Today I'm participating in Sophie's Anti-Bullying Blog Week Blog Hop on bloggers' bullying experiences. This will be quite a personal post...Ok. I was pretty much bullied from the age of about 7 up to the day I left primary school at the massive age of 11 and 3/4.
I was never the "liked" girl. Apart from being always slightly chubby, a bit of a nerd and a "bossy-boots", I rejected being a part of the popular group and was always a bit of an outsider, from maybe even the first day of reception, when "bullying" was calling someone a meanie or stupid and possibly leaving them out of a game. In short, I had my own mind.
I had my best friends, but never for very long. Many of them left, or I broke friends with. My best friend in Year 5, Simran, probably the most faithful, lovely one I ever had, sadly passed away.
So, yes. Year 2-4, it was just name-calling, leaving out, never using my ideas in a project, even though the others said they wanted to do that. I made it sound little, but it never was. Rumours were probably the thing in Year 4, because everyone had just learnt that they could make up stupid things and if you told them to one girl, they would spread it around the year in about 10 seconds flat. One time, there was one where at the lunchtime of that day I couldn't walk two steps without someone popping up in my face and asking if it was true.
Unfortunately, I couldn't do the cliche thing and hide in the toilets; our dinner ladies made sure you weren't in there for more than 5 minutes and we probably had the most awful toilets ever! We had to go outside; no library, no nothing, and so I was out in the wild.
When I was best friends with Simran, no one could touch us. Everyone loved Simran, and she loved us. We ended up linking up with two girls, Amna and Naimah*, Amna who was lovely, and Naimah who never really seemed to like me, but I put up with it. Me and Simran, we were Super Simmi and Chick Charli.
And then the wall came crashing down.
For a while, me and Naimah seemed to be best friends. We were both going to take the grammar school test, though she was having tuition. She'd never been to a library, so we'd go there with my mum and then walk to her house on a Friday, where we'd have dinner, do homework and "study". It was fun.
Naimah realised I had nothing to offer her in the way of study tips and realised I didn't revise to be how I am, and dropped me like a hot potato. She went back to the popular group, which had swelled dramatically since the shock, and they began to gang up on me. It never stopped. I never want to think about some of the things they said, because it wasn't the normal name-calling, it was insults to do with my leg conditions, my weight, my love of books, my family, my heritage. Amna was still friends with them, though loosely, and she hadn't changed, thankfully.
At lunchtime, I would go and talk to the dinner ladies; amongst the mean, horrible ones, there were a few younger, nice ones, and I would find one of my favourites around the playground and talk to them. They didn't mind; they liked me and knew the basics of my history.
Year 5 and Year 6 were my way of personal hell; though I had two friends, Aliyah and Rayna*, who were my friends, very on and off. We fought a lot. So much, it became as bad as the bullying.
I think my bullying experiences were a lot worse because of the rest of my childhood, and it was all worse than I can explain. I began blogging because of them, and I wouldn't change that for the world; so I guess there are always benefits.
Now, I attend a girls' grammar school, which Naimah does attend, but she's in another class and we're civil when we have to be. I love it there, and although I haven't changed who I am, I am a very different girl, and I think bullying helped that. I have my friends, Bethan, Tori, Bethany, and so many more, and it's amazing. I can't say bullying was a good thing, but it helped me in more ways in one, and to this day, whenever I see Naimah or happen to see any of the other girls, I say a silent "thank you, for making me who I am today".
My life motto is "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, and forget about the ones that don't. And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it, if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they only promised it would be worth it."
And so the moral of my story is that everything happens for a reason, and it will all work out in the end. I promise.
*: names changed of bullies.