Emilys' Story + Advice

So from the start of junior school up until my last years of school I was bullied, verbally and physically. I never did anything to cause problems, I was very shy and and pretty normal looking kid. Through 8 schools in 2 different countries you would think that maybe the bullying would stop, but it didn't, same stuff different place really. No need to get into detail as if you are reading you probably have the general idea, but the worst time was when I moved to the UK (I am from Australia). It was the first time in ages I had seen my parents and brother happy and enjoying themselves, so  the thoughts of suicide and running away I kept to myself. Being quite young (about 14) I wasn't very clear of what was happening in my own mind, so I just kept pushing it back. I kept changing schools, I lived with other family in Australia for a while but was still experiencing problems.

Since leaving school, my self esteem and ability to talk to people is still very low, it takes me a long time to be able to get comfortable with people and my shyness is often mistaken by people who think I don't want to socialise. I still get into depression blocks where no matter whats happening, no matter how good my life is (once I was in Paris!) I am still miserable and unable to talk to people without feeling angry or upset. The anxiety and depression I suffer is part of me, and if my schooling/bullying experiences had been different I would be in a different place, but I am who I am, I can't change I can only make it better. In the last year and a half I have changed a lot of things from my diet, social groups, environment, anything to make things better, little steps little changes make a big difference. The biggest advice I can give is to travel, after finishing school I said no to uni and jobs and decided to see the world, it was the best decision of my life, the people you meet are great, the places and cultures are amazing and in a way it takes the stress, worry out of life and makes you look at things beyond.

I think what kids these days need to learn about bullying is that yes, it will always happen, theres no stopping it. But what can be done is teaching kids to stand up for themselves, be heard and be strong. I wasn't and 7 years later I am still affected by it. The other thing is to understand why bullies act the way they do, they themselves are often in a situation of their own and bullying can be an action from that, or they are just dicks, but hey...

Moral of the story is, bullying experience can be shit, absolute fucking shit, whether its at school, work, wherever, it gets better. Take control and don't hate or blame yourself, just surround yourself with good people, and the ones who are against you, they shouldn't be worth the worry.

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