School Bullies.

  
So hey! My name is Madara. I’m a blogger from Latvia. I’m 16 years old and I’m here to tell you my experience with bullies and bullying.

My bullying experience started in first grade…Harsh, I know. As I am different from most Latvians I got bullied a lot. My skin color is a bit darker than an average Latvian. I have brown hair and brown eyes. I look a bit like someone who comes from Asia and that is because my dad’s dad is from Kazakhstan.

  People used to say that I’m Chinese. They called me a chineezer. It didn’t offend me because I was raised with an idea that we are all human beings no matter what is your skin color, religion,  sexuality, nationality etc. At that age I didn’t understand why would they think I’m Chinese. Of course later on I realised that I look a bit like an Asian person. They would make all these jokes about me. Yes, there were times when I cried about it. But now I know that they were just not educated enough to know the difference form a Chinese person, Korean person or any other person form Asia.

  Later on I changed schools and started playing piano at a professional music school in Riga. But to get in I would have to go to first grade again, because my piano skills weren’t enough to get in second grade. So I went to first grade twice.

People still make fun about that but I don’t really care, because I went to that school I am now studying with basically straight A’s.

   Yes, I was bullied in that school. Again with the Chinese stuff among a lot of other. There were times when boys would lift my skirt up or try to pull it down in front of a lot of people. That made me feel really uncomfortable. There were times when my classmates would throw my stuff around the class.

They did a lot of mean things.

And I always told my parents about them.

  I am lucky to have such understanding and protective parents.

They always called the teacher and got the situation all sorted out. There were times when my classmates ended up in the principal’s office. Looking back at it now, they were just kids who were insecure about themselves so they took it out on me.

  After fourth grade I decided I didn’t want to play the piano anymore so I left that school and went back to my old school. I mean of course I wasn’t in my last class. Of course I got new classmates because I was a grade lower then all my ex classmates. In fifth class…That’s when the real hell started. I was and always have studied very, very good. But I never thought that people would think that was bad or that I’m cheating.

At that age I was also pretty tall. I’m still pretty tall, but that is because my whole family is, so there wasn’t really an option for me to be short. People in that school were short. There were only a couple of people that were taller than everyone else. I was one of them. So of course people thought it would be fun to make jokes about it and bully me with it. I was constantly called giraffe. I honestly don’t remember a day when I would walk through school and the line “OH LOOK! The tall one is coming!”

would not have been heard. At that time I was insecure about it, but in time I started embracing it.

If anyone would ask me how the weather up there is I would tell them that it is sunny and warm unlike it is down there for them. That was one of my most popular comeback to when people were making fun of me. I was also really thin…But again…it’s in my DNA. So I would also be called anorexic.

   People also called me a nerd because I was a straight A student.

They would throw my stuff around school. They started making fun about me on “Instagram” when I was in 7th grade. They would constantly put me on class group chat and then kick me out.

They would make memes from my pictures. They would film me and take pictures when they are not allowed to.

   Also I started training in  Volleyball in 7th grade and I progressed really fast.

Girls would try to hide my clothes in the showers after sports class. They would put my backpack in the garbage bin. They would tell rumours about me all the time. These were just some of the things that happened.

I did tell my parents, I did go to my class head teacher. You want to know my experience with the school system and bullying?

  THEY DON’T CARE! I literally had a blue eye once because a girl hit me. What did the school do? They sent us to talk to the social teacher. Then we went to the principle. We talked…Like a lot.

WE were supposed to go start talking to the psychologist. But I guess karma did the work on her. At the time when we were supposed to have a meeting with the psychologist she was taken to the hospital. I don’t quite know what was wrong with her though. When she got back we started having these meetings. Did they help? NO! She kept saying that she didn’t hit me even though that was seen by like 12 people. So no progress happened. After they realised that it was not working they took us both to the principle. WE had a long and exhausting talk there. After that she finally calmed down.

    I left that school and got into a sports gymnasium in 8th grade.

My ex classmates made fun about me online, but I’m guessing that is because they were jealous and couldn’t get a life on their own. 

MY last class, my gymnasium class was fantastic. NO arguments happened there.

But I’m guessing that’s because everyone was too busy doing sports and improving and they didn’t have time for that.

   Flash forward to now… I’m in an online school and I love it. I have more time to blog and improve my other skills. I don’t do sports anymore because of an injury.

Does that mean that they stopped bullying me? No. The classmates I had from 5th to 7th grade still try to tear me down. Does it work? No. Because I know that I’m not what they are saying that I am. I know my worth. I work hard to get where I am. I work hard to be who I am and I’m not going to stop because a group of people think I should fail. Some of them even still follow me on social media… I guess they are really obsessed with my life.

  What have I learned? Bullies bully you for one of few reasons…1) they are jealous. 2) They know they can’t be you. 3) You have something or you are do something that they can’t. Does that give them the right to bully you? NO! Does that give them the right to try and kill you with words? NO!

But you have to understand that you are not what they are calling you. You don’t need to prove them anything. You just got to do you and keep on going. Do what you love, show what you are doing to the world, and don’t forget to smile. Trust me. Your enemies hate that.

   So do you! And don’t be ashamed of who you are. Embrace who you are!

It’s such a terrible experience what you’ve gone through but I think everyone can agree that just your amazing and positive attitude. )I also played a little piano when I was in high school and really enjoyed…for a time ). And it just goes to show just what jealousy can do to people, even young children, especially young children. . With the internet at their hands they don’t even realise the terrible obsessions they are bringing to themselves, such as ‘internet stalking’ someone for years, I too have had my fare share of ‘internet stalkers’ and I can say that it never amazes me the amount of free times they’ll make just to check out one of my social medias, or blog posts.

I love your last message at the end! And I find it so amazing that you’ve managed to over come such disgusting treatment. I wish you well with your online course! If you would like to check out any of Madara social pages then click on one of the links below and don’t for get to check out her blog!

Blog – Home page : https://jancenkomadara.wixsite.com/website

Madara’s – Instagram page

Madara’s Twitter – @MJancenko

Madara’s – youtube channel

Accepting your sexuality can be hard.

Hannah, 13-14 years old

“Hannah is a 20 something year old blogger from Essex, England, who lives by the sea with her partner and Giant African Millipede. Her blog Pages, Places, & Plates focuses on reviews of a few of her different passions – books, eateries, British experiences, and international travel.”

As a child I was aware of how prevalent bullying is within school, which was one reason why I chose to go to the secondary school that I did, which is a girls-only grammar school in Essex. You have to pass a test to get in and I did – I was ecstatic as I knew I was going to enjoy school and it was going to be safe from the boys in my class that had mocked me previously. No more being laughed at because I wanted to do well in school; no more cruel words because my grades were more important than getting in trouble. As much as I loved school it turned out I wasn’t as safe as I thought.

Let’s go back to 2013 – I’d just started Year 9 (so I was around 13-14)

and things seemed to be going pretty well.

I had a tight-knit group of friends, I was doing well in my subjects, and my family was loving and supportive.

I was hurting inside though, struggling to come to grips with who I really was as a person. I was different because I was bisexual, and it was killing me.

I’d told my closest friends about it and they’d been so supportive (apart from one finding it a bit gross but hey, she was 13 – I forgive her as she still looked out for me), but the thought of everyone else knowing was all too much.

I thought I’d be a disappointment to my family, and that I’d be shunned by my class

considering it only consisted of girls.

Self-harm had become the norm for me and my thoughts could turn quite dark at times, but I did whatever I could to deal with it on my own.

One of my friends was going through the exact same thing but it still didn’t ease me – she was a tomboy in a mixed sex school who was much better at dealing with things than I was – I was fragile and I doubt anyone would have been able to guess. I’d been keeping it well-guarded though, and my plan was pretty much to completely ignore my sexuality and hope that I’d continue to be accepted.

One friend had been particularly supportive

But after a while started to seem a bit odd. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I suddenly received a message from her on MSN one evening. To this day I don’t think my heart has ever stopped so suddenly. I remember the noise of the TV in the background fade out and everything seemed to blur except for that message flashing on my screen:

“I’m going to tell everyone you’re bi tonight”.

As I processed it my heart began to beat so fast I couldn’t control it, and I was doing everything I could to hide my emotional distress from my parents, sat just behind me on the other side of the living room.

I started to sweat, I wanted to throw up, and my fingers shook so violently I could barely type.

I asked her why she was doing it and she said something along the lines of

“I can’t keep it a secret anymore… I have to tell everyone to release it from myself.”

And she did, that very night. She messaged everyone in the class on MSN and revealed to them the secret so huge for me that I’d hidden it deep inside me, praying that no one would ever find out. Such an overbearing and consequential concept for me was trivial to her; she spread it casually over instant message like she would a simple greeting.

Not only did she release my deepest fears to the world but also sent out a poll with it, asking whether those in recipient of the message would now still want to be friends with me.

My best friend did everything she could to support me once the message had gone out but it was still a lot to process.

I didn’t get much sleep that night, and my arms suffered for my worry.

The next morning was the worst of my life… I remember walking to the bus stop so slowly, feeling like I was heading towards my fate. A fate I didn’t want. In my head everything was ruined – there was no way school would be the same, and my family would most likely hate me. I might as well not bother living at all… What’s the point when it’s all ending anyway?

My friend at the bus stop didn’t acknowledge the messages and was nice to me as usual

Albeit slightly quieter. I was feeling nauseous and dizzy on the bus, but there was no one else from my class there so I didn’t have to worry about their judgement. All I could think about was walking into that door and facing my classmates, ready to disregard me. Would they be angry at me? Disgusted? Or would they simply pretend I wasn’t there?

I nearly didn’t find out, as I was so close to just running away.

But I couldn’t, because I knew then I’d have to explain to my parents why I’d failed to turn up to school. I walked in behind my friend, sat down in my usual seat with as little fuss as usual… And no one jumped on me.

No one shouted at me. And no one looked at me like I was a freak.

Instead, I got words of comfort from my class.

Their anger and disgust wasn’t directed towards me but to my ‘friend’ – they couldn’t believe she’d betrayed me like that.

Classmates I’d barely even spoken to before due to their class and popularity difference were acknowledging me as a person and I was lost for words – I just couldn’t understand why they were supporting me, the one with the filthy secret.

Even those that I knew 100% would be uncomfortable with my sexuality due to their religion and other reasons condemned her, and I was thankful for that.

Interestingly, the ‘friend’ took a couple of days off school ill as she’d realised her mistake once the results of her poll came back. She faced her mistake later with me, but our friendship was never the same and it took her a long time to be accepted properly within the class again. The incident was without a doubt the worst I faced during my teenage years and I’d been so close to doing something stupid to avoid what happened next.

I think back to the harm I’d inflicted on myself and the suicidal thoughts I’d had that night, and how there could have been such a loss if I hadn’t listened to my friends and faced my fears…

My journey could have ended due to something that turned out much smaller than I thought it was.

I’m not the bravest person on the planet (far from it, in fact) but I’m glad I was brave that day as it taught me two things – support is always out there, even if it’s not in the way you’d expected, and facing the hurdles in life will eventually make you stronger as a person.

This is only one instance of bullying and most likely widely different from some other stories out there as each experience is individual, but for those experiencing bullying I want them to know one thing in particular.

Even though you don’t feel like you can get through it you can – you just have to move forward and accept the support that’s there.

It may take time and there may be pain and misery involved but just know that once it’s over (which it will be) you’ll be so glad you saw it through to the end.

This is Hannah Today

What wise words at the end! Thank so much, Hannah for you’re bravery in sharing your story with us today. And it goes to show that even those you assume or judge to be… well judge-y, can turn out to be you’re greatest supporters and those who seem like friend, could just be a jealous enemy in disguise.

This is truly an inspiring story and I feel this can help a lot of others who are feeling the same or experiencing similar problems with facing who they are, as a person and sexually. There is nothing wrong with who you are and who you like and it should be something that everyone can openly tell people around them without it being a problem. Our sexuality should be as common as buying something online, you shouldn’t feel fear and it shouldn’t be a constant dreaded though should someone find out. And I hope one day soon that is where we will be at but until then we will continue to share our stories and help one another through the only way we know how, by experience, words and positive vibes.

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