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Questions & Answers.

19 Mar

Hey!
So i know i’ve done a post like this before but that was a long time ago so time for a new one!

I’m going to do another question and answer blog post, so if you have any questions you want to ask me about bullying and its affects (e.g self harm, depression, anxiety etc), things about school, the support i got or the support thats available, about what’s helped me and what’s not, and anything else you can think of really!
If you can think of any questions please send them to either missbeth94@hotmail.co.uk or @Hidden_Beth and please share so that other people can see too!

Thank you!
Stay Strong

Get Connected.

18 Mar

You shouldn’t deal with anything on your own. There are so many helplines out there and so much support available, there are text services, web chat services, phone services and email services. Someone will always be there to help and support you, no matter what time of day, if one helpline isn’t open there will be another, so never feel like no one cares or like you’re going through this on your own.
 

I’m just posting about get connected who can get you in contact with some support in your area.
Speak up, don’t suffer in silence.

Get Connected is the UK’s free, confidential helpline for young people under 25 who need help and don’t know where to turn. Our service is available 365 days a year and young people can contact us by phone, webchat, email, text message or use our online directory, WebHelp 24/7.

When a young person gets in touch, one of our 100 trained Helpline Volunteers helps them explore their issues.  They offer emotional support and can let them know about appropriate sources of further specialist help from our database of 10,000 trusted organisations.

Visit www.getconnected.org.uk/get_help  for more information or call us free on 0808 808 4994

Chin Up, Don’t Let Them Know You’re Hurting.
You Can Do This. Believe In Yourself.

What About Us?

8 Mar

There are so many helplines for children and young people, and now that i’m reaching the age of 18 i’m starting to worry about not being able to get help.
I’ve had a few people talk to me about bullying in work so i am writing this post.

I haven’t seen any helpines for people being bullied over the age of 18, it seems like people don’t think it happens.
I know i’ve wrote about this before but i keep looking and i don’t really find much, and i’ve had a lot more people come to me and tell me they are being bullied at work so i wanted to write more about it.

Bullying can happen to anyone, of any age, and can happen anywhere. Uni, college, work, school, home, online etc.

Lea’s Story:

 

As a child, I was pretty lucky. Despite always tending to be a tad heavier than the other kids, I wasn’t picked on. Despite being fairly withdrawn and somewhat odd in high school, I was never teased. I survived my school years relatively unscathed. It was not until I reached my early 30’s that I came face-to-face with my bully -my boss.
I worked for a small company with approximately a dozen employees for several years. I successfully worked for one manager and then another earning pay raises and positive annual reviews. Then, I was promoted. My promotion, unfortunately, landed me under the supervision of the second highest ranked person in the office. We’ll call her Stacy.
Stacy was our company’s bully. She’d been with the organization since it’s creation -even longer than the president of the company. She apparently felt very secure in her position and with her status within the company and community. She worked very hard and thrived on her successes.
However, Stacy had issues. She indulged her anger and frustration by shouting at her employees and belittling us in front of one another. Tears often flowed within the walls of our offices. The turnover rate was high. People routinely quit of their own free-will, were forced to resign or were fired. In five years, I can recall six employees (out of a staff of about a dozen) who left. I know, for a fact, three employees sought out counseling to deal with Stacy’s bullying. Essentially, Stacy caused a quarter of her workforce to seek therapy!
Stacy’s worst, and most feared, bullying tactic often took place behind closed doors. During weekly meetings, each staff member under her direct supervision was required to meet with her to provide updates on projects. Stacy seemed to revel in making us squirm. Instead of providing guidance to her employees, she sought to humiliate us at every opportunity. The tone of her voice was both condescending and cruel.
Moreover, she often set her employees up for failure. She assigned tasks that could not possibly be completed on time or the way she wanted them done. She promoted me to a position I was not qualified for because it was easier on her. I was responsible for developing a program from scratch even though I had no background or experience in that particular area. The number of goals she set forth for this program were entirely unattainable -even for someone who knew what she was doing. I failed miserably.
During the course of the two years she was my manager, I slowly unraveled emotionally. Our company was too small to have a human resources department. So there was no one to talk to about my manager’s behavior. The president of our company wanted nothing to do with “personal” problems. We employees occasionally talked amongst ourselves seeking encouragement and understanding. However, in a professional setting, it is unwise to complain too much about the boss with fellow co-workers lest your complaints make their way back to the boss.
Eventually, after a certain nasty situation, Stacy decided she really did not like me, did not want to work with me, and essentially made it her mission to get me to quit. The last six months of my employment were dreadful. Stacy gave me the silent treatment. Except when we had an official one-on-one meeting, she did not speak to me. We had fewer and fewer meetings, which was fine with me but also detrimental to my career! She went around me to get information about projects I was working on. She took projects she knew I enjoyed away and left me with projects she knew I didn’t want. Occasionally, she sent me a snarky email. She never smiled at me if we passed in the hall or during our weekly all-hands staff meeting. Being ignored by your boss is terrifying.
At the same time, my job performance declined substantially! After two years of criticism and fear, I think I just gave up. I did become fairly incompetent and a rather bad employee. I was afraid of any sort of confrontation with Stacy, so I hid from her as often as I could. I literally hid in the bathroom when I heard her voice in the halls of our small office building fearing she might pass by -or worse enter- my office. On more than one occasion, I caused myself to throw up, the sound of which was audible outside the small bathroom, so I could leave early. The last few months of employment, I began calling in sick.
Once, I went to my doctor essentially asking for time off! Knowing I have long suffered from depression, he gave me a note for a week out of work so I could attempt to gather myself together! Though, ironically, the bullying I experienced at my job did in fact make me sick. I constantly had stomach aches, headaches and I was diagnosed with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (I clenched my jaw shut causing pain, which stopped entirely when I no longer worked there). I was also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and prescribed medication.
I wasn’t sleeping well and could not concentrate at work. Some days, during my last few weeks, I sat staring at my computer screen the majority of the day. I typed nothing mindlessly and then deleted it just so it would appear I was working.
From the ages of about 12 to 22, I was a self injurer. After I graduated college, I was able to stop. However, the stress from my boss’ bullying caused me to begin self injuring again. I started scratching myself, something I’d never done before. I knew I was in serious trouble, so I scheduled an appointment with a therapist. I hadn’t been in therapy since college. The trauma of beginning to self injure again and returning to therapy, along with two years of bullying, caused me to have a nervous breakdown of sorts. The day after my first therapy session I went back to my regular doctor and showed him my injuries. He hospitalized me.
I ended up losing my job.
Looking back, I wish I had quit my job and found a new one! Unfortunately, I was too afraid. I was afraid my boss would find out I was looking for a new job and make life worse. In reality, if I went to her and told her I was looking for a new job, she probably would’ve helped me find one (to be rid of me)! But, I also lost confidence in myself and my abilities. I was afraid no other employer would want me. So, I stayed and suffered.
Having a bully at work, especially a bully who is in a position of authority, presents unique problems. Jobs provide essential income for a myriad of living expenses. Losing my job meant losing my ability to pay for my housing, utilities, food, and insurance. For many people, losing a job can literally result in homelessness and hunger! Being bullied at work can seem like a hopeless, no-way-out situation. However, I would encourage anyone who experiences bullying at work to find a way out. Contact human resources if your company has a human resources department. Find a new job, if you feel you need to leave your employer. You may have to take a job in a different field or one that pays less, but it’s worth it. The painful effects of bullying are too great to justify staying and suffering.
Releasing Lunacy
Please note: This post was written exclusively for @Hidden_Beth at https://underneathmymask.wordpress.com/ (because she rocks!). I ask that no one republishes this post (in part or in its entirety) without my written permission. Contact me at releasinglunacy@yahoo.com. Thanks!


*Please comment below with any helplines for people being bullied that support people over the age of 18, or tweet me – @Hidden_Beth, thank you*

Do More To Stop This.

17 Feb

So much more needs to be done to stop bullying.
So many people are having to deal with the affects of going through this because it isn’t being dealt with.

Every school has an anti bullying policy but not all of them stick to it, they have this rule for a reason so they should stick to it and help protect their students from this.
Schools should talk about the subject of ‘Bullying’ more often, this may help the students feel more comfortable talking about this if they are being bullied, and this will help people understand what bullying exactly is, some people get bullied but don’t realise they are being bullied.
I think there should be some students in every school that are there every break time for other students to go and speak to, this could be helpful for the students that don’t have many friends, for the students that are worried etc.
Something should be done with the person who has bullied someone else, instead of just talking to them something else should be done, because talking to them doesn’t always work, and sometimes it may get worse.
Every teacher should be trained on how to deal with bullying and every teacher should be able to do something about it instead of there being a certain teacher. If there is just one teacher who is in charge of this they may be too busy to do something about it, so it would be better if other teachers could do something about it too.
It should be made clearer that bullying will not be tolerated in each school so that students are aware, some students don’t know that their school has an anti bullying policy in place.
A record of the bullying should be kept, this can help the student know it is being taken seriously and that it is always being looked at.

But bullying doesn’t only happen in schools, it happens in the workplace, college, uni etc, and something needs to be done to stop that too.

Bullying can happen to anyone of any age.
Together we can stop it.

Try To Understand.

10 Feb

As a victim of bullying i’ve had people tell me a lot of different things to do or not to do. Some people don’t understand some of the things they shouldn’t say to victims of bullying, so i’m writing this to help them understand.

“Just ignore them, they’ll stop soon” – Don’t tell any victim of bullying this because it doesn’t matter how long the bullying lasts, it has emotional affects and the person being bullied should not just ignore them, they should go and get help from someone, whether it be a teacher, friend, family member.
“Don’t tell anyone about it because it will make it worse” – This is a lie, telling someone you are being bullied can help stop the bullying and can make you feel less alone and it can be a relief knowing you have someone you can tell, if the bullying ever gets worse more should be done to stop the bullies.
“Fight back” – If you fight back you will get into trouble too.
“Don’t show them that it is affecting you” – Do you know how hard this is? I’ve tried this. I went through  a year of doing this, it doesn’t work, and it is far from easy, if someone calls you ugly can you pretend not to care? I know that this CAN be affective sometimes but it is so hard to do.

Some things you can do:
– Keep a diary of what happens to you and show it to a teacher at the end of every week or at the end of everyday.
– Tell a teacher, they can speak to the bullies and help stop them.
– Make sure other teachers know so that they can keep an eye out for anything happening.
– Ask about counselling to help you deal with the emotional side of what is happening.
– You can get advice from other people that have been through bullying and see what helped them deal with it.
– If the bullies aren’t stopping speak to the headteacher.
– When out of school you can speak to helplines, they can give you advice on what to do.

Stay strong, don’t let them break you.

We Will Not Be Silenced.

27 Jan

We will stand together to fight bullying and we will NEVER be silenced.
You can try and break us down but this just makes us stronger.
We will stand together and fight you together, we won’t stop until bullying is finally stopped. We refuse to be beaten.

We can forget what you did, forget what you said, but we will never forget how you made us feel.

(Click on the picture to make it bigger)

Thank you to every single person who was involved in this post, and to everyone who helped.

Together we can and WILL end bullying.
Words hurt.
Everyone is beautiful in their own way.
Stay Strong.

What Can Be Done?

11 Dec

School’s need to do so much more to help students with issues such as bullying. They need to try intervene and stop it earlier rather than leaving it too late.
Some students are too scared to report their issues because they don’t want to have to talk about them in person, they may be too embarrassed or scared that things might get worse if they report it.

“At last there is a place where secrets can be told” @SHOUTwithCAABS thought about ways to help children report things that may be happening and came up with a system for school computers where children can just click a picture which relates to their issue and the report will go through to the head of child protection, this will always be active on a school computer and can be used from home too. As soon as the report has been made they are returned back to the desktop so they don’t need to worry about being seen doing this.

Please put yourself in the position of a withdrawn 8 year old, who maybe cannot read or write, with no easy internet or phone access and try to report abuse.  Try it and see how long it takes, see for yourself how difficult this could be,  Then imagine the stress of even more pressure of having to disclose intimate details or getting discovered reporting.  Finally imagine having to worry about what someone will ask and what will happen next.

I would say that it is neigh on impossible that any child will do this.  Statistics from the NSPCC prove that only 1in5 will. Those that do report in general will be the educated and confident children. So what of the vulnerable under confident children, children with Special Needs or Hard of Sight, the missing 80%?

Do not despair there is hope…….A single, uniformed approach that is based on visualisation has been developed by LexiconP Limited that could easily be adopted by all schools regardless of language or culture. This system is called The Child Abuse Anti Bullying System (CAABS) and is championed by an adorable little alien called CABBY. A system that follows through on the report to ensure that no childs ‘Cry for Help’ will ever be ignored again.

With No Reading, Writing or Talking involved, from start to finish in three simple clicks of the mouse the report has been made. The system is designed for schools where statistically a child feels safest.  Children can with a single click of a picture (which relates to their issue) make a report which is sent immediately to the Head of Child Protection.  As soon as the report has been made and within the blink of an eye they are automatically returned back to the desktop. To ensure the Head of Child Protection does not ignore or forget the childs report an automatic Monthly Report is sent to the Head Master/Principal of the school.
Check out their website: http://cabby.me.uk/

“My aim is to encourage children to SHOUT about their experience, to know instinctively where they can report it.”
C is for Child
A is for Abuse
A is for Anti
B is for Bullying
S is for System

You can make this available to all our children by supporting CABBY.  Please sign their petition. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shoutwithcaabs/ Thank you.

Never Think You’re Alone.

6 Dec

I know it can seem like you’re the only person being bullied but you’re never the only person. So many people get bullied everyday.
They may call you names but nobody is perfect and the things they say won’t be true. They have no reason to bully anyone and you are not to blame.
Don’t keep it to yourself, tell someone and get it stopped. Nobody should have to put up with this but i know that some people will be too scared to tell someone but you shouldn’t let them control your life and they should be stopped.

Bullying In Schools:
– 38% of young people have been affected by cyber-bullying.
– Almost half (46%) of children and young people say they have been bullied at school at some point in their lives.
(Stats from nspcc.co.uk)

Bullying In Work:
– More than two million people at work consider themselves as being bullied
-43.5% of employers do not have a policy to deal with workplace bullying
(stats from personneltoday.com)

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”
Stay Strong. Don’t Let Them Win.

(Subscribe to my blog? Click “subscribe to me” in the column on the right)

How Long Until Its Stopped?

17 Nov

How many more people are going to loose their lives to bullying before it is finally stopped?

Do we have to just put up with it and pretend it doesn’t affect us or that we don’t really care what they say when really we do.
Even when the bullying stops it doesn’t mean were just going to forget that it ever happened. It could scar us forever.

We can tell teachers and we can tell the police but that’s all we can do, we can’t stop it ourselves.
It needs to be made illegal. There are rules in school about bullying but when i was in school those rules didn’t seem to be stuck to, or maybe i just wasn’t important enough for them to care.

I was bullied by one of my teachers too at some point, but yet again nobody seemed to care.
I just had to cope with it on my own because the teachers couldn’t stop it or they didn’t want to stop it.

Now that i’ve left school i haven’t heard from the teachers, so to me it seems like they didn’t care 😦

Stay Strong And Keep Fighting!

Without you..

9 Oct

I was trying to cope with the bullying and my depression all on my own.. well, not fully alone, i had my therapist but i only seen her once a week, it would help while i was there because i’d feel safe and cared about but then as soon as i left i’d go back to how i was before. I realised i needed to do something to help me cope better, either get more help or find people going through the same thing. Without the people i met on twitter i don’t know where i’d be, so i owe them a lot ❤ I also owe my therapist a lot because she is just so amazing, and understanding and she tried so hard with me and she has never given up with me.
I made a twitter (Hidden_Beth) where i have met some amazing people and they’ve helped me through a lot.
I then decided to make a website and then a blog, this was so i could try and help people, i wanted people to realise they were never going through this alone, and i wanted people to realise what the long term affects of bullying can be.
I’ve also made a blackberry messenger self injury support group, where we can help each other. (If you’d like to join send your blackberry messenger pin to me on twitter (Hidden_Beth) or send it to left_alone@hotmail.co.uk.

I’ve had a lot of support from helpines, they’ve always been there for me if i needed them, well.. some of them have anyway 🙂
But others said they couldn’t help me, or left me when i needed them the most.
http://www.samaritans.org – emotional support
http://www.papyrus-uk.org – prevention of young suicide
http://www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk – self injury support
http://www.childline.org.uk – support for children and young people.