What it is like to be bullied 

One Kind word bullying week

When I am delivering courses to young people, I often mention that I experienced bullying throughout most of my school days, to which they are quite surprised, and often ask me about what I experienced. It is very rare that I actually speak about it, as not only do I not let people know about some of the things that happened, it is more about me not giving the bullies any of my time or energy again.

I am not going to lie, I would never wish my worst enemy to experience what I did, but it has helped me be the strong person I am today. I was lucky, as I didn’t have online/cyberbullying, I had face-to-face bullying. Yes, the name calling, and the physical bullying really hurt, but at least, I had time away from it in the evenings and during school holidays. If I were that teenager in today’s world, now experiencing what I experienced with the added pressure of online bullying, I am not sure that I could have coped as well as I did.

My experiences of being bullied will live with me forever and that is never going to change. It has had a detrimental impact on my confidence, belief in myself, and how I do think others perceive me. Since I started Ability Consultancy, I’ve had the opportunities to share my story, received wonderful feedback, and my feelings towards the bullying has shifted slightly. Without bullying, I wouldn’t have developed that determination everyone commends me on!

In school I rarely spoke. I had very few friends and the very small number of true friends that I did have, I am still in close contact with today.  I am not in contact with anyone else anymore. This is my choice because school was not a great place for me, and the people in school never got to see the real me. In fact, I have left that very insecure shy quiet schoolgirl behind!

Many people assume that because I come across confident, sometimes loud, honest, and open, I have protected myself from being bullied or discriminated against now. This is not the case. People still think they can take advantage of me because I try to please everyone, I may come across as weak to some people.

Over the last few months some people would say that I have been cyberbullied, I am not 100% sure whether I have or not. I know I have experienced some kind of intimidation, by a person persistently trying to get me to agree something without considering how it will impact me and the things I have going on in my work and personal life. It has been a very challenging situation to deal with, and I have questioned if I am doing the right thing. Throughout the situation, everybody I had advice from has said that I have to put myself, my business, and my life first, which I have done now.

It has resulted in a breakdown of a long-term friendship. This has made me incredibly sad. I know that friends should respect each other’s commitments. If they are unable to attend a get-together due to work, and a crazy busy life they lead, then this should be respected. A true friend would be happy for them. They would leave the door open to them for when life is more manageable and back to a more normal structure.

Having experienced what I have over the last few months – I wanted to tell anybody not to give up or give in on what is right for you. Never ever try to deal with bullies on your own. I did this for years and it was to my detriment. Having opened up, and shared my concerns and worries with people close to me, it has taken the pressure off me to please everyone else. It has given me a different perspective and allowed me to take control. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy. I have questioned myself many times but for now and for this moment, I have done the right thing. I am getting on with life and not letting these negative circumstances get in the way of achieving my short and long-term business and life goals.