How are you?
I’m Lizzie from creative blog Head full of flowers.
Today, I’m here to talk to you about my bullying story.
I was 11 years old, a year 7 student, a child, when I moved schools. It wasn’t a drastic change, but instead of keeping me on at the middle school I was at, my parents decided it would be best for me to go to the high school in the neighbouring town. This was fine and I was fairly happy with the whole idea. I knew I’d miss seeing the friends I’d spent every day with since nursery school, but I was also exited to go to high school and I knew I’d see them often.
Now, all 3 of my siblings had attended my new high school and with a 5 year age gap between me and my second eldest sister, she was still a student there. She showed me around and I soon settled in, I made a lot of friends and had a fantastic time. I’m a quiet sort of person but I made friends quickly, they appeared to like my sense of humour and free spirited nature.
Or, so I thought.
Year 8 came about and everything was as usual. Until about a month in, we had a few new arrivals, one being a really sweet girl who joined my form group. Now, my closest group of friends decided they weren’t going to be so welcoming to the new girl but alas, I continued to have lunch with her and console her that ‘they’d ease off’ and that ‘I’d talk to them.’ My closest school friend at the time joined me in doing so, until one lunch time.
I was traitor. I was ugly. I was *insert*
More importantly, I was the new target.
One friend of mine had only recently really joined our friendship group and while the others would only shoot whispers of these cruel names behind my back, this girl would go to the extreme to make sure I knew exactly what she thought of me.
I’d hide in the library, reading book after book but somehow, she always found me.
I’d stay by my sisters’ side all lunch time, but eventually, the bell would ring again.
I’d go to gym, and always be paired with her.
She and her friends would taunt me and then pretend to be being friendly whenever someone saw, even after my old friends had backed off.
And my family tried everything, bless them. I just wasn't myself anymore. I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
But then came one day in gym. My teacher knew what was going on, yet still she paired me with her.
And as soon as my eyes stole a glance at the clock, a basket ball slammed straight into my stomach.
I guess that’s when I realised I’d had enough: I could take no more.
The Easter Holiday came and I begged my mum to send me back to middle school.
Wow do I remember that first day back, I could have cried my eyes out with happiness, when I saw all my old friends…and new, waiting outside the schools office door for me, when they showed me to my new-old locker and took me to my first dreaded maths lesson… that was the day I realised, I was worth something more than what I had been made to feel. I'm so so grateful to my friends and family.
It has taken a lot of time and even now, those bad memories come back to me on bad days and there are times where my anxiety does get the better of me, but then I remind myself that the world is beautiful and I’m not ugly either or disgusting and I sure as anything will not be made a quitter.
There's this story that Buddah was said to tell in which he was happily walking into the city centre one day, and as he approached the entrance, an old man on a box, upon seeing him stood up and started to yell at him, cursing him and calling him pretentious and worthless.
Buddah simply smiled despite the abuse and carried on to the market.
Every day of that week, this same thing would happen.
One day, curiosity took hold of the old man and he said to Buddah ''Every day you come here and every day I curse you but you still enter the city smiling despite knowing that I await you with my harsh tongue, and every day you leave with the same smile you arrived with. Why do you keep smiling, even now, while I scream at you?''
Buddah, smiling still, answered the old man ''If I were to bring you a gift tomorrow morning all wrapped up beautifully with a box and a bow, would you accept it?''
The old man scoffed and said ''absolutely not, I would take nothing from the likes of you.''
Buddah replied ''well, if I were to offer you such a gift and you refused it, to whom would the gift belong to?''
The Old man answered ''You, of course.''
And so Buddah said ''And the same goes with your anger. When I choose not to accept your gift of anger, does it not then remain your own?''
And the same applies to me now, their words could still haunt me and honestly, sometimes they do: but I know I’m not worthless and I know I’m not hideous and I know I do not have to accept their words as truth.
Believe me, I’m not for one single second saying ‘’ignore it and it’ll go away’’ or ‘’sticks and stones’’ because I have been there and like everyone else, I know full well words can dig and slash as good as any stick or stone. Instead, what I am saying is if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, because of what someone has told you or because of something you have told yourself:
‘You get a better mirror, look a little closer and stare a little longer. Because there’s something inside you that made you keep going despite everyone who told you to quit’.
Talk to someone today. Don’t give in to bullies and don’t give up on yourself.
Thanks to the wonderful Chloe for this opportunity to talk to you today and to you, for reading.
I hope you have a really wonderful day and if you ever fancy a chat over a virtual cup of tea, you can always find me here: