Time for the Spread <3, Not Hate event! It was put together by authors KM Parr and KC Neal, to raise awareness about bullying. Each one of the bloggers signed up for this event will write a blog post about bullying – their opinions, maybe reflect on past experiences, etc. The whole idea is to get everyone thinking and talking about it, and to consider the fact that all forms of bullying are unequivocally wrong. Learn more about the event and sign up (while the list is still open) by visiting KC's blog.
Now I'm going to tell you a little about my experience with bullying. Where to start? I guess I'll tell you that I was bullied for a while in secondary school/high school. Nothing physical was ever done to me – it was all verbal bullying – but that can be just as bad, if not worse. And I went to an all-girls school, so you can imagine the bitchiness that went on there, right? Especially with a group of teenage girls!
Sometimes I wonder what happened to me during my teenage years. I was a very normal and happy child, and didn't have many problems fitting in. But when I hit puberty things started getting weird. My hair got frizzy, I needed glasses, braces, was gaining weight, and to top it off my personality was very different to many of the other girls, and so they took advantage of this. I didn't fit in with the 'cool' crowds, wasn't the smartest girl, was completely shy and let everyone walk all over me. Bingo – a list like that makes a good prime target.
It got so bad that it began eating me up, and I ended up having a breakdown. This is when the teachers finally stepped in, spoke to my class, and thankfully everything started to get better at that point. In fact, much better. I think then the girls realised how horrible they had been, so they all apologised to me and more or less left me alone. Thank goodness! It was a bad experience, but after that I was able to relax more my last two years at that school. But I wouldn't go so far as to say I enjoyed it! Sixth Form at my next school, though, was 110% better... and mixed gender! Woohoo!
Anyway, that's way behind me. I'm now in my twenties and happy to be over that phase of my life! I can stand up for myself much better now, too, which is so important.
Indeed, never feel that you don't ever feel that you can't speak up for yourself. I didn't back then, but you always have that right. Whether you're being bullied at school, work, even by someone who's supposed to be your friend, never believe that they're superior to you because they aren't. We're all equal here, and we all deserve to speak for ourselves and be who we want to be.