Last week we heard from Vikki and how her son has suffered bullying if you haven’t already read it then give it a read. This week our story comes from Rebecca who blogs at Mummy Est 2014. I really appreciate Rebecca sharing her story with us as I am more than sure it wasn’t easy. So thank you very much for being a part of my campaign.
Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Rebecca (Mummy Est.2014). At school I was known by less friendly names such as ‘Fraggle’, ‘Hitler’s Granddaughter’ and ‘Nazi’. But these days I’m Becka or Mama. I am an Early Years Professional and Mummy blogger. I live with my hubby and our son ‘J’ who is 2. J has additional needs so life is very busy but we have lots of fun. We are often out on adventures at the beach, the woods or just out and about.
Can you remember when the bullying started for you? Where were you? What happened?
My main memories of bullying were from Middle school. It started in year 5 and I was being called ‘Fraggle’ because (according to my bully) I had very long hair and glasses so I looked like a Fraggle from Fraggle Rock. This progressed as we got into the older middle school years and started learning about WW2. I was born in Germany. I’m the daughter of an RAF veteran and was born when my parents were stationed there. I was born on an English RAF camp and am 100% British. But because I was born in Germany and knew a bit of German this ‘obviously’ made me related to Hitler. It made history classes unbearable.
Can you remember how it made you feel at the time?
I was confused. I didn’t know why they were saying this things. It hurt more because they weren’t true in the slightest. Just the very words hurt me deeply to the point that I didn’t want to go to school ESPECIALLY on History days. I never felt ‘fear’ for my safety as such because I was fortunate that my bullying was never physical. However, the emotional impact sticks with me, even today. I even cut my hair short (worst thing I ever did as it didn’t suit me and I hated it. Now I feel so angry that I let him get to me that much).
How has bullying affected you in your life and how you are as a person?
It’s made me compassionate to other cultures and religions. I am careful not to stereotype or ever blame a person for actions of their country/religious figures. I am tolerant of people because I think I am an empathetic person. I’m a lot stronger know as I think I developed a thick skin. I think this has help me in my career and has helped make me a great early years teacher and leader. It’s the sort of job where you have to care about every family who walks through your door so you can’t have prejudice or stereotyping. It also gives me opportunity to lay the foundations with the children about positive relationships, resilience and a zero tolerance to disrespecting each other.
If you could change anything about your experience what would it be? What would you do differently?
I wish I had made more of a fuss to the teachers and gone to head teacher. It isn’t acceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated. My teacher would tell me I was being too sensitive. The only thing that stopped the bullying was when I started to answer back and stood up for myself. Then I was boring to the bully. I think I even kneed him in his boy parts at one point. Once we all moved to upper school I distanced myself from almost all my middle school friends and made a new group of friends and life got better. I wish I had stood up for myself sooner. If they don’t get a reaction then bullies will get bored.
If you could give one piece of advice to somebody who is going through bullying now what would it be?
If the bullying is taking place in school do something to distract yourself. For me, I joined clubs…lots of clubs. It stopped me from having to be in lunch queue with the bully (as clubs got to have lunch first) and I wasn’t in playground/field much so minimised ‘bully time’. I helped in the school library which had two extra hidden bonuses; 1- a book voucher at end of term, 2- I didn’t have to go out when it was cold and rainy, haha.
This all made me feel positive as I would have fun and made different friends. It gave me more to focus on and distract myself from the negativity. I found a love for dramatic arts and music. I felt ‘good’ at something.
I will add that I am now in my 30’s and lead a very fulfilled and busy life. I have a lovely house, wonderful husband, great job and wonderful little boy. My bully grew up to be into drugs and drinking, criminal record (almost kicked someone to death) and looks like crap (to be blunt). Bullying at school is torture, but there will be life after school so please, PLEASE hang on in there. Take action where you can and dream of what you’re going to do/be once you get out of there.
Thank you Rebecca for bravely sharing your story with us. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook or Instagram and of course not forgetting her blog. Do you have a story to share and want to join in my campaign? If so please get in touch. While you’re here why don’t you read some of our other stories.
And the story that began it all my daughter Annabelle’s Story