Thursday 22 September 2011

@Hidden_Beth - Bullying Must Stop

This Thursdays guest blogger is Beth, her twitter account is @Hidden_Beth

These are her words.

I've never really had a childhood, I'm still only a teenager but I'm not living the life a teenager should be living, I see people my age going out enjoying themselves while I sit at home on my own wondering when this is going to end.

I've been bullied for 6 years, and its still happening now, I've been called so many names including fat and ugly, at one time I was told it would be good if I died. The bullies would throw things at me including pens and food, one time they threw a stone at my head which gave me a headache and nearly made me faint.
I'd be glad to finish school to get away from the bullies but then I'd get home to arguments and the stress my mum and dad bring home from their work. So I'd have no where to go to feel okay and safe.  Because of everything going on I soon started to think about running away, I never got to actually doing it but I still think about it now.

When I was 15 I started noticing that my mood was constantly low, I couldn't be happy anymore without having to pretend, I wasn't diagnosed with depression until I was 16, but I've probably had it for over 2 years now. You may know that one of the symptoms of depression is suicidal thoughts, I first started getting these when I was 15, but they got worse over time, now I get them everyday and I've lost count how many times I've tried to act on them. While I was in school I'd think of ways I could kill myself in school, I'd take pills into school with me everyday, I'd take scissors and I knew there was a bridge and a traintrack nearby. It was sad that bullies had got me to this point. I've also been self harming since I was 15 because it seemed like the only option left to 'make me feel happy' even if it is just for a few seconds, everything seems okay for a little while.
I don't want your sympathy because of my story, I just want you to understand how much people's words can scars someone inside and out. Bullies nearly ended my life, don't let them wreck someone else's.

Every seven seconds someone in Britain is being bullied.

And I'm hoping to raise awareness of what the long term affects of bullying are by telling my story.
I suppose I can say that my past has created who I am today, its made me a nicer person because I know what its like to have people be horrible to you.

6 years I've been bullied and it still happens sometimes, and that's only when I build up the confidence to actually leave my house, but then when the bullies see me they make comments or just give me 'dirty looks', I'm used to it now because of how long its been happening but it breaks me down a little more each time.
The bullying has had massive affects on me, I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I'm a self harmer, I've think about suicide everyday and I've acted on the thoughts many times. - The UK has the highest rate of self-harm in Europe.

I've been in counselling and I'm now in therapy but nothing seems to work, it just feels like the only thing that will make me better is if I could turn back time and make everything that has happened to me not happen if that makes sense.

I'd think there was something wrong with me, and I still do but somewhere inside my mind I know there's not.
I really wish that we could just put an end to bullying altogether. People shouldn't have to put up with it, and people shouldn't have to go through what I went through.

I’ve been in therapy for over a year and I’ve not got any better, if I’m honest I seem to have become worse.
I love my therapist to bits and she’s so lovely and supportive so its not because I don’t have a therapist that ‘works for me’ maybe its just my motivation. If the bullying had stopped I suppose things would be different.
I’ve tried to recover from self harm but I’m back to my old ways again, but I’ve made a self harm blackberry messenger support group if anyone is interested in joining :)
I have so much support from people online, they mean the world to me and I owe them so much! They’ve been with me every step of the way.

So, join me on my journey to recovery. Its been a long lonely road so I’d like some more company :)


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, Beth, sweetheart, you shouldn't be going through this! As a former UK teacher I know what bullying can do and I'm so sorry. PLEASE, Beth, promise us all you won't kill yourself. You are being so courageous and you have probably already helped hundreds like you by coming online here today. You are not only a beautiful, courageous person but you are NEEDED. We are here for you. You are not alone. Love from Sicily xx

Patricia Singleton said...

Beth, thank you for speaking out about bullying and sharing your story so that others might seek help also. It takes a lot of courage to share your story. Be proud of yourself for having that courage to reach out to others who may also be hurting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments.
I wish i could make that promise, but i can't make promises with my mood so low because i never know what i'm going to do :( its sad that bullying has made me like this.
Thank you for your kind words *hugs*
Hopefully i have helped some people x

Debbie-T said...

My name is Debbie, I’m from Greece and I’m a pianist.
There was a time, many years ago, in my life that I was through hard times. It was that time, when I thought of committing a suicide. The only reason that kept me away from such dangerous action was my love for my piano and my music. I loved it too much to leave it.
I’m sure that there’s a reason that you’re alive. And that reason is to ‘fight against’ bullying.
It’s the reason you ought to yourself; to set you free and to help other souls, too!
So, stand up Beth and fight!
Fight with all your strength and courage! I know you have plenty
Fight with the light that’s hidden in your beautiful soul!
You’re not the ‘hidden Beth’
You are the “Beth’s hidden light!” I know you can DO it! I just know it!
Fight! And soon you’ll see… XX :) 
Debbie-T Pianist

CherryPie said...

From your words I can tell you are beautiful :-)

You are also very brave for sharing your story with the world.

@sheepfoldcarer said...

Beth I have seen you grow stronger from day one on twitter, your voice has found it's direction. You are so much more than the introjected nasty voices of the bullies. I hope you can seperate them out from who you really are. Well done on this post, you can be proud of yourself. Keep going little by little, x

Lisa said...

Bless you're cotton socks - it ain't your motivation hon, dealing with intense emotional experiences and needing harm/suicide to give you a sense of control over your life and your feelings and finding a way through that is a complex and tough journey. You'll find your place in the world, I'm so proud of you.

Stephanie Douglas said...

Beth-Thank you for taking the risk and having the courage to share your story. Know that you have value to me. It doesn't matter if I know you or ever meet you. You are inherently valuable. I will continually hold space in my heart and in my head for you (I have a lot of space)and will send you my warmth and best wishes.

I encourage you not to get discouraged when you think you aren't feeling better from therapy. It takes time. I'm 51 and from my own experiences as a survivor of many things healing can be a bit of a life-long process. Every step you take forward (even if sometimes you take a few back) in reality does take you forward even if it doesn't feel that way. At some point, you'll realize that you rarely step as far back as you once did.

I think your work in creating awareness and change are important and amazing. I would also encourage you to find something fun and joyful that you love doing to balance things out. You deserve to be happy-try and do one thing a day that makes you happy no matter how small that thing is.

I would really like to see you do a follow-up post on what kind of help you would have liked so that you didn't suffer through so many years. Who was there for you, who wasn't and did anyone intervene-if not why not. How can parents, friends, teachers and family members step in to help. I think your insights into this could help people think about the roles they play (or don't play) in stopping bullying. They might also help people who are being bullied find an adult to advocate for them.

As a parent (and also as a journalist who did a lot of stories on bullying and anti-bullying strategies) here is what I did for my daughter (who is now 30).

I always talked to her about school and if her behaviour changed, would find out what was going on. When she experienced bullying, I gave her a 1-2 week time-frame to try and work it out herself and I gave her strategies to try. If those didn't work, I stepped in and talked to teachers and principals and never left the office before finding out exactly what they were going to do to fix the situation. As a parent, I am my daughter's biggest and most important advocate. Not every child has a parent or parents who have the skills to intervene, but there are adults who will help.
In one situation when she moved to a new school (she was 12) on her way home, a group of boys told her and a friend that one day they would rape them after class. I din't bother going to the school but went right down to the police station. I told police that whether they meant it in truth or not, this behaviour had to be nipped immediately. They went to the school, pulled the boys out of class and had a serious talk with them. It changed the dynamics and my daughter was never bullied again in that school and made some great friends.


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