Hobnob the Nit Queen.

I moved towns between infant and junior schools, going from a semi-rural town to a big city. I'm 1 of 9 children with divorced parents, and moving to a completely new place already had me on edge. Little did I realise that the classmates I would have already had their social circles, and there was no room for the introverted autistic kid in their group of friends. The bullying started almost immediately, starting of course with my surname. Hobson. Sounds alot like a popular brand of biscuit doesn't it? And it just rolls off the tongue as it was hurled at me every day. I had shoulder-length thick hair, and like many kids, caught nits. Seemed like a good enough reason as any to the bullies to make my life worse. my new nickname becoming "Nit Queen." My then best and only friend abandoned me because I was bullied so much, and she didn't want her popularity to go down because of me. The main bully in my life would lie to other students and get them to beat me up.

One incident had me attacked by three people I'd spoken to maybe twice, leaving me battered and bruised, and utterly terrified. I didn't understand, I didn't know why I was such a target. In secondary school I was bullied by the years above me, getting punched in the stomach, having my hair ripped out, and being threatened into drinking and smoking. I once got gobbed on by 5 people, and pushed into the mud. I'd never met these people. I felt so alone, and I couldn't speak to my family about it, because I got bullied by my siblings.

A couple of years after leaving school, I was walking home from a shop, and I heard the ever popular "HOBNOB!" bellowed at me from across the street. And I looked. What I saw was a boy from my class, or rather the man he had become, with his child beside him. And I realised that this was an adult. Not a kid, not a fellow classmate, not a friend. This was an adult hurling the same stupid abuse I'd had as a kid. And I walked on by.

It gets better. Oh god it gets so much better. I still shake and cry and feel that same loneliness I felt back then, sure. But now I know what they are. Pathetic children, with no idea just how pathetic they are. I'm at university now, after 4 years of failing college. It was an uphill struggle, and I stumbled over and over again, but I finally got here. The people that bullied me failed secondary school, and sponge benefits from the government. Maybe it's karma, maybe I'm just hopeful. All I know is that the moment I left that school, I never looked back.

Don't let them beat you down. I spent every second wishing for an easy way out, and I'd hurt myself over and over again. But trust me, it gets so much better. One day you'll walk on by, past the bully, thinking how pathetic he is. When you do, it'll be a real smile on your face. One you can be proud of.

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