This week our story comes from Jo from Pickle and Poppet.
Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Jo. I’m a mother to two children, Reuben who is three and Jessica who is a baby. I’ve just returned to work following my maternity leave. I started to write my blog as an outlet whilst on maternity leave.
Can you remember when the bullying started for you? Where were you? What happened?
I don’t remember the exact time but I know I was at High School when it started. I was in year 8 or 9 so it happened quite early and went on for most of my High School years. If I’m honest I don’t really know what happened. One day all was fine and then the next I was being shouted at by people. I was being blamed for something that I hadn’t done. That night I had to get the head teacher to call me parents to pick me up as a group of girls were outside the school gates ‘waiting for me’ it continued from then on really.
Can you remember how it made you feel at the time?
I was terrified. I’ve never liked drama, or confrontation. I didn’t want to go to school because at least one of the girls was always in one of my classes. Bunking off classes that were the worst just so that I didn’t have to face them happened often.
I felt humiliated as my little sister would stick up for me and that things would be shouted at me from across the class. I was always waiting to be hit but that never happened, it was always threats and mean comments being thrown around. In honesty that was probably worse.
How has bullying affected you in your life and how you are as a person?
I really struggle to make friends with girls. Always expecting them to be bitchy and that similar situations would rise again. I know now that this is not the case and try to make an effort but it is really difficult. Now I’m older I’ve learned to deal with it and try to forget it as I know that not everyone is like that, but is is hard to forget the way I was made to feel. I dread seeing ‘school reunion’ being thrown around, for most people school was great and they want to see each other again, whereas I don’t feel like that.
If you could change anything about your experience what would it be? What would you do differently?
If I could completely change what happened, it just wouldn’t have happened.
I would have spoken about it more, with teachers mostly. Although it happened at school it wasn’t done in ear shot of the teachers. Even though the head had to call my parents to collect me one night, because I never mentioned it they assumed that it was all sorted, a one off. I know now that if people don’t know they can’t help you.
If you could give one piece of advice to somebody who is going through bullying now what would it be?
Speak to someone. Anyone. Teacher, Mum, Dad, Helpline. Just tell someone and get them to help you. It will not make it worse. It’s so much harder now as there is social media – block them all. Everyone. If there is a horrible comments or message block them so they cannot get to you and report it.
Remember, they are the minority. It doesn’t seem like at the moment but they are. The majority of people will want to help you, look for the good.
Thank you Jo for sharing your story and for your wise words of encouragement and advice to those going through this now.
Would you like to be featured in my #Bullieswontwin campaign? If so please get in touch , you can find the details you need for my campaign here.