Matt’s Story.

25 Feb

This is the Matt’s story. Follow him on twitter @mattdsgns.

The effect of bullying has had a massive impact on my life and it all started when I was just over 12 years old, 10 years ago. As I am close to turning 22, I now feel it is the right time to let people know of the experience I had when I was bullied and how little the authorities and schools did to help me.

 

When I was in Junior school I loved rugby, I was part of my schools rugby team and really enjoyed playing the game, as I moved over to High School my love for rugby continued with me, except the team I had to play with changed. I no longer enjoyed playing rugby and when I was to join the team by the coach I declined it. This is when the bullying started.

 

I was 12. I was really enjoying my time at school and then all of a sudden, with no reason people just turned on me. I still don’t know why and no body ever gave me a reason, it just seemed that one day everyone hated me.

 

Going to school every morning was the worst feeling in the world, I would walk into the school grounds and it would immediately start. There was no time for me to meet up with any friends I had.  At first it was small things, I would get tripped up in the corridor, teased and laughed at for the smallest things, if my trousers were slightly too short or my shoes were old.  This went on for about 2 months before it got worse.

 

It started getting violent and didn’t just happen in the corridors, it would happen to me in class too, I remember in a Maths lesson, my bag was stolen by some of the bullies and they rooted through it picking out my belongings and throwing it around the class room, they even managed to find a MARS bar which ended its life quite abruptly when it got thrown at the back of my head, this then led to them using things that weren’t mine to hurt me and stealing my belongings.  I remember two occasions on my way to science.  I was walking down the corridor to the lesson with the bullies and I had a brand new pen from a friend who had just come back from Holiday and I loved it. I took it in to school they day I had to use it with pride, I didn’t have that pen for long they learnt I’d liked it so they stole it from me, broke it and threw it on a roof! On a second occasion I remember being pinned against a wall by a science chair (Those big stools you have to sit on when you do experiments).

 

This is when I didn’t want to go into school and it all happened in about 5 months, it’s when going to school for me started becoming a chore, something I hated doing and something I never wanted to do on a daily basis.  At this point I told my parents and they did the best they could to help me out, we went to my Head of Year, who said he’d look into it and he did – he spoke to the bullies about it and they were told to leave me alone in school.  Which would have been amazing – if it had worked. It didn’t work, in fact after this point it got worse, it got really worse – it went from name calling and tripping up to violence. I even got tricked by them, they told me my friend needed me, so I went to help a good friend of mine and I got violently attacked, almost outside my own house. I remember that night to this day as if it was yesterday. I walked slowly round the street I lived on to see what my friend needed. He wasn’t there, I turned around to go back home and I was confronted by three guys on bikes who quickly got off, the leader of the group hit me full on in the face as hard as he could, then I woke up. I don’t remember what happened when I got attacked that night, I just remember being hit in the face and then blacking out, I woke up covered in my own blood surrounded by these three boys laughing. I did the only thing I could do, I got up and ran to the nearest house just as one of the lads tried to grab me to pull me back. I spent the remainder of that night in hospital.

 

This is where I wanted it completely stopped, up until this point it was bearable and now it was getting too dangerous for me to just grin and bare it until the end of school, so we went to the Police, as you can imagine I thought this would certainly be the end of it. – It wasn’t.

 

The Police was were as much help as my school were, they did very little. Which was consisted of them filling out a report and telling me, “Learn self defence.” This was their only solution and advice to someone who had been jumped by three people. From then on School life got worse, I would go in and in the morning I would be hit, kicked, threatened, heckled and laughed at so I would never stay a full day, usually leaving halfway through a day. Avoiding those who had attacked me and those who would bully me some more on the way out.

 

I became suicidal, I didn’t want to live in this world, it got to the point where I wouldn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, every day felt like a chore and I just wanted to stay in an eternal sleep where everything was normal and I was happy.  My social life became non-existent and I would be too scared to go out, I still do not venture into the City where I was bullied.  The schools and authorities did nothing for me and I go into this world with no qualifications and nothing to fall back on, because I was the victim of bullying.

 

And what of the bullies? They spent the rest of their time in school picking on someone else, anyone they could find – yes they finished school and yes they are more qualified than me. The worst thing is they don’t even remember the hell they put me through and the mess they made of my life.  I hope one day they know the pain they caused me all those years ago and I hope I never see or speak to them again.

 

The bullying policies that were put in place didn’t work and I hope that people will learn from this story where to go forward and how they can change peoples lives in school, the authorities need to do more to protect those who are being bullied and the families of those being bullied, as you can tell my life got pretty bad, I’ve had to remove a lot of what happened because of the sheer brutality of the youth. I’m still here today to spread my story with people like Beth and that’s all that counts.

 

I’ll leave you with this. The moment you start hurting yourself, the moment you think less of yourself because of the bullies, they’ve won. You shouldn’t self harm, you shouldn’t go on a diet or make yourself thinner because of them. Whatever they tell you, whatever they do to you is wrong. You are you and that’s all that is ever asked. You are perfect. Don’t let them win.

 

Thanks for reading my story. It means a lot.

Matt.

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21 Responses to “Matt’s Story.”

  1. angel2angel February 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    i am so sorry that you have had to go through this! its not fair it is certainly not right, and you certainly did not deserve to go through any of it……..

    Bullying needs to stop, it is beyond a joke, and the after effects are like a nuclear bomb.

    (((((hugs)))))))

    • mattdsgns February 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Although bullying is wrong – I think that it’s shaped me into the person I am today, Thank you for taking the time out to read my story.

  2. lisa February 26, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    i shared your story on my daughters page Kindness Matters sadly my daughter had a similar story she completed suicide 12-2-10

    • mattdsgns February 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

      Thanks for sharing my story. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s suicide. I hope that by spreading my story this kind of thing does not happen in the future.

  3. Vanessa Chapman February 26, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Very brave of Matt to share his story. There aren’t really words to describe how horrendous stories like that are, it makes me so sad. Matt, you say you ended up with no qualifications, but looking at the link to your website etc on Twitter, it looks like you really are making something of your life, good for you, I wish you every success.
    x

    • mattdsgns February 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Hi Vanessa,

      This is only half the story, I had to miss out chunks because of the pure brutality of some of the things that happened. I thought it was about time to open up about the story and let people know that it’s not the end and thank you for the good luck messages, music and design really helped me through the tough times I had and I want to share the creative arts with people, so they too can have the sense of security I had from it.

  4. Jessica (My Kindness Counts) February 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Matt, Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s never easy to read what people have been through, but it does raise awareness for how serious bullying can be and what an impact it can have on people. I applaud you for speaking up. Thanks for all you’re doing to raise awareness about this serious issue.

    • mattdsgns February 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks Jessica! It was a hard blog to write but I feel ready to tackle bigger publications now and try and make them listen to my story. It’s time we spoke out about bullying.

  5. susan February 27, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Matt, thank you so much for sharing your story and by doing this you really are helping others to feel that they are not alone. The anti bullying policy in schools are not worth the paper that they are written on. It also seems that the bullies are the ones that get all the help and attention. I hope life is better for you now although the pain never goes away. Lisa i am so sorry for your loss xx

    • mattdsgns February 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      I still have a copy of my old schools bullying policy, they didn’t even do a majority of stuff in it! The bullies got more than I did – I got forgotten by the system, the police didn’t even seem to care that I didn’t go to school! I’ve worked hard to try and make a name for myself and it’s slowly turning round. I don’t want to be a success for myself but a success to show people that bullying isn’t the end of the road and it does get better!

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Vicki February 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    There is no reason for bullying. I was psychologically bullied all the way through school: for being a bookworm in primary school to being the class lesbian in secondary school. Much as I was never physically bullied I sill have issues with people today and am constantly convinced I’m being talked about behind my back. It stays with you forever, and you’re so brave for sharing your story.
    I don’t understand why people feel the need to bully others, and it upsets me to know that these sorts of things happen to people.
    Thankyou for sharing your story, and letting victims know they aren’t alone.

    • mattdsgns January 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Hi Vicki,

      Didn’t realise you read this! I’m a year late in my reply. Guess I never got round to it. Hah! Thanks for reading. It does stay with you forever, I completely agree there is never any going back from it.

      I wanted to with this show people that it’s okay to come forward. It’s alright to show that it happened to you.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      Matt.

      PS. Happy Engagement!

  7. Julia February 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I too was a victim of bullying for a long time and left 2 different schools because of it. I can understand and appreciate the effect it has and I am one of the fortunate few to have got the help I need and come out the other side. The place that rescued me was a charity, Red Balloon Learner Centres.

    I hope from people reading your story that this may help more people understand the need for proper provision for bullied children. It isn’t fair we should be at a disadvantage because of other peoples ignorance.

    This takes a lot of courage to tell people your story, I admire your courage in the face of adversity. xx

    • mattdsgns January 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

      Hi Julia,

      Thanks for commenting and reading my blog. Sorry to hear you had to leave two different schools because of bullying. Sadly, Red Balloon don’t exist in Wales, although hopefully we’re going to change that pretty soon!

      I hope that reading my story gives people the courage to leave or move on, hopefully I save some lives with this blog post.

      Thanks for your kind words, I did it to help people, can’t say I had courage during writing it haha.

      Matt

  8. jmq12 February 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Hi Matt, it’s the RedBalloonLCG Tweeter John! I thought I would read your post before linking it to the Red Balloon FB Page.

    You never ever forget the experience. I still remember, as clear as day, getting something right in primary school and teacher being very pleased with me. At that moment, the person who was supposed to be my friend, turned against me and managed to coerce the others into not talking to me … for about two weeks! When you’re seven/eight (any age in fact), this is heart breaking and deeply upsetting. In secondary it got worse because I am mixed race. My mother is Malay Chinese and the abuse, well you can imagine what it was like.

    It does make you tougher, but not in a healthy and happy-making kind of way. It makes you have to toughen up in order to get through the day. I’ll never forget those days and reading your story, and Beth’s for that matter, these experiences can define you as a person and the manner in which you grow. Luckily for us, you and Beth have shown that from these experiences, a tremendous fortitude and strength of character has shown through and from your stories, many others (young people in particular) can draw comfort and courage from your survival, recovery and journey.

    I’ll get your link up now!

    Cheers.
    John (and no, I haven’t actually blogged yet myself!)

    • mattdsgns January 22, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

      John!

      Really hadn’t noticed you commented, thanks for doing so, it’s sad to hear what happened to you and great you now work for RB. Hopefully you can work to change the lives of people who are bullied.

      Bullying has made me a lot tougher and I’ve got a will and a determination, after what I went through for no one to ever put me down again, worked so far!

      Hopefully we can work to get Wales included in Red Balloon’s set up

      Cheers for linking in John!

      Matt

  9. Jen March 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    “You are perfect. Don’t let them win.” That is so true! Thank you for that Matt and for sharing your story. It helps for ppl to know they are not alone.
    You are inspiring!
    Jenna

    • mattdsgns January 22, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

      Thanks for calling me inspiring! It means a hell of a lot to me that people read this and my words live with them, feel free to print off a copy and pass it round, hopefully it’ll get the word out and help people overcome or even make a dent in bullying.

      Thanks again Jenna.

  10. Einy April 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Matt, I’m so sorry to read this happened to you. thank you for sharing your story.

    • mattdsgns January 22, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Thanks for reading, I am sort of glad it did, because it made me stronger and gave me a will to succeed, thanks for reading.

  11. mattdsgns January 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Reblogged this on MattDSGNS and commented:
    I put my blog up here just under a year ago now, Thanks to Beth, a really good friend of mine for letting me do it.

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