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.