Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eczema and Bullying

When I was in primary school I used to get bullied by people I called my ‘friends’. They weren’t but I was extremely naive and, like most other kids in primary school I wanted to be popular and liked by everyone. Little did I know that being ‘best’ friends with the ‘in’ crowd would make me one of the most hated. It all began in year 4 when I hit puberty, started putting a bit of weight on, getting a few spots. No one else in my year had started developing these mysteries, as I was an early starter.

In the past years I had had an amazing best friend, who I had some brilliant times with, but I suddenly wanted a change, and I wanted to be pretty and popular and have boyfriends. The only way of reaching this would be to make friends with the superior group and have to suffer pain along the way. It wasn’t the obvious bulling you would think of when first hearing that word, but it was mental bulling. Making me feel unhappy about the way I looked, undermining me and you could say treating me like a slave, forcing me to fetch everything they wanted. And I would, I would bow down to their every need.

In our ‘gang’ there were 5 and the teachers always asked for the groups to be a maximum of 4, and of course I was always left out. But yes you probably guessed it, I went back to them every time. They would call me fat, and ugly and spotty. Force me to say nasty things to people, force me to not be friends with anyone else but them and then argue with me on purpose and get everyone against me.

I used to go home crying every night to my mom, and she would say the same thing “You had a nice friend! But you threw her away and now you’re paying the price!” She never understood my hurt and how bad they actually deteriorated me. I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone. I came so close to suicide but my sister caught me and talked me out of it.

When I reached year five, they started to grow out of this bullying phase a bit, but then they started at it again when I tried to make new friends. Things carried on like this for a while, and then in year six we had a new teacher start and she was lovely. She found my crying in the toilets one lunch time, and from then on I went to her for advice, she couldn’t stop it because she didn’t have any authority over them. But she was there for me, and helped me. She was my cover for lunch times and breaks and she also taught me to stick up for myself, and just simply say the one strong word “NO.”

All through this heart ache and pain, I had eczema and it had never gone away, when I reached year five it had gotten worse, it was always pussing and weeping. That all changed when I moved to high school. I met nice people and formed and lovely group of friends! I’ve never kept in touch with the bullies from primary, there are only two people from that wretched school i am still friends with now, and they were the two best friends I had, that were always there for me. (They weren’t popular, or had boyfriends but they must be the two nicest people i have ever known!) All I’m trying to say is don’t let people treat you badly, you don’t deserve to be bullied or hit. They’re not your friends if they treat you badly. And if no one at home wants to listen to your worries then you must find someone that will.

It helps so much to get it all off your chest and have someone tell you it will be ok, because it will. You just need to stand up for yourself and say no.

Olivia Nash.