I’ve been thinking about sharing my experience of bullying for a long time but have just never gotten around to it. However, a few days ago I practically came face to face with an old bully and decided there was no better time.
I was bullied more than once at school by unrelated people. At one point I received a note threatening to rip my head off and have it shoved down my throat – all because I was good friends with someone else’s boyfriend. Various other minor things happened with that person too.
But the one instance that majorly sticks in my mind, and I remember it like yesterday, is the one where I was beaten.
Minor things had happened with this particular person too; like being ‘accidentally’ pushed from behind and my shoes being ‘accidentally’ stood on from behind so I tripped up – obviously in front of crowds of people, as that is what bullies thrive on.
The day it escalated, I never saw coming. I had a paper round after school, you know, trying to earn just a little bit of pocket money. And one day I encountered the bully and two of her friends whilst they were on their way home from school.
The bully confronted me with a rumour I had apparently told one of my best friends, who had apparently told her. And she didn’t like it. So her and her friends…well, she got them to do most of it. Punched me in the face a couple of times (I was wearing glasses at the time). Pushed me to the floor. Kicked me. On my legs, my back. Spat at me. Told me to get up and walk away. You know the funny thing? I didn’t even cry. But they – she – told me to cry or they would do it again. So I did it. I cried. I knocked on the door of one of the houses I delivered to, and they laughed and ran away.
The woman, such a kind woman; let me in and she rang my mum. My mum collected me, I carried on as normal and delivered the rest of my papers, then I went home and my mum called the police.
The police came, and my injuries were bad enough that they requested I go to the police station to have photo evidence taken and give a statement. I remember it like yesterday. I was in pain for days. I was absolutely terrified of going to school and had to wait for my friends to collect me from my door.
I knew the names of the three girls that beat me. The police spoke to them but nothing happened; they were just cautioned. The same went for school. Because it was out of school hours and grounds, although we were in school uniform, they didn’t do anything; other than say they would keep an eye on things within school. Basically they got away with it and I have had to live with it, will have to continue to live with the haunting memory.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I almost came face to face with the bully recently. I was walking home with the boys and I saw her sat there in our neighbour’s garden. My heart skipped a beat. I almost had a panic attack but managed to keep calm. I held my head high and walked past. And I thanked my lucky stars we are moving in a couple of weeks so I may never have to see her again, though her face will always remain etched in my memory.
I guess this post is some sort of closure, a kind of release. And if it helps even one person who has been bullied – or is being bullied – to try and put their past behind them or decide to take action against a bully, then I’m glad.
As they say, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.