The lasting effects of bullying

Lasting effects of bullying

Bullying is something that is often in the news; very recently, the case of the teenage girl who was beaten by another girl, whilst a group of boys watched on, and even recorded it. The first thoughts of surely anybody, would be that this is sickening. The beating alone is bad enough, but for a group to encourage and record; it’s just incomprehensible.

I’ve written before about how I was bullied when I was a teen, when I came almost face to face with one of my bullies before we moved last year. I’d forgotten all about it once again, until I came across the video I referred to above. I never usually watch things like that, but something, I’m not sure what, told me to watch it. I sort of wish I hadn’t, as it was practically like reliving my experience. Except there was nobody to record it when it happened to me. But it lives on in my memory just like it happened yesterday. You can never, ever, forget something like that.

I was alone; pushed to the ground, and attacked by three girls. I knew who they were as they went to my school, but the year below me. The ringleader had done picky little things to me previously, such as ‘accidentally’ pushing me on the way home from school. Of course, she told the others what to do; including punching, kicking, spitting and verbal abuse. Whilst this was happening, I heard the exact same words as the girl in the video – “What are you crying for?”. This was after they asked me why I wasn’t crying, and demanded I did! I had no words back then, but what I really want to say now is “Why the f**k do YOU think I was crying?!”.

I am actually crying right now, reliving it. Bullies though, they don’t care if you cry, they just do it even more because it gets them off; it’s like a drug to them. I was bruised, both physically and emotionally, and it is only recently I have come to terms with what happened and stopped my fear of these girls.

I think that attack probably triggered my general social anxiety and I still suffer with it now – sixteen years later. Bullying has a long lasting effect. But the bullies just do not care. Do you know what happened to my attackers? The police paid them a visit, and gave them a warning. A warning. It didn’t stop. I got threatened again. No more physical attacks, only verbal. But verbal bullying is just as bad as physical. It still leaves scars.

“Luckily”, I am still here to tell my tale, but it can just get too much for some. People are too scared to come forward and out their bullies, for fear of further repercussions. The same with people wanting to help. And by the time there is someone there to help, it may be too little, too late. Families have to pick up the pieces.

Bullying breaks minds; it breaks souls; it breaks hearts.

Bullying. It needs to stop.

Full stop.

Bullied and beaten

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.