I remember being "picked on" on my first day at Primary school. I was four and a half.
My time at school was hellish, I was called names, shoved about and made to feel isolated up until was around 16. I was also humiliated by teachers, lunch ladies and class helpers who would pick on me to get a laugh out of my peers.
There are certain events which stick in my head more than others. One being a day when nobody would talk to me.Every time I walked into a class room the entire class would hold their noses and turn their backs on me. I have no idea why! I was only 9.
I never told my family about the bullying, I’m not sure why. I just remember being at home, feeling safe and relieved. I was in high school before my Mum knew anything about the traumas I had endured. I wonder whether I was just so used to the treatment that I didn’t see it being unusual and therefore didn’t feel the need to report it!
At 39 I still feel the effects of my childhood bullying. I have spent years in therapy but I am now, at least, able to put some of it behind me and deal with the feelings which are left behind.
The greatest test of my strength has been dealing with my own childrens experiences of bullying. I turn into a pro active justice machine where they are concerned and at the faintest sign of trouble I am banging on the Head teachers door demanding action.
I have taught my kids that they should never have to deal with bullying of any kind, that they must report any abuse or violence and that I will always do all I can to sort things out. I have made sure that they have the skills and confidence I never had but most of all I have taught them to always be proud of who they are and never be ashamed to be different!
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