I am a considerably stronger and more powerful both physically and verbally

My Name is Michael, I live in Nottinghamshire in the United Kingdom. When I started school, I didn't enjoy it to start with, not because I was bullied, I just didn't want to be there to start with. After I settled in at primary school, between age 5 and 11, I wasn't bullied a lot to start with, this was because I played a lot of sport, and I was respected and accepted for that reason. Although I realise that now, I didn't know that was the case then. At the time, I just didn't think that people got bullied very much in primary school. 

Things started to go wrong at age 11, when me and my family moved to Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, the area I moved into was not a nice area, I was so upset that I had left my friends behind in Nottingham, that I lost my passion to play sport, and the High School I went to, was the worst in the district. My parents were not aware of this, it was just convenient because the school was only 5 minutes walk from my house. I was bullied from the day I started at High School, the majority of it was verbal, although I was punched in the face a few times, I wasn't really physically bullied. I only had two friends, and when I tried to make friends with other people, they just pushed me away, or they were just not interested. When I started high school, I was late developing, so I looked so much younger than everyone else in my year at school. I didn't have a good vocabulary and I was too scared to retaliate both physically and verbally. The school claimed to have anti bullying policies in place, and that they didn't tolerate bullying, but they didn't care. There was only about three teachers in the whole school who actually cared and wanted to help and make a difference. The rest of the just turned a blind eye to bullying and bad behaviour. The headmaster was completely useless, he was a religious fanatic who believed that the people who were being bullied in his school were in gods good grace, so if they died as a result of bullying they would go to heaven, and the people who were the bullies and behaving badly, he might tell them that they are being a little bit naughty, but not much more than that, in other words he would say something like "You've been a naughty boy, you're not going to go to heaven" which was a bit pathetic. The only time he took any serious action was if something personally bothered him.

One of the two people who I was friends with said he was my friend, but he just bullied me and made me feel small. I eventually realized what he was really like and that he wasn't really much of a friend to me and ditched him. While I was at school, people not only called me horrible names, but were also really nasty to me. In my third year, I used to come home at lunch time and after school in tears because I was that miserable, I even thought about killing myself on a couple of occasions. After three years, I couldn't cope with it any more, and asked my parents to move me to a better school. They agreed and moved me to a school that was about 3 miles drive from home.

I was transferred to different High School, this was a much better School, things started to improve when I did. It had a much better reputation, much better facilities, and the Headmaster had a different attitude towards bullying and bad behaviour. Although I was bullied at that school, it wasn't on the same scale, I had 5 friends, and two of my friends were very tough and they both made sure no physical harm came to me. Because I was a bit happier, I played sports at lunch time, but by this time I had put weight on, and I hadn't played sports for years. So I wasn't as good at football as I was between age 5 - 11, so I wasn't nearly good enough to play on the school team, I was bullied at this school verbally because I was overweight, and because I was obsessed with computer games. I was sent a couple of offensive e-mails, that didn't happen on a large scale, the reason for this was that the Internet and e-mails were not as popular in 1997 - 1999, as it is these days, there was no Facebook or Twitter. I also received two written death threats, this was taken very seriously by the school and the people who did it got caught, and into serious trouble with the school and the police were called as well. When I took my exams and did my course work, I didn't get very good marks, simply because I wasn't interested and I wasn't happy.

After I left school, I decided to go on a diet, and to do more exercise, with that I was able to lose weight and look and feel a lot better about myself.

The bullying I have experienced through school, has caused me long term damage psychologically. I am glad that I have now left School, and I am free of all the people who bullied me and made my life miserable. Now that I am older, I have re-done my GCSE's and some additional qualifications at college, I have much better qualifications now. The people I met at college were people who wanted to be on the courses I took and treated me with respect. I am currently doing voluntary work and looking for paid employment. The people who I work with at my voluntary work are nice people, they treat me with respect and they accept me for who I am.

The fact that I was late developing through School was bad enough, the fact I was bullied for it was even worse. I wasn't fully developed until I was about 19 - 20 years old.

Now that I am fully developed, I have a much bigger body frame, a much larger amount of strength and power, I have a much better vocabulary and I am able to stand up for my self both physically and verbally. I have weight trained and built some muscles, I have been to martial arts classes and purchased martial arts instructional DVD's, with that I have learned how to defend myself and it given me the confidence to fight back both physically and verbally. I thoroughly enjoy both weight training and martial arts.

there are three things I HATE with a passion: Bullies, women beaters, and shoplifters.

I can assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel, things do get a lot better.

If anyone had experienced the same sort of thing that I have, or is being bullied and needs someone to talk to or needs a friend. please feel free to contact me by e-mail: michael.barson@ntlworld.com

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