01-11-2016 02:16 AM - last edited on 07-04-2017 01:03 PM by Ben-RO
Hi guys! I just want to see if anyone is struggling with any of these problems right now.
I came to the realisation after finishing school that I had not only been bullied but I had also bullied other people. It was interesting for me the acknowledge that what had been happening to me for quite some time was actually bullying. I think in the moment sometimes we dont view the way we are being treated as bullying.
I was harrassed by a particular guy when I was 15 which included manipulation, name-calling, teasing and eventually when he knew he could get away with it, he touched me inappropriately. The reason I didnt realise it was bullying at the time was because I had a huge ass crush on the guy.
This situation caused me to become the bully of a girl who also had an interest in the same guy and I would abuse her online, I was so filthy to her that her mum had to message me and threaten to call my parents.
Putting things into perspective early on maybe could have helped me get out of a toxic situation and not allow me project my feelings on to someone else.
2 years ago I messaged the girl and apologised for what I had done, its important to try and acknowledge our mistakes even if we dont think they will make a difference. Thankfully, for a completely different reason I changed schools and the cycle did not continue.
As this is anonomous I would love to hear your stories and know that we would never judge you.
01-11-2016 03:29 AM
Great idea @AprilScarlet! Bullying is something a lot of people can relate to. Thanks for opening up about your story. Some of what you said can't have been easy to say.
I think it's actually quite common for those who bully others to have been bullied or abused themselves or have something else going on behind the scenes. I try to remember that when I look back on my bullies from school or if someone says/does something offensive and I think it's worth keeping in mind that sometimes the bullies need help too, beyond just being told to stop bullying. This is not to say in any way though that bullying is ever ok or should be put up with and let go on.
So yeah, I was bullied at school, in one way or another, for most of primary and high school. I think when I was younger, I knew something wasn't right but didn't know exactly what was going on or how to handle it. As I got older, I came to see it as bullying, but I don't think I realised how much of an effect it had had on me until the very end of my schooling and beyond. I wish I had recognised what it was doing to me sooner and done more for myself. I don't think other people around me realised how much of an effect it was having on me either, especially being bullied from such a young age and I wish people around me had recognised that, not just to stop the bullying, but even more so to support me as I was going through it, particularly when I was little and vulnerable as it really affected my core development and self perception.
01-11-2016 03:39 AM
Hey @Randomness! I completely agree with you, it took me a while to see the effect it was having on me thats why im trying to see if we can find some people going through it right now and can recognise it through honest stories like yours and realise they can put a stop to it in the early stages.
I wish the same for myself but then I always think if i wasnt aware of it how can I expect people the people around me to recognise it, especially parents you arnt in the school environment with you. I think my mum had some sort of sense of it so when I wanted to change schools because my best friend was leaving she was happy and almost relieved because I think she was starting to notice. Its so unfortunate that I almost have some kind of post trauma from it where it didnt effect me then but now I still dream about it and it makes me sick to my stomach.
I'm excited that the internet is just as big of a deal as I was growing up as it is now but now it has fantastic resources to try and counteract cyberbullying which was so new 10 years ago.
Thanks so much for sharing!
01-11-2016 10:01 PM
Thanks for starting this thread@AprilScarlet, I think this sort of self-reflection is a really powerful way to learn and grow from past experiences
To my knowledge I don’t think I instigated bullying during high school (I was too shy then to deliberately attract any sort of attention towards myself), but since finishing high school I do feel guilty about observing bullying and not doing anything about it. In some ways, I think this is just as bad as bullying itself, if not worse, as ignoring it or choosing not to defend the person being bullied may have made them feel even more invisible, isolated and worthless. At the time, I was more concerned with keeping a relatively low profile so as not to attract the bullies to me, but in hindsight I realise I was perpetuating the very culture that I was trying to protect myself from.. Realising this years later, and improving my self-esteem, has helped me grow the confidence to stand up for what I believe in and not tolerate mistreatment and bullying.
03-11-2016 09:11 PM - edited 03-11-2016 09:15 PM
Great thread @AprilScarlet showing how amazing ReachOut is to create a place of sharing and no judgement. I think there's times in life where we get caught up in the moment and realisation only comes afterwards. This has happened to me before, it's really hard for people to admit when they're wrong but I did and apologised to a girl in school who I had a disagreement with, unfortunately I didn't get an apology in return.
But the part of this post that prompted me to reply is a much more recent problem. One of my friends who I was really close with and messaged every day started to become nasty when she didn't get her way. She just wanted to argue all the time or have a go at me. I never got angry at her in return, instead I was really upset by the situation. In the end I just had to stop replying all together because I had tried to fix it but nothing worked. I've come to the realisation that what she was doing was infact bullying and I should've stopped replying sooner.
I'm just hoping that sharing this will help people to realise it can be a good choice to stop replying or block someone, even if you're not in the wrong.
03-11-2016 11:50 PM
Hi @Autumn23 thanks for sharing!
Its difficult to act in the moment for some things, and especially when we're younger its hard to recognise the damage that is being done. I don't worry too much about myself being bullied but in allowing that to happen they also started to bully my sister and thats where it sucks the most. I feel a sense of powerlessness looking back at it now and definitely aim to stand up for others and myself from now on. I desperately hope that the people that do bully can reflect on it later in life and make changes instead of becoming adult bullies.
03-11-2016 11:54 PM
Aww thanks @Dani
Ugh don't you just hate when you work up the courage to apologise for something and the other person is too prideful too admit that they were also wrong
Its so difficult to recognise subtle manipulations like that, it must of been a really frustrating time. We can only hope that one day they will mature! Such great advice though its even okay to get rid of toxic people no matter how little or great their impact on your life is, you can't always be the hero trying to rescue the relationship.
05-11-2016 01:14 PM
@AprilScarlet this is such a good thread idea!
I am... ashamed? to say that in early high school, I was a bully. I, and someone else, was completely horrible to someone I considered a friend. It ended in me sending a terrible message to her online, which resulted in the police being called. I refuse to say its because of any other reason than me having poor judgement, low empathy, and just being a bad person.
Understandably, I fell out of contact with this girl, but a few years later we were at the same party and got talking. I apologised and told her about how that incident scared me, and really made me realise that its very easy to become that kind of person - a bully isnt just some tough kid with family problems beating you up for lunch money. It made me more aware of my actions and how if effects others. She said she forgave me, and pretty much said it wasnt that big a deal and it was mainly her mum that freaked out >.< either way, thats my biggest regret in life.
In HS i was mainly ignored, but my being bullied story came after a nasty break up. (probably a content warning from here) I was overseas at the time, and my girlfriend, knowing about my mental health issues, told me no one would know or care if I killed myself over there, and this kind of drove me to a literal edge. Even after blocking her on everything, she used someone elses phone to contact me and just. basically be nasty. She told me to kill myself three times in total, she spread rumours about me being a theif and having chlamidya, which annoyed me because theres nothing wrong with having an STD, fight the stigma, etc. I told friends about this, and basically told everyone just to not talk to me about her. I wanted her out of my life.
Anyway. She ended up calling the police on me. I didn't know why, because I never contacted her. I believe this is after a fight she had with a mutual friend, and blamed me for it. I also ended up going to the police, with screenshots of everything she said, and nothing was done because police have no idea how anything works.
anyway those are my stories >.<
05-11-2016 06:18 PM
Thanks for sharing @ivory!
It's good to see that you were able to acknowledge your actions and even apologise later on.
I'm also sorry that the girl in HS was so awful to you. No one deserves that kind of comment being said to them! I'm also sorry the police didn't do anyhting about it, but it's good to hear that you just wanted her out of your life and to move on!
05-11-2016 08:23 PM
@AprilScarlet I'm really impressed by your ability to reflect on this time in your life (which can't have been easy) and I think this thread was a great way to start the conversation and to enable all of us to acknowledge our behaviour, good or bad, and to accept ourselves regardless.
Personally, I was bullied in my earlier years of primary school, just name-calling, nothing too serious. But it instilled in me this desperate need to belong and feel included, so that in my later years of primary school I became a bully to another girl. I look back on how cruelly I spoke to her and I am so ashamed but I try to reconcile that person with who I am now. I think that knowing that it was my own low self-esteem driving me to behave that way has helped, although it by no means excuses my behaviour.
This is something I haven't really spoken about before, and I really appreciate the opportunity to do so in a safe space. Thank you.