Day 264: I hope everybody has had a pleasant weekend. The weather is getting colder and the days becoming darker here in England – I don’t mind the Winter but I know it has a big impact on a lot of people’s mental health. Many are still working from home whilst others become more isolated as the Winter progresses. Look out for friends and family – especially those you haven’t heard from in a little while.
I was looking through my journal today and came across something my Mam returned to me a few months back. When I was in Primary school I was bullied and really struggled with the impact it had on me for a long time. I wasn’t really bullied in secondary school apart from the usual battles with the ‘naughty’ kids but how my primary school life went certainly shaped my personality going into the ‘big’ school from 11 years old onwards.
There was this one boy in particular in my class who made my life hell. He was called Daniel and was a troublemaker in general but took exception to me for some unknown reason to me.
I was a keen writer from around the age of 7-8 and would often write my own short stories, poems and comics at home so it is no surprise that I ‘chronicled’ my school experiences in what is a fictional tale but there was certainly a cry for help underlying in it with true events threaded through. My Mam found this story in my bedroom (apparently I’d left it in full view on my desk) and it hit her like a train. She contacted the school and showed this to the head teacher after finally getting me to admit to her I was getting bullied and was struggling at school as a result.
Today I share it with you in a digital form but I haven’t changed the grammar / punctuation in anyway to preserve the feel of a 9 year old me…
Been Bullied – A story all about been bullied and hurt!
I walked into the school gates as a boy walked up to me. He pushed me over then ran away. The boy was laughing too, so I got up off the floor and walked away. My friends told me to tell Miss but I just told them I didn’t want to! When the school bell rang I went to the line where you had to stand in it before you went into school. As I walked in the boy pushed me out the way. I fell in a puddle! My bag was wet! I was wet! and worst of all my leg was bleeding.
I went up to Mrs Stanton’s room (school nurse). She bandaged it up. I went back to my classroom. When I sat down the boy who was picking on me put his fist on his hand and smacked it against the palm of his hand.
That dinner time came where everybody push’s to get out the classroom door. So when the dinner bell rang everybody ran out the class. As I walked out of the class the boy grabbed me by the collar. That night on the way home from school I took a short cut through a ditch. The boy who picked on me saw that I was taking a short cut so he pushed me off the end of the ditch. I landed in some water. I was heading for a waterfall.
“Help” I cried, Soon I came to a shore. It was at the lake in the forest. I got up out of the water and went home! 2 days past but the boy still picked on me, so one day when the boy was picking on somebody else I got a rope and tied him up. The rope was off a skipping rope. The boy got loose then hit me in the stomach. I lay on the floor. Next the boy kicked me in the nose. So one day I told the headmaster and soon he got into trouble. The headmaster said he was a coward. The boy was Daniel [removed surname].
My Mam has since told me the headteacher was moved by this and asked if he could photocopy it and read it out in assembly. I wasn’t in the assembly the morning he did it but apparently the story was accompanied with a very clear message about bullying. Things improved not long after this – not entirely but Daniel seemed to find something else to occupy him. He didn’t go to my secondary school so I have no idea whatever became of him. About 10-15 years later my Mam bumped into my old headteacher (since retired) and one of the first things he mentioned was my story. He said he always kept hold of it long after I left the school.
I despise bullying – I experienced and saw it throughout my childhood in a physical form but obviously we now have things like social media and mobile phones to contend with. My two daughters are still too young to be impacted by the new form of abuse but I do worry about how they’ll adapt and cope with modern day childhood as they get a little older. I guess all I can do is be supportive and clear with them – teach them to be good people and encourage them to talk if they have something on their mind. Something I didn’t do with my parents.