I have something a little different today! Opening up about my experience with bullying, how it effected me and how far I have come now. Back when I was at school, bullying wasn’t openly talked about by many people and I often felt really alone… If you are going through a tough time with something like bullying or low confidence make sure you talk to someone you feel comfortable with!
It is no secret that I didn’t have the easiest of times at school. From the day I joined year 7 to the day I left in year 11 I experienced different types of bullying. I want to talk to you about how I feel bullying can damage confidence, not just while it is happening but throughout life.
I was no looker in school, I didn’t have any confidence as it was… When I joined year 7 I was instantly conscious about my size. At the age of 11 I was already a size 14 and was not comfortable in my own skin, everyone I was friends with was slim and could fit in to all the nice teen clothing. I always wanted to be like everyone else, thats something I never told people. I never had the confidence to speak up and I thought that if I were to say I didn’t like the way I was I would be even more of a target.
Something I’ve never talked openly about on my blog is that when I was younger I suffered from hair loss. It started mid way through year 7 and up until the first few weeks of year 8 I hid it pretty well. When people did start to notice it opened up a whole new realm of bullying, I was so different to everyone else and everyone could see it. This is when my anxiety started, I hated people looking at me, hated going out in public, skipped school because I didn’t want to be seen… I experienced name calling, physical bullying and cyber bullying on a day to day basis. It got so bad that I actually had to spend 2 lunch times a week with the deputy head and have sort of ‘counselling’ sessions with her.
At the end of year 8 me, my parents and even the school decided it would be best for me to leave and start over at a different school. My best friend, who has been by my side for 17 years, convinced my parents to let me start at the school she was at. I was so nervous to start fresh, I was already even bigger now nearing a size 18 and knew people would target me because of it. I stayed at this school until year 11. Although the bullying wasn’t as bad here but it still happened. What people don’t think about is comments made to offend you can stick in your mind for a long long time.
From year 8 onwards I joined a theatre school and dance school and still to this day I’m so thankful for my time there. They really did teach me more than just how to sing, act and dance. At the end of year 11 I made the decision to leave school and study Musical Theatre and college. I auditioned and got in and was so excited to leave school behind. During college my life changed dramatically, I made so many friends and everyone was so mature. My time at college really helped me to gain confidence and look at myself differently but I was so low about the way I looked even that little boost didn’t do much.
I truly do believe being bullied from such a young age for such a long period is a huge contributing factor to my anxiety. When you’re bullied you’re made to feel that everything you do and everything you are is wrong… I was constantly lead to believe that I wasn’t beautiful or smart, that everything I did I should be ashamed of. I carry those feelings to this day and it has taken a lot of hard work and effort to start believing in myself. When you are continuously picked at for everything and anything it damages your confidence and causes you to constantly question and doubt yourself.
I’m now 21, I’ll be 22 this year.. I have a long way to go, I still dislike my body. I don’t know when I’ll be comfortable with my weight but I continue on my weight loss journey and seeing the little changes is enough to keep me going. In the last year I have gained so much self confidence. The best thing that I’ve done for myself is stopped caring about what other people think of me, let them have their opinion but don’t let it define you. I wrote this post a few days ago but today I had second thoughts about putting it up, why should I not post it though? So many people go through bullying, low confidence and other issues… It’s nothing to be ashamed of, ever.
Words hurt but they also stick. I was always called ‘fat’ and they used it as an insult… for the longest time because of that I have always thought of fat as ugly and it is not ugly. You are you, no one can take that away from you. Your size does not and will never define you. Everyone is beautiful and we need to start appreciating that. Please think about what you’re saying to people, how it could hurt them or effect them. We are so much more than the size of our bodies.
Shading someone will not make you shine!