Vikki Blake has sent in a very powerful piece about her experiences of bullying and how she turned her life around.
When I was at school I was bullied a lot. The younger, older, same aged kids would find anything to pick on and bully me about. I am dyslexic but this was not picked up at school I was just one of those kids that needed “extra help” or “encouragement”. I was bullied because I wore glasses, because I suffered bad as a teenager with acne. However it didn’t stop at the school gates, it carried on on the bus home and outside of school. In fact almost anywhere in our estate it seemed everyone had something to pull me up on.
The school helped in their own way but it wasn’t enough, it carried on all the way through high school. It wasn’t just words sometimes it would get physical although there was only one boy that ever made it physical. He would push me, trip me up, throw things at me put things in my hair and this went on and on and the school didn’t do a lot about it, he got detention a couple of time but that’s it. I didn’t feel my parents were any different I told my mum and dad I was being bullied by this boy and others and they just said “Ignore them and they will go away”. Well he didn’t.
I remember one time I was downstairs on the bus, stood up as all seats were taken. My sister and her friends were upstairs (you know, the cool gang). Well one of the lads came half way down the stairs and started calling me names and kicking me in front of the whole bus. I got off the next stop and ran off crying. This was my lowest point, I was thinking of doing something really silly but I didn’t know how. I went into the woods and cried for ages.
I couldn’t turn to my sister because she couldn’t or wouldn’t help. My brother would take things into his own hands and he would have got into trouble, so I couldn’t tell him. I did have a few friends in school and it’s because of them that I kept going. My friends don’t know it but they were my rock at school and although we have lost contact since school I would love to thank all of them in person. I truly believe if they weren’t there, my life would be completely different.
When I was 16 I moved to Doncaster, never to look back. My life turned from there. It’s been uphill all the way. Obviously there have been slips and I have had my downs, but all in all its been up up up.
Today I have two fantastic jobs which I love. My two wonderful, beautiful daughters and the most amazing friends anyone could have, not many friends but I love each and every one of them. I’m not saying it’s been easy, far from it. It’s been a slog all the way and still is, but I’m loving every minute of it.
On the 24th June 2012, at 6.32pm, I had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch. Now this was not for the bullying but for the community work I help with on my estate where I live today.
The point I’m trying to make is there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you are being bullied please tell someone, I’m sure its a lot different to when I was at school, you will get help. Please, please don’t leave it till you get to the point I was at. I have read too much about kids being that low and actually going through with it. Children taking their own lives because of silly little cowards – it’s not on. So please let someone know what is happening, what you are going through. Even if its some one you don’t know there are people you can ring for help. Child Line 0800 111, www.beatbullying.org, or you can go down to your youth service and talk to a youth worker. There are so many people who want to help you, but you have to take the first step.
Image courtesy of National Bullying Helpline (0845 22 55 787)