This week it is Anti Bullying Week on Channel Mum, and just like I did with my post on Body Positivity – I wanted to have my say as this is another subject that since becoming a mum I have felt very strongly about even more than I did before.
The first time I was bullied was at primary school, since a young age I have suffered with eczema & dry skin.. I was bullied because of this. I was called some really horrible names and this is something I have never forgotten. The same thing happened again when I started at Secondary School. It was absolutely horrendous & quite often I would be in tears by the end of the day, but because it was so ‘stupid’ I didn’t think it was worth telling anybody about. I remember being bullied because I cooked meals at home and helped with the washing. I did things that most ‘mums are supposed to do’, but my mum suffered badly with PND after having my youngest brother and being the oldest out of the three of us, I had to step in and help her out. I was a young carer from aged 12 and was bullied because of it. But looking back, I am proud of what I did.
I’ve been bullied because of my birth mark, I have a strawberry nevus on my neck. People used to always say “what is that on your neck” or “omg you’ve got a hickey” I would have to explain that I actually have a birth mark and there wasn’t much I could do about it, in the summer it always seems to go darker. When I was younger it was very visible, it was bright red but now its a pale pink, sometimes brown but it doesn’t stand out as much now. When I was at primary school there wasn’t much I could do to cover it, but when I started at secondary school I began to wear foundation and this helped to cover it. But at one point in the winter, my strawberry nevus blossomed again and it was quite visible. I would get picked on, and called names to the point where I would do all that I could to cover it up. I wore scarves, inside & outside because I didn’t want anybody to see it. I went to stay with my Aunty & Uncle at one point for a few weeks and they noticed how self conscious I was of my birthmark and got pretty sick of me wearing scarves inside, my Aunty took me to boots & she bought me a small pot of extreme coverage foundation. I think it cost her around £30 but she didn’t care about the price as long as it made me feel better about myself. I have never forgotten this.
I used to be bullied for my surname, like c’mon really? It’s hardly something I can do anything about. Another time I was bullied quite badly was when I was with a boy who I met when I was 13, we were together for 3 years until we split & I was bullied for being with him. He cheated on me, always spoke to and met up with other girls but despite all of this, I still loved him and still wanted to be with him. I would get told on a daily basis “Oh hes done this” “He’s cheating on you” or “cant believe you’re still with him after what he’s done” I remember him telling me that he cheated on me because I was “so self conscious of my body” and even though that hurt like hell, I still stood by him. Nobody could understand why I was putting myself through it all, I lost a lot of friends because I was “choosing him over them” and I actually became very depressed and quite unwell. Eventually after lots of heartbreak & tears, I ended it with him. I felt so lonely & as pathetic as it sounds, I felt like my life was over. I didn’t think things would ever get any better but fortunately with the right help.. they did, I am now in a happy relationship with my current partner of 2.5 years, we have our own flat together and we now have a beautiful little girl.
“I didn’t think things would get any better”
I hate bullies, I always have and I always will. I have witnessed bullying a handful of times and It really isn’t nice to see or be around. My brothers have both been bullied also and I can’t stand it. I remember once me & my brother were playing football outside with the kids from our block, and one of them started picking on my brother. He started pushing my brother around so I stepped in (because obviously I thought I was superwoman) and shouted in his face “What the hell are you doing? Get off him!!” I didn’t know who this kid was, he was a friend of our neighbours and was round for tea one day.. He then left my brother alone & started on me, he pushed me around & actually threw me on the concrete floor and ran off. After I finally managed to get back up off the floor, I ran inside to find my mum and just cried my eyes out. Their was blood pouring from my elbow & it looked like it needed stitches.. to this day I still have a scar on my elbow and I still remember that day so clearly.
My youngest brother is 7 years old, he has autism and is quite often picked on at school. He didn’t start to talk until he was 5 and since then he has come a long way. He is hard work at times, but he is amazing and I wouldn’t change him for the world. Quite often he would come home from school upset, telling us that he had been pushed over or that somebody had been mean to him and honestly – it broke my heart every single time.
Autistic children can be more at risk of being bullied than their friends because of the different ways they communicate and interact with others. Other people will often notice these differences more and more as they get older. Because autistic children find it hard to read facial expressions and body language, they can’t always tell when someone is trying to be their friend or if they are trying to hurt them so quite often they will isolate themselves. Because of this, other children will use them as an easy target because they know they don’t have a strong support network around them to back them up. Other children may also pick on them if they see them doing ‘odd’ things such as hand flapping or making inappropriate comments. I went to secondary school with a boy who had Autism and he was scared of the word ‘bang’ yet people would find it funny to shout the word and scare him so that he would panic, for some reason they found this funny but I didn’t.
So What Is Bullying?
There is no legal definition of bullying. But it is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.
Bullying can take many forms including:
I know kids will be kids but I do believe that children imitate their parents and If we set our children a good example, they will grow up to be kind & polite people too. Now that I am a mum myself, I feel so much more strongly about this subject. My daughter is now 16 months old and If she is ever ‘mean’ to another child e.g – snatching or not sharing then I will always say something & encourage her to do the right thing. When we were away on holiday we went to a farm which had an outdoor play area in the shape of a castle, there was another little girl there who was not much older than Alyssia. They were all running around when this little girl came up to Alyssia and pushed her over twice. It broke my heart seeing Alyssia so confused and sad, she just wanted to play and do her own thing but this little girl ruined it. The girls mum did nothing about it at all and actually praised her for being such a ‘clever girl’ her mum was stood there with a fag in her hand and I felt quite intimidated so I comforted my daughter and we moved away from the play area. I cannot stand it when parents don’t tell their kids off when they are doing something wrong or when they do, they do it in such a quiet voice that they’re not going to listen.. I just don’t understand it? If my daughter was ever ‘mean’ to another child, I would always address the situation and explain to her what she did wrong. I know toddlers can be hard work and they don’t always fully understand but they’re never going to know right from wrong if they have parents who just sit back and laugh. This makes you as bad as them.
Let me know what your thoughts on this are as I don’t know If I am being irrational here?
Recently I have witnessed bullying from some bloggers to another and I think this is totally unacceptable, we are all adults. If you don’t like somebody, don’t follow them & just leave them alone. Blogging is a very competitive job / hobby.. the blogging world is extremely competitive & I don’t understand why we can’t all support each other rather than bring each other down. The majority of the time, I love social media and I love blogging, my mummy blogger friends are my rocks – I wouldn’t be doing this without them but you do get the odd person who thinks it’s okay to comment on everything somebody does. Like I said, If you don’t like someone just unfollow them – There is no need to cause trouble & start arguments for no reason whatsoever.
In my post on Monday, I talked about the reasons why I refuse to associate myself with negative people, and that post links in quite well with this one. It is time for a change, do what is best for you and only surround yourself with positive people. Trust me, you will feel so much better.
Bullying can happen anywhere and at any time. We live in a world full of hate, and this needs to change. If you are being bullied, please please speak out. Speak to somebody you trust, whether that be your parents, a close friend, a teacher, a doctor or even myself.. I’m no expert but my inbox is always open if anybody needs a chat.
Thanks for reading,
This is day 3 of the 7 day blogging challenge, I was tagged by the lovely Becca. I tag: Gee, Jessica, Gem, and I also anybody who hasn’t already done it.