Supporters personal stories of bullying

AnnMarie Marlow shares with us her own personal story of bullying, and how she over came it to be a successful singer and all round good person.

When I first heard about H.A.B I knew i wanted to do something to help. As a child I was badly bullied and I know that my life would have been so much easier during that time, had I had someone like Marie to talk to.

In my own experience, the bullying started when I was 11 years old. I was singled out pretty much as soon as I arrived at high school. If my peers epitomised 90s culture, i was stuck somewhere between 1948 and 1979. I can't think of a single way in which I fitted in!

At first the bullying was aimed solely at the way I looked. I'd inherited my Dad's frizzy hair, and "Bird's Nest" became my name for a while! At break times I'd be cornered and asked if anything had laid eggs in my nest recently! (Smart eh?) In class I'd be poked in the head and hear people sitting behind me sniggering. That was bad enough but when they found out I could sing, things got a whole lot worse!

I'm not entirely sure how anybody found out that I sang. I certainly didn't brag about it and with a music teacher only interested in teaching you to play right handed keyboard, the opportunity never arose! I can only remember I hadn't been at high school long before it "got out"!

Every day for several months I was dragged away from my best friend at break time and made to "perform" by a bunch of older kids who found my repertoire highly amusing! Too scared to refuse, I'd stand there, shaking, and belt out Patsy Cline and Karen Carpenter only to be ridiculed!

In class, things were no better. One day when I was about 13, A boy told me "Karen Carpenter is dead. I wish you were." From that moment on, so did I! So I followed her lead and starved myself. I gave up eating anything at school and just had an evening meal. I think it was about two months before a dinner lady told my head of year that I wasn't eating.

I can remember being hauled in to the office, and the reception I received was one of hostility rather than sympathy. What I realised is that my teachers didn't care that I was being bullied, that my life was being made an absolute misery, all they wanted was for me to stop rocking their boat! I was told that I could stay in at lunch times for my protection. While the bullies enjoyed their social time! And that a teacher would accompany me to the bus every day. Despite the fact the name calling actually commenced as the bus pulled out of the gate!

In the end, I refused help, kept my mouth shut and tolerated everything that was thrown at me. In year nine, I was suspended from school and sent to see a counsellor in Leicester every week. Her aim was to get me back in to school as soon as possible and she struggled to hide her annoyance at my lack of progress!. In the five months i was absent, I wasn't sent any school work and subsequently failed every one of my SATS tests besides English when I did finally return!

My life improved when I left high school in 1999. Although I was then registered as a pupil at the local grammar school, I can count on one hand the amount of lessons I attended. Instead I was deemed a problem child and sent off to do work experience instead! I chose to go in to Care work and began working evenings at a residential home for the elderly. I loved it! So much so that that line of work is still my part time job now!

While working, I found my confidence to sing again and entered a competition on holiday in Mablethorpe when I was 16. I made it through several heats, to the final! And on returning home, I joined a theatre company, began singing at local folk clubs and open mic nights and made a ton of like minded friends! I had a lucky escape!

That's why I am so keen to help Marie and her amazing work. No child should ever feel like they have nobody to talk to and nothing to live for. For too long, bullying has been seen as part of school life. It shouldn't be! The emotional scars exist well in to adulthood. Even now, at 28 years old, if I get up on stage and there's a young teenager in the audience, my mouth goes dry. I have to remind myself I'm not at school any more!

I hope that by sharing my story, I can prove to any young person going through a similar situation that I did, that they will get through it! I didn't give up and now I have an amazing life, performing at concerts, gigging and recording albums! I'm living proof that bullies, although very convincing, are always wrong!

Lisa Phillips ,Coaching media personality In Australia , from Corby Northants

Thank you for inviting me to create a guest post on the website.  I was delighted when I discovered the work that HAB does as it is a topic which is very close to my heart.       Although I am currently living in Australia, I am originally from Corby, Northants so I am keen to support this important initiative.   

 

Just to introduce myself, I am what they call a ‘Coaching Media Personality’ out here in Australia.   Basically, that is just a fancy title for the fact I am a Life and Confidence coach who appears regularly on TV and radio.   I love my work and also see the damage first hand that bullying can do.  Not just with children, but with adults who have been carrying around the pain for many years.

 

Unfortunately, often children who are bullied carry burden with them long into adulthood.  This is why it is so important for us adults, to do something about it NOW in order to protect our loved ones.  

 

 It is also important for us adults to show our children ways to be assertive and to be a good role model for them particularly in the way we deal with bullies in our own lives!        This is why I wanted to share with you a recent article of mine which looks at making sure that as adults, we are also not dealing with any type of abuse.   I hope you enjoy it and if you would like to find out more about my work, please take a look at my website at www.amazingcoaching.com.au or contact me on info@amazingcoaching.com.au

 

 

 

ARE YOU TOLERATING ABUSE?

 

 

What are you sick and tired of taking? Are you withholding your thoughts, not speaking up and feeling resentful? Do you have integrity issues that are screaming for your attention? Are you tolerating somebody's belittling remarks only to complain about their behavior to other people? Are people walking all over you and you are letting them? Are you blaming someone else for the unhappiness in your life? Are you tolerating being a victim, being attached to a love that's no longer there, rehashing the past, obsessive thinking, excuses, justification, or getting poor results in your life? Are you allowing people to take advantage of your good nature?

Are you tolerating not having enough love, enough money, enough sex and enough fulfillment? Can you tolerate hearing the wounded part of you tell you one more time that you can't, you won't, you'll never, you shouldn't, or you couldn't if you wanted to? Well, let’s start right now to use that anger, that resentment to stop tolerating abuse! You can use that energy to move through it, take some courage and to draw some strong boundaries and say ‘I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE’!

If you are stuck in one of the patterns above then commit to yourself that now is the time that you are going to take some action to move forward. Do something to break your pattern of habitual thinking and behaving and move forward! Just imagine how different your life would be if you claimed that power within you and took dramatic action because you are unwilling to tolerate anything but a change…a breakthrough….more peace, happiness and success in your life.

Remember, life is a mirror, so if you are tolerating bad behavior from other people, look inwards to see where you are abusing yourself. Do you criticize and belittle yourself? Do you put yourself down or speak unkind words about yourself? If this is the case, look at how you can stop this self abuse by supporting yourself, speaking lovingly to yourself and encouraging yourself in this change.

Action Step

Write a list today of the things you are not going to take anymore! Then, next to each one, decide what Action you are going to take to clean up this area of your life. Do you need to gain some assertiveness skills? Do you need to practice saying NO? Do you need to get clear on your rights as a human being?

. Do you need to practice some self love affirmations? Do you need to do some releasing anger work?

Write a date by each one of when you are going to complete the action. Remember, you deserve it and owe it to yourself. Ask yourself each morning…..WHAT WOULD COURAGE HAVE ME DO TODAY?

If you take this action step….your life will be radically different in just a few months!!

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BELOW IS A SHORT INTERVIEW FROM TREY. HE IS A LIKE MINDED PERSON MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE WITH HIS ANTI BULLYING.

Hi! I am Trey Wheeler and I am Director/Founder of Bullying Prevention Team. I founded Bullying Prevention Team on July 15, 2011. I'm 16 YRS old.
 We want to promote a sense of belonging and acceptance of all individuals, and to promote the Golden rule through Web resources.
 
 I feel it is very important to keep educating young people and adults on bullying and what are the effects of being majorly bullying and prompting suicide. 
 
 I believe we are making a huge impact on people's life. There is such positive feedback on twitter and Facebook to accounts who are against bullying and suicide. 
 
 We would love to speak in other countries and keep impacting others. We would like to  keep Bullying Prevention Team till we are too old to where people don't wanna listen!
 

---

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Trey Wheeler

Director and Founder of Bullying Prevention Team

Youth Ambassador for LoveIsRespect- Los Angeles, CA

National Spokesperson for International Music and Entertainment Association- Atlanta, GA 

 

Phone: 419-236-0553

1639 Chandler DR ., Lima, OH 45805

Email: treywheeler@bullyingpreventionteam.org

inspiring stories. Nina

Published author and successful business woman, Nina Wornham.

 

Bullying is wrong, we all know this. But the reality is that it happens and despite laws to prevent bullying, laws cannot cure or control the dysfunction in the home that becomes the breeding ground for bullies in which they grow.
I was bullied all my life throughout school from infant to secondary school for being small. I was also bullied at home by both my parents and wider family unit and I was further bullied by my teachers when they did not want to admit that bullying was going on under their nose, in their school. They kept me indoors during break and play times then turned a blind eye to what happened in the classroom. I positively know that my teacher instigated the bullying when on my 5th birthday, she stood me in front of the entire class and said I was ‘a stupid, stupid, stupid little girl for writing in the wrong book’. The bullies didn’t need any further encouragement. My life was hell from then onwards till I left school.
I grew up and didn’t get bullied again. I thought I’d left it all behind me. I successfully ran my own business and I also became a book author. But it wasn’t until my husband pointed out to me that I often hid and did everything behind the scenes that I realised that I was still hiding from the bullies even though I was an adult. Once I realised this, I discovered how the emotional scars from being bullied were still limiting me on all kinds of levels and in many ways, they were holding me back.
Getting over bullying or addressing deeply buried issues that were never yours in the first place, is never easy but I attended some group classes where I learned to be more assertive and set boundaries and gradually, I began to understand that bullying only affects your life when you’re an adult if you allow it to. As a child, and like any other child that gets bullied, I’d grown up unconsciously believing that I must be a problem and therefore deserved being treated badly. This of course isn’t true but you don’t know this so deep are your wounds from being bullied. No one ever deserves to be treated badly in any way. You are never the problem. It’s the bullies that have problems. But if you grow up thinking you must have been the problem, naturally, you are going to take those thoughts with you into adulthood. Unless you make a conscious effort to change how you think, you will stay in a victim mentality and bullying will continue to dominate your life because you will self bully by believing you’re worthless setting yourself up for missed opportunities and other rewards that you truly do deserve.
I never wanted to understand the bullies, I read and researched enough to realise that I couldn’t change them. I could only change myself and I had enough healthy anger, self respect and motivation to do this. I also did not want to hang onto a victim mentality. I was sure I didn’t have one on the surface but I wanted to be sure. I read extensively on how bullies and even families will pick out a single person and make them a scapegoat for all their anger and frustration. They do this so that they can live in denial and not address their own problems and dysfunctional behaviour. It’s always much easier to dump their toxic attitude onto another person and blame them instead. That’s their problem solved, they feel much better while for you, life becomes lasting torment.
As part of my research, I read an article about being the ‘black sheep’, or ‘scapegoat’. In fact if you do a search on Google and type in the words ‘scapegoat’, you will find information that will help you start to feel very liberated if only because it gives a far deeper meaning to the hideous issue of bullying. You will read in depth, expert information written by psychologists who have researched this topic. It’s still early days and only lightly researched but it’s better than nothing and there’s enough out there to make you realise that you are definitely not the problem. You are a better and far more worthwhile person than you could ever imagine. You just have to learn to believe it.
Once I learned all this new information, I wanted to read more. I became so clued up on the narcissistic nature of bullies, that I decided that I would eventually write books which included such characters with the storyline aimed at helping others who had been bullied and not allowed it to shadow their lives and futures as adults. My passion is writing and I write books aimed at empowering and helping women realise their own worth and value. In this sense, I have recovered from bullying. I am one fired up individual that now wants to change the world’s view of bullying by writing best sellers. How’s that for kick arse to the bullies?
This is my true story. This is how I have learned to free myself from the devastating effects of being bullied, not just in school but at home too and also by people who I was expected to trust and be my protectors, my teachers. Not all of them but some simply looked the other way. This needs to change. Schools need a major wake up call. No more excuses. They must become a bully free zone with teachers at the helm of making sure children who want to learn get every chance to do so in a safe environment.
Since being an adult I have walked away from my own dysfunctional family, all of them. It’s important not to try and hang onto relationships or people which have already caused so much damage. It was lonely at first but not anymore. Now I have a wide circle of kind and supportive friends, waifs, strays and animals.
I moved to a new location, married my husband and focused on what I loved doing surrounded by positive, upbeat and inspiring people. Now I only include those people in my life that I want to spend time with.
What set me free from the long term effects of bullying was realising that I had never deserved it and that I wasn’t the problem. But to find this revelation, I had to go on a mission to discover the truth which I learned is a trait of the scapegoat. They are truth tellers, whistle blowers and truth seekers. The storyline for my next book perhaps
My message to you is don’t be a life time victim of the bully. I hear people say that victims of bullying will never get over it. This is true, if you think you are a victim, you won’t get over it. But staying a victim is a choice and if you can find the courage to evolve and change how you think, you will open the doors to a much better life for yourself and others. Join the anti bullying brigade, be a part of the solution, make your experience count.

Nina Wornham.

ALANTAS STORY
this is my story it all started at the age of 4 starting school other children used to laugh at me and say nasty things I used to wear glasses so I got called four eyes a lot going through primary school was tough bullying never seemed to end then came high school things got worst names got worst fat ugly whore slut I believed them at the time now I know im not things started getting physical as well pushing slapping things thrown at me that's when I resorted to self harm it relieved the pain when I went into year 10 things sort of looked up until cyber bullying started and eventually everything got to much for me and I overdosed for the first time that time wasn't bad but I started getting help 2 months after I overdosed I did it a second time this was much more fatal I could of died I don't remember much of it but ive seen the video of me in hospital now I go to see a counsellor and psychiatrist and im on anti derpressants things seem to be looking up for me im happy bubbly and my old happy self again looking back over the past few months ive come so far and I will carry on thriving I wont let them nasty bullies get me again cos only I know the real me and I love that but the only way I learnt looking back over the past few mo ths ive come so far and I will carry on thriving I wont let them nasty bullies get me again cos onloy I know the real me and I love that but the only way I learnt to beat the bullies was learning to love myself and in the future I hope I can help other young people who had difficulities like I did and I hope I can help raise awareness that lifes to short to listen to people who judge a book by its cover looking back if I could give the old me advice it would be ignore them love you for you and keepi moving forward xxx
ANNE'S STORY

My name is Anne Taylor, and I am 50 years of age. I am approximately 5’ 4” and I look like millions of other middle aged women. I have a favorite color; blue. I love both of my children with a passion and would die to save either one of them. I have been happily married to a wonderful man for over six years. In every way but one I am much like other adults except that I battle this difficult and devastating disorder. This is my second marriage. The first marriage at age eighteen dissolved under the weight of undiagnosed and untreated bipolar illness. The man I married bore the brunt of a temperamental, out of control wife, who treated him with extreme cruelty. There was no hope of this union turning out a success and we separated after one year and divorced two years later. We had a son from that marriage, but when we split up, I was given custody and when my life disintegrated under the weight of psychiatric instability, I lost custody of him to my mom and dad.

The bullying started in Grade Six after we moved over here from England. This was in the early 1970’s and it was a difficult adjustment. I was bullied because I was different; I was bullied because of my British accent (remember this was long before the Spice Girls made being British cool) and I was bullied because I cried sometimes because I was homesick.

Nothing was familiar. The television shows we watched were completely different; the music we were familiar with in England was unheard of over here. There were no computers; no electronic mail; no way, except through letter writing to contact the family we had left behind. Phone calls were too expensive and we were limited to a couple of minutes once a month. 

My family were unhappy. This was not the life my mom and dad had planned and the tensions caused bitter arguments and disputes. My father worked away from home for two weeks at a time and came home for the weekend. My mother had to look after four kids, and a farm, and didn’t have time to help me deal with the brutal bullying I was going through.

In Grades 7 and 8 it got much, much worse. I was pushed down the stairs; had my books knocked out of my hands as I was walking down the hallway; I was shoved hard into lockers; had my hair pulled; had food thrown at me in the lunch room; I was tripped as I walked to my classes; I was cornered a number of times in the girls bathroom and challenged to fight and when I refused I was called a chicken and a coward; I was challenged to fight off school property – six girls against one – not fair odds especially since I had no idea how to fight.

On a Field Trip to a conservation area, I was pushed into the marsh and had my top pulled up over my head exposing my breasts to the whole class. I wanted to die. No one did anything to stop it either – not the Chaperone and not even the Teacher.

When I was eleven I was sexually assaulted by the son of friends of my family who then proceeded to pass it around school that I was a slut and a whore. I had to keep that to myself – my parents would have blamed me and I would have been punished. I was so ashamed and full of guilt and I hated myself.

I withdrew into myself and found a safe haven inside. I don’t think there has been one moment since then when I haven’t been shaking uncontrollably because of how lonely, and afraid, and unloved I felt – and still feel. I am shaking now and I am just remembering the story.

I attended four different High Schools. The first High School I managed to pick up bullies again. They seem to know when you won’t fight back. It was relentless. And then Mom and Dad were fighting constantly at home because now that we had moved closer to Dad’s work he was home every night. I hid in my room and listened to Moody Blues albums over and over and over. It was the only escape I had.

For one and a half years I attended this miserable high school. I failed two courses the first year because I was unable to concentrate. At lunch time I hid in the Accounting room where no one could find me. I didn’t live – I existed – from one miserable day to the other. 

The last school I attended did not have the semester system in place yet (four subjects per day) – this one had shorter periods and eight classes a day. I liked it better because there was no time for people to bully others. However the bullying didn’t completely end. On the school bus one day, it was so crowded that we were standing all the way to the back of the bus. One stupid girl decided she was going to try to set the coat of the guy standing in front of me on fire with a lighter. I was terrified. I thought if she succeeded, we were all going to die – either being burned alive or dying from the smoke. 

So I reported her. And the next day she and her friends were waiting for me at their new seats at the front of the bus. They were so hateful, that I turned around and ran back into the school with her running right behind me. No one stood up for me. NO ONE!!!! After that I was no longer able to take that bus. Instead of being dropped off three houses from my home, I had to cross a four lane highway and walk a mile in all kinds of weather to get home.

I gave up. I literally didn’t care anymore. From that point on, every mistake I made meant I was evil. Every failed attempt or wrong choice emphasized to me how worthless and useless I was. At the age of 18 I had only one goal in life – not to find a career – but to die.

I went to several Psychiatrists but mental health illnesses were a new field and although Schizophrenia was recognized, Bipolar still wasn’t understood. (Bipolar or manic depression affects different people in different ways. Not everyone has the same symptoms and not everyone has the same degree of mood swings). No medication meant that I had no way to really control the way I behaved. 

I basically remained on a spiral of manic highs and rapid cycling depression until I finally had a work related breakdown and spent two weeks in the psychiatric hospital. This was actually a good thing. There I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and my body got into a routine of eating, sleeping and taking the medication that I was prescribed. It was actually a good place to be for me at that time. 

There is no cure for depression or bipolar disorder – it is a lifelong struggle. But where there was no help for me, there is help for you. Adults are recognizing now that the stresses young people are facing are far stronger than what we faced growing up. Find an adult you can trust and talk to them. Don’t give up. Death is permanent – you can’t come back once you take that final step. There are programs for anger management, depression, coping with anxiety and other subjects which can help you to cope. NEVER BELIEVE FOR ONE INSTANCE THAT YOU ARE ALONE.

If all else fails look on Facebook. There are anti-bullying pages that are available all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with people who genuinely care. Talk to them. Give them a chance to help you. 
I wrote this account to ask people to think twice before they give up. I’m glad I didn’t succeed. I don’t have a career but I am doing what I can to help kids who are being bullied and don’t see a way out. I can honestly say I understand what you are going through and I am there for you if you need me 

ANON My brother.

 

 

I have thought long and hard about this over weeks reading other people's brave stories. I guess I feel it is not mine to tell but I am a sufferer in this too, and it needs to be told. My brother was bullied from age 8....he always was shy....but not at home....he started withdrawing more and more...his teenage years when he should be out and about he was at home always. Time went on....I guess as a family we just thought he was extremely shy. He had a few friends they drifted and he had some jobs but could never settle. Truth is he was bullied as a child and it continued until adulthood. When he did have friendship at work it was the wrong people and they took advantage of him and used him. This sent him into extreme withdrawal. He lives with my parents even at nearly 40 and has no social life. I get angry at times, as I feel he is very selfish to my parents, but am I angry at him or society? My parents live on edge for he feels his life is worthless at times and has tried to commit suicide, once I stopped it, can you imagine what it was like seeing your own brother in that state? Another time my mother found him. You see bulling does not effect just the victim it is their entire family, friends and more. A simple so called banter can be a life long tatoo on that person.

ANON

 

We were the 1st yr to go to ****** **** High. 11 yr olds from a village suddenly thrown in with town kids. I had long hair in plaits quiet - yes you'll laugh now - and unfashionable with a Madonna gap in my top middle teeth. The first bullying I got was our now known as yr 8 trip to York. A girl who I thought was my friend deciding she wanted my bed 2 days in and my room mates grabbing me off it and pulling my pj bottoms down to check for pubes. At school after another girl fell out with me in yr 9 and wanted my dinner money every day. I never told my parents any of this as only child and Mum was having a nervous breakdown through adult bullying in her own job as a lunch time supervisor in a school. I'll report this story next.I never gave in tothis at high school and yrs later the bullies apologised. Yr 10 and I joined a band. The day I joined the main ringleaders were calling me unattractive already so I've just learn't from a friend in the trombone section. My nick name of horse teeth had been passed on and this led to whining down the trumpets and various comments about grazing amongst yourselves in front of 65 people on band tour. 2 bullies and 63 sheep who followed them so they were not bullied themselves. There were probably 5 bullied. Normally flute or trombone section and a few flutes would swap section to break the cycle on them. I would have red raw bleeding fingers after every practice and would retreat to the loo when It got to the stage where I got there 2 mins a practice and left immediately after.

Suffering with severe eczema I would have red raw bleeding fingers I got back just to compose myself. I suffered this for 8 yrs. I could have left at 18 but I made myself stay till I Was 22 as I loved the playing but finally I addressed a Christmas card to the band leader who's son was the ring leader saying how much I'd loved the music but! I didn't mention names but there was 2 people of ages mentioned and I knew he knew anyway. Yrs later I told my parents and me and my friend went to a gig and waved our band scarves to annoy them on the front row. Number two bully mouthed f off whilst playing - so professional. So, what are they doing now? They have nothing better to do with their sad little lives than to stay with the same band with some of the sheep. As for myself I perform in front of 4000 people and have recorded 3 albums with my folk rock band ***** *** and have successful students touring with record deals. I was one of the strong ones I guess. Another pupil suffered at band but left soon after not before writing a scathing letter. A pupil who joined on Sax was told she'd got their badge of approval! I've still got a copy of the letter!

Thought I'd become upset writing this but surprisingly the opposite! Later on I experienced drug rape and domestic abuse but at least now I open my mouth and will not put up with it.

I would like to tell my story as I've been inspired by the brave people telling theirs. I would like to keep it anonymous as would rather people who might know me don't know. 
My experience of bullying started around the age of 11, I moved to a new area and started a new school which I was really excited about. However, on my first day I was singled out by a girl for having a 'geeky' bag. This was the start of many years of mental abuse. Over the years this girl made my life a misery, turning others against me whilst pretending to be my friend. On several occasions I was threatened physically but it was pre-dominantly mental torment - I was told I was fat and ugly and had big legs. I still wear baggy trousers and longer skirts to this day due to this (I'm a size 10-12 now back then I was 8-10). I tried everything I could to make these people like me and tried to be their friend despite how cruel they were - I don't know why I did this! Then one day - I snapped, I had enough and I stopped trying. As a result, I received horrible texts and even 'dodgy' calls where the caller would with hold their name, wait til I answered and either remained silent or shouted 'slag' or something equally as poetic. 

As a result, I received horrible texts and even 'dodgy' calls where the caller would with hold their name, wait til I answered and either remained silent or shouted 'slag' or something equally as poetic. 
Due to all of this and more which I can not go in to detail in such a short message I developed an anxiety disorder and suffer with extreme panic attacks. I'm pretty sure this experience growing up has been a contributing factor to this and I would urge anyone suffering to speak out and get help as soon as possible. Don't suffer in silence as I did for so long thinking I had the problem. I can see why people think life might not be worth living some times as I too have thought this but fortunately I've never tried to do anything about it. 
Bullies cause more suffering and lasting hurt and it is time we stood up to them collectively.

The bullying started when I was about 13. Possibly a little bit younger, but I was in my 2nd year of high school. It was all over a boy who's ex girlfriend was extremely jealous that he had someone new. She got her friends in on the act and between them they made my life hell. There was no physical violence, just always the threat of it. But the mental bullying was worse. The name calling, the lies spread... it alienated my friends and made me ill. I wouldn't go to school and my parents ended up with a visit from a school officer of some sort. 
I finally told my parents and changed schools, but as we lived in a village it didn't stop it happening. 
My school life suffered and I left with nothing. I started work at 16 and had to get the bus every day. They also got the bus. And guess what, it continued even then. Showing me up on the bus, name calling. ... slag, slut.... this went on for another year or so. And then it stopped, just like that. 5 years of hell. 5 years of torture and they just got on with their lives like nothing had happened. 
Me? I developed 'social phobia'. Couldn't go out, couldn't eat in front of people. ... mood swings, panic attacks. ... I had it all.
And then came the attention seeking. Up until a late age, I hadn't slept with anyone. But now I just wanted acceptance so went out and got it any way I could. I hated myself afterwards, but it was my own choice of therapy. 
I fell out with my parents, moved to another place in the country and became a hermit basically. I'd go to work and then stay in my flat the rest of the time... eating and eating. 
Time went by, I moved back home and met someone. As soon as I saw him, I knew. We've been together 20 years now. But I still suffer. I'm currently on medication for an anxiety disorder and also prescribed sleeping tablets. I'm also booked in for therapy. I don't want to go out or speak to anyone. 
I'm 43. I've lived with the effects for 30 years. I've not gone into the story much as it would take all day to type out, but the psychological damage that was done is irreparable and my family have suffered. They still do from time to time, which is so sad. My career has suffered too. 
If anything at all can be done to bring awareness to the effects of bullying then I support it. People need to know that grinding someone down can and mostly always will have devastating effects. They may not be immediate, but they will happen. 

And just to add, parents.... be supportive. Listen. Don't think because your child has left school, they've left the pain behind. It doesn't always work like that.

Julie tells us her story .

 

I never expected to be the one writing a post on this much supported site, however, I wanted to share my experience in the hope that it will add to the greater awareness of bullying. My middle son announced, quite literally 3 weeks before the end of his first secondary school year that he was unhappy. My mini me, my blue eyed happy go lucky (but sometimes difficult for no apparent reason!) Child that is so like me I cannot begin to tell you, had endured his first year at a new school entirely silent with regards to the fact that he was being bullied! We did the usual self regret, the questioning of what else we could have done, what we might have missed but the truth is unless something really hits home it can be so so hard for a child to 'fess up'. I feel blessed that in the end a family argument upset him so much that everything came out, from the name calling to the chicken bones left inside his school bag the day he had left it in the form room. We contacted the school immediately, and aware of this group I went straight to the website for info and advice. We're now into the new year, he's in a new form group, his enthusiasm and enjoyment of everyday is evident and as im hyper alert to everything even family time is now interspersed with more conversation and actual talking rather than computers and mumbled words. Im hoping we nipped it in the bud before its made any lasting impression, and with the support of Hab and regular contact with the school that we've been lucky and that things will continue to improve! Please speak out, there is ALWAYS someone ready to listen xxxxx 

***This story contains references of sexual abuse ***

my story about a*****, well when she was little she was abused by her grandfather she was a happy go lucky little girl started high school and everything went down hill from there was constantly belittled and bullied at school went to see the head teacher and she said if u dnt like how we r with ur daughter take her out tried to move schools but cudnt as she as under home school agreement and was really p***** off bullying continued then she started using fb and Skype and mob apps kik and tagged found out in feb she was being asked to perform sex act by lads over the age of 19 was reported to police I had to sit and watch what thes sickos were asking my daughter to do her self esteem was tht low she ran away from home then moved to her dads and then was raped by a 16 yr old her dad didn t believe her so ran away bk to my house since being bk at home her moods have got lower she has no friends started using fb again and got loads of crap thru it so have took her off in the past six weeks she has overdosed twice she is now on anti depressants and sleeping tabs and also under camhs the site u think ur kids are going to be safe on are far from it so she now being supervised on internet so she doesn't get the crap she was getting and hopefully with the help she is receiving will get better but the flashbacks the bullying will stay with her for the rest of her life we just have to work on her self esteem and how she deals with things in the future.

A supporter of HAB story of work place bullying :

I want to tell you all about my experience of what I now realise was bullying in my employment. 
It has made me realise that bullying happens in any shape or form and does not discriminate against age.
I had been working where I was for a number of years and was really enjoying my work.
It was varied and could be quite stressful at times but each evening I come with a sense of achievement.
That changed about six years ago.
I had a major upset in my life at this time. I was having to deal with the day to day humdrum of life and cope with the fact that someone that I had completely trusted had betrayed my trust and had left me in a financial nightmare because of their selfish actions.
I coped with this by keeping my own counsel and not telling anyone what was happening in my life unless I trusted them and I wanted them to know.
I was surviving on my own self instinct and determination to keep what I had.
Although it was hard, I was managing to restructure my life to how I wanted it to become.
It was at this time that what I now know was my bully and tormentor came to work.
At first, everything was ticking along, changes were being made that made sense and things were being sorted both in my working and personal life.
Things were moving and I was offered a new start, a fresh chance away from the area. I decide to take it as I thought it would help being away from the area would help my process.
I was convinced out of this being advised that I needed the network I had in place to help me.
I am glad that I did this.
When in my personal life things were being resolved and I didn't have to fight to keep what was mine, my body let me down. I began to suffer from stress, depression and anxiety.
I was off work with this for a number of weeks and bully told me I had to get on with my life and if I needed to talk then they would be there.
As much as I appreciated the offer, I felt that I could not completely trust them which I told them.
I went back to work with a new sense of achievement.
It was hard as I was on medication but I was getting there. Then it started.
Little things at first. A milestone in my life was not celebrated in the way that things were usually celebrated. I was later told when the suggestion was put forward, it was vetoed
Then came the criticisms, put downs, restrictions on what I was doing. I was told it was not a reflection on what I was doing but it did seem to be that way.
This continued until I was being blamed or things that were taken out of my control.
I made an informal comment to someone and everything spiralled.
I was told not to speak to this person unless I had authorisation by telling them what I was going to speak to them about.
I was criticised, ridiculed, and shouted out. Any ideas or comments I had were put down, brushed aside.
I was then being told that this person had been told that I was making significant changes in my life. I asked who was the person that was making these comments but I was never told.
It came to a point where I had no choice but to leave.
I could of so easily sunk to the depths of despair. I didn't. 
What I am trying to say is log every comment made, have someone with you if you can, if you don't feel comfortable with how the conversation is going, stop the conversation but importantly, don't do what I did and suffer in silence. Report the situation with the relevant people.

Barry's story

 

My story as a victim of bullying goes back a very long way but these are the main details: when I was 8 years old my parents and I moved to a new area. It wasn't long after I started my new school, perhaps within the first few days, that I was picked on by two boys in the playground at playtime. They didn't speak to me much but they got me to go to a remote part of the playground on many playtimes where they forced me into a small gap between a hut and a wall where they kept me trapped until the end of break. I hadn't yet had a chance to make real friends so nobody knew that I was missing, it felt horrible. On one occasion after this had been going on for a long while I felt ill while I was trapped and that was when I had my first panic attack. Each time they trapped me after that, I had panic attacks every time. I kept it all to myself not even telling my parents in case the bullies found out and would make things even worse. Suffering in silence was the worst thing I could've done as it affected my life ever since. I even had panic attacks when i had to travel long distances with my parents in the car as I felt trapped...I always looked on home as being my comfort zone, and still do to this day. When I arrived at secondary school aged 11 I was already a nervous wreck from my experiences at primary school and was therefore a target for bullies there. A while after leaving school I went to a local community centre to try rebuilding my life as I had so much to catch up on and I was bullied there, too, by two adults one of whom was particularly nasty as he seemed to enjoy making others lives a misery, too. I wanted to sing and I was encouraged to sing to an audience by a youth worker there who was very friendly towards me and wanted to do all he could to help me succeed in things. After I sang I became much more popular and the bully was really jealous of this and made it so that I had to leave there. I had to leave behind all the confidence I had built up while I was there despite this bully's attempts to hold me back from trying to fulfil my dreams, and had to leave behind friendships I had made during my time there. I have missed out so much of the natural joys of life and the interaction others take for granted. I felt I had to write about my story and my project on bullying-awareness through music will allow me to catch up on those years of music I was forced to miss out sharing with others. This is why I am promoting in my project all the music by Steps, S Club 7, Kylie, Spice Girls, and also by artists coming up to date, so I can experience the music of that era and the present era with others for the very first time. I hope my attempts to raise awareness through my work will help to inspire other victims that good can come from bad, that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, that success can always win though over whatever adversity exists. I believe every victim has their own hero inside them waiting to burst through and help them build the life they have always dreamed of. I can honestly say that as soon as I went public with the story of my ordeals I felt a great relief, I felt totally at ease, after many years of being scared. For those who would like to access my site here is the link: http://www.popbeatsbullying.org/

Tweets from ANTIBULLYINGhab @ANTIBULLYINGhab

 

 

Below are supporters of Hab and also people that we endorse either

through

our Hannah Help grants or through mutual friendship.

Please fill out our

contact form if you would like to be advertised and why.

http://www.brunosgym.co.uk/

BRUNO'S GYM is a family run business that has been serving Market Harborough for many years and has built a reputation for quality and it's down-to-earth friendly atmosphere. We are not a 'clone' gym like many around these days with no atmosphere, far from it, if you want a good workout in unique 'old school' style surroundings then look no further. A real gym for real people! We have a wide range of resistance machines, cardiovascular equipment and free weights to cater for all your training needs. If you would like to be a healthier, fitter, leaner and stronger you, you're sure to find that Bruno's will meet your needs. Bruno's family, with pride at its heart!

http://www.freedomsupport.co.uk/index.html

 

 

Freedom Support Solutions offer our clients a bespoke range of day support to adults with a learning disability and mental health problems. We provide activities that promote social inclusion for groups that have found themselves at times excluded. We are based in Market Harborough, close to the town centre. This has enabled us to provide a variety of support to our client’s accessing local community facilities. These include the Leisure Center, library, local shops, job center, allotment, volunteering and work experiences.

http://www.ajdoylephotography.co.uk/

AJ Doyle Photography was established in January 2014 and is based near Lutterworth, Leicestershire. We cater for all kinds of events from Children’s Parties right through to Weddings. Being so close to three counties, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire it gives us a larger community to serve, also meaning travel is no issue.

 

HAB'S OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER 

angelsgoal.org.au

 

Angels Goal

Our goal is to mentor, educate and inspire all children and young adults with the necessary life-long skills and courage to take action against becoming the victim of bullying in their schools, sporting clubs, workplaces and the broader community.

 

Angels Goal Mission

Angels Goal mission is to promote awareness of, and aid in the prevention of, bullying against children and young adults, where they may be.


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