Bullying: I’ve been there

A group targeted me in my class, mostly girls, but there were two guys, too. I think the worst part of it was that the ringleaders had been my friends since I was twelve. Now here they were, four years later, conducting this campaign against me.

They started out by ignoring me in class. It was so obvious that I was sure the teachers would notice, but they didn’t intervene. When the group began calling me names on Facebook I began to get seriously stressed out. Then the text messaging started.

I didn’t tell anyone at first – I was too scared, but in the end I had to. My brother heard me crying in my room. He’s older than me and he was great. He told me not to reply to any messages, not even the texts, because it would just let them know they were getting to me. He got me a different mobile phone, with a sim card that I could use for calls, but nobody would be able to call or text me, unless I gave them the number.

My parents saw the new phone and it all came out. Just telling them made me feel safer, though I was pretty traumatised. My parents talked about it with the school, and they said they would deal with it, but we’d already decided that I’d move schools. I needed a fresh start. I heard that the gang was hauled up in front of the headmistress separately and two of them were expelled, but I was just glad to be out of there.

I saw a counsellor for a little while, and it boosted my confidence a lot. I know I’m not weak and I’m not all those things the bullies called me. And I’m kind of glad it happened in a way, because I feel so much stronger now. If it happens to you, believe me, you’ll get over it as well.