i worried all the way through school and secondary ,making sure they were ok and thankfully all has been well.xx

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