The names in this article have been changed to protect those involved
This article contains trigger warnings for self-harm
Bullying. It’s something we’ve all heard of, and pretty much all know someone who has been affected by it either end of the line. Whether you have been through it yourself or seen those you love go through it, you will know how hard and heartbreaking it can be. Luckily, in most cases, things get better and the bullying stops but sadly this isn’t always the ending. When bullying becomes more extream it can end in people thinking that they have no other choice but to end their lives. I had those thoughts, but thankfully I got through. This is my story about how being bullied broke me but at the same time built me into a stronger and better person.
In my life, I have been bullied on two different occasions for two different reasons. Both of these acts of bullying happened during my time at secondary school one being in year seven and one in year ten.
The first time
It was a nice hot summers day, I had found myself thinking about many different things but one thing stood out to me in particular, music. All my life I’ve been a huge fan of performing, playing a variety of instruments, songwriting, pretty much anything I could do with music. This passion still lives with me today but however, the events which I am about to recall now changed a lot of my hopes and dreams at the time.
One evening after school in the summer term I found myself scrolling through YouTube, seeing a huge amount of people doing what made them happy and really enjoying themselves. That evening I thought to myself “I should make a YouTube channel!” and that is exactly what I did.
On that day my channel was born. I spent ages making a logo and a header with photoshopped pictures of musical instruments and band members. I thought that this channel was my dream thing, that I could be just like the people I looked up to. But, well, it didn’t really work too well.
About a month or so past and I continued to post weekly covers of songs on ukulele, piano even trumpet! I gained a reasonable amount of subscribers and views, and this honestly made me the happiest that I had been in quite some while! Well, it made me very happy until people at my school found out…
It was a day at school where we were made to do sports during our tutor times, no one really did anything, though, we just sat around and talked. On that day my best friend and only friend at the time was ill so I sat alone whilst everyone enjoyed their twenty-minute chatter. I was okay with this, used to be alone and all, until this girl named Sophie came up to me and started talking to me. Usually, I would have been okay with talking to her as I had been to primary school with her for a good 6+ years.
“So, last night I was on YouTube and I found your channel, it was awful, you can’t play anything,” she said this right to my face. Right after this she just got up and left me. At this point, I started to become rather anxious and overthought every single little thing. Through last period that day, I sat silently whilst getting about 13 other comment’s all along the same lines what Sophie said to me. That was the first time in the whole school year which I actually wanted to go home, I actually wanted to leave school.
It’s needless to say that lesson went on for what seemed days despite it only being one hour long. As song as the bell rung, it’s usual three times I rushed out the classroom and through the gate out of school. As soon as I got home I deleted the channel, along with my hopes and dreams, and cried for a long long time.
At the time, my mental state wasn’t too good but this, this really got to me and broke me down even more.
I was home alone, and knew that I would be for the next three hours, so I knew no one could see me do it. I thought that as most people hated me and made fun of the one thing I truly love that I deserved the pain. Due to these thoughts, I self-harmed. I found a knife in the kitchen and started to inflict pain on myself.Once i had cut my legs a couple times I started to cry and become more violent towards myself. Soon enough, I felt that I couldn’t control my actions towards myself or anyone else.
My thoughts were deadly, at least 90% of my thoughts were that I should kill myself, the other 10% were running wild, finding everything bad about myself that they could.
For the next three weeks, the comments kept coming and my mental state continued to get worse. I continued to inflict pain on myself in many ways and it got to the point when I didn’t want to live anymore. One evening after a horrendous day at school I tried to kill myself, however, I failed but I’m very glad I did.
Soon after this a teacher at school released that I wasn’t too good after my grades dropped from A’s to D’s and my attendance dropped. I got help then from a lovely teacher who called my parents and told them about how I was depressed. With help from my family, school and teachers things started looking up and the bullying finally stopped.
Despite this, it took me many months to rid the suicidal thoughts and even longer to stop self-harming I did, and I was stronger than I ever was.
The second time
I can remember exactly when it started again, right down to the hour and what was happening at the time. Since I was around the age of seven/eight I realised that I was gay. Never had I told anyone until last year and after that only the five closest people to me knew… well, that’s what I thought. I still don’t know how people found out but somehow they did.
One day I was sat on my phone after a long day at school when I received a message. I didn’t really pay attention to it until about an hour later. I clicked on it and opened it, and the message read “I know you’re a lesbian and I know who your crush is”, and that was it. Immediately after reading this my heart rate sped up and I began to become very anxious. Honestly, I tried to ignore it but they kept coming from the same person, all of the messages I got from her were homophobic and very personal to me. I was still very worried about this seeing that the girl sending them was in most of my classes, as I continued to think about what could happen from this more I decided to have a shower. Maybe it will help me to relax I thought…I was wrong there. The thoughts kept coming thick and fast, from left, right, and centre. After I’d got changed after the shower i decided to check my phone again. 13 new messages, all from her.
I then proceeded to block her on every single thing i could, including blocking her number. The worst thing about it all was the fact that I didn’t know how she knew, or how many people knew. Was it only her, my class, her friends, the whole school? I had no clue.
That night I didn’t sleep at all. At six in the morning, I decided to get up and ready for school. My stomach was filled with anxiety and all I could think about was her and the things which she said. Thankfully when I arrived at school that day she was late so I managed to avoid her in the morning. Then, I had one of my favourite lessons but, she appeared and set next to me. Throughout that lesson, she made comments which she whispered in my ear but I tried my best to ignore them, they were all homophobic and transphobic and generally mean. Somehow I survived that lesson and the next two until my fourth lesson.
It started well, but slowly I felt all my feelings, which had been bottled up, take me over. I started shaking and then the tears came, my breathing became very irregular but I didn’t feel that I could get up and leave the room. Luckily, I got sent out and later someone who I knew came and comforted me and calmed me down.
I, like I have done all my life, usually keep things to myself. But this time, I decided to take the opportunity I had here and tell the person with me about what had happened. Thankfully they took it well and stayed with me until I was feeling slightly better and for the rest of the day.
After this happened, the girl who had bullied me but as I stopped reacting to it and ignoring her she started to stop. Yes, I still got comments from her daily but she gave up on me which was a relief.
Although I didn’t have the best time over the time which I got bullied, it has taught me to be strong and how things will get better through time and with help.
To anyone who is being bullied currently, I know it’s hard but with help, you will get through it and feel good once again. It will not last forever, it will get better. It may take days, weeks, months or even years to get better but it will eventually, you just got to hold on and ride through the hard times.