On Wednesday night Channel 5 screened a documentary, it was called My Secret Past. Jodie Marsh was discussing her past as a victim of bullying.
In at least one article on my blog I have mentioned the fact I was bullied at school, and beyond.
People can be bullied for any reason whatsoever, it really should not happen in this day and age but it does sadly. The reasons I was bullied were because I was an Officer’s daughter but predominantly because of my partial hearing loss as a child. It started once I begun primary school and went on beyond school years into my 20s.
I want people to understand how bad bullying was for me so they can understand a little more about me. The experience I am going to discuss is not one I recall without tears or panic rising through my body. I apologise to anyone who may be affected by reading of such experiences.
At the age of 10 my parents decided that going to a boarding school would be better for my education than having to keep moving around every few years with the rest of my family. I was, naturally, rather excited at the prospect having been a big fan of Mallory Towers (or for non Blyton readers, Hogwarts, if born after 1990). I still had problems with my ears but had managed to handle it well, or at least I thought so. My day of arrival coincided with my 10th birthday, I was proud to be wearing my school uniform and I arrived to discover I was in a dorm with 2 other girls. The 2 girls were incredibly well spoken and sounded like they should be royalty! The first few weeks of term were amazing. I even learnt that the Housemistress had ‘affectionately’ been nicknamed Jabba the Hut. Gosh kids can be cruel eh?!
I spoke with my parents every day and was excited to be going home for half term, my dad was due to deploy to the Falklands between then and Christmas so it would be valuable family time. My dad collected me and my regulation green suitcase. We had a lovely, for once, week as a family unit. I thought I was the luckiest girl ever. Life was really exciting for me at the time.
On the three-hour drive back to the school I talked my daddy’s ears off, something I still manage to do at 30! I was pumped up full of happiness knowing I would be back with my friends soon and also knowing I felt so grown up. That night I cried myself to sleep knowing I would not see my dad for months.
This is when it all changed, and I mean all changed.
The girls from my dorm teased me the following day about the fact I had cried myself to sleep. When PE came around we played hockey as a year group. The girls had told others that I was a stupid bitch for crying. I was tackled to the floor, face in the mud I was kicked and stamped on repeatedly for what felt like hours. The teacher supposedly supervising the lesson was more interested in her newspaper and ignored what was actually going in front of her. The beatings continued on an almost daily basis. I was too scared to tell the teachers as the two girls had said they would actually throw me off the roof or stab me. These were girls of 10, not 21.
I would choose to wet myself at night rather than leave the room in case they knew I was awake. From then on I was known as pissypants, not something I look back fondly at for obvious reasons.
Christmas was approaching, my body was full of bruises. I found some foundation (make up) in the shared bathrooms one day and felt I should use some of that to hide my bruising from my mother. Well, this was not going to work. She spotted the bruises one night as I undressed for my bath. I refused to tell her what was going so she made me speak with my Auntie J. I told her everything. Between her and my mother they spoke to the school who then felt, bizarrely, the best option was to put me in a dorm on my own.
Upon my return to school I felt more and more isolated, it did not stop the bullying. My dad sent me a postcard with some penguins on, and one of the sixth formers used it to pick up some dead bird outside saying it was nothing more than I deserved for letting slip about what was going on. I used to try to get out of lessons by throwing myself down the stairs of the boarding house. It only served to cause further issues for me as the girls would catch on. It felt like I was literally the only girl in the world being attacked.
Eventually my parents pulled me out of the school.
The girls were spoken to by the Headmistress, they basically made out it was all in my head. The school believed the girls because their fathers had donated large amounts of money according to the information I read in letters and what my mother was told at a meeting prior to my being withdrawn to the school.
I could not possibly tell you how badly I was affected by this episode. I was affected mentally, emotionally and physically. I do not recall the time between leaving the school and when I started my new school.
There have been suicide attempts because of this, and many other incidents that followed. I did not ask to be born with health issues yet I have been punished heavily by the vicious bullies for having health issues.
I am never going to recover from what happened through the years. Maybe one day I will be able to completely block out all the nasty remarks or brutally painful beatings, but for now I shall persevere and hope that I never encounter such events again.
I do have low self-esteem and I never feel I am worth anything more than dirt on the ground. I do not ask for you to feel sorry for me. I do not ask for sympathy. All I ask is that you, if a parent or a sibling, make sure you encourage any bullying victim to speak out as well as educate people that bullying is wrong.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to share.