When I was in my last two years of primary school (aged 9 and 10) I was singled out. I only had two friends, but they were secret friends. They didn't want the bullies to pick on them so they arranged to secretly play with me outside school, but pretend to be with the bullies during school. Every playtime all the girls in my class (the boys had no interest in being friends, helping or hurting me) would push me up against the wall, spit in my face, bang my head against the wall and verbally abuse and humiliate me relentlessly. They would get me to do thing I didn't want on the pretext that if I did they would be my friends - thing like eating paper they had chewed up and spat out in class as well as the playground. My 'friends' would join in with a sort of pleading in their eyes for me not to expose them. It got so bad that, timid as I was and scared of my father even more than the school bullies, I resorted to 'bunking off' school and going to the park instead. In no time at all I was found out and brought back to the school. My father was furious and I was punished at home. Some of the girls saw me on the way to the Headmasters office and begged me not to tell him what they had done. They promised things would be different and we could be friends. Naive and immature as I was I only 'told on' the two ring leaders. Unfortunately, the rest of the girls were not happy with that and the bullying continued until I left primary school.
Secondary School wasn't much better but I did form a number of new friends and usually kept my head down and spirits up. Being beaten at home by my father and watching my mother and brother being beaten too took its toll on me.
Over the years I struggled with self confidence, self belief and being able standing up for myself. I often found myself being mentally thrown back into my childhood when being reprimanded by a boss or shouted at by an aggressive neighbour. HOWEVER, I made it!
I'm a successful and happy mother of two (24 and 20 yr olds), a primary school teacher [whose horrible childhood has actually been of marvellous benefit to the children I have come to contact with and, sometimes, the parents too]. I have travelled well, had art and photography exhibitions, volunteered in orphanages and underprivileged schools and communities in India and Romania AND am now gigging as a lead singer in a band! A little late in life - but I'm loving it.
I suppose the point I'm trying to make here is I SURVIVED. I SURVIVED AND THRIVED. AND I HAD NO-ONE TO SHARE IT WITH OR HELP ME THROUGH IT. I spend a lot of my life being weak, knocked back, had a nervous breakdown and hating myself.
Here's the real message - if you are reading this you have made a step in the right direction. You will get help and support. If I got to where I am today with none - just think what you could achieve. There are a lot of people here for you.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.