Today I faced prejudice and I have something to say…

I apologise.

I apologise to every single person I have ever prejudged. I am sorry for thinking you were less intelligent, or less friendly before getting to know you. I am sorry for not believing in you. I apologise for crossing the road to get away from you. I apologise for not understanding how you feel about your sexuality or your gender. I apologise for not understanding your customs, or your traditions. I apologise for brushing off any hurt I have caused with careless comments or tactless words. I apologise for using the wrong pronoun, or derogatory term, or using a mean tone of voice.

I apologise for living in ignorance.

I apologise for the fact I will probably still prejudge some people,

but I will try my hardest not to.

Call me out. Tell me I’m wrong. Help me better myself.

We all do it. We are all ignorant to some extent. Ignorance is defined as the lack of knowledge or information and maybe I just haven’t experienced enough yet. I am young. However my intent is good. I will try to change and better myself.

However I think it is intent that is the crux of the matter. I didn’t intend any harm, to the best of my knowledge. The person today did.

To show this, if you call me out I promise I will listen. I promise I will work hard to make amends. I truly don’t mean harm, and I want to learn about everything and everyone. I didn’t like how I was treated today and it opened my eyes to the suffering I may have inflicted involuntarily.

Everyday, I will just get a little bit better, and a little more wise.

And until the day I am not ignorant in the slightest, I promise I will compensate with kindness.


The Bullying Effect: Recovery part 2

I was bullied during my school years. I was bullied consistently and at times quite viscously. It wasn’t just girls, it was boys as well. There was name calling, rumours, teasing, cyber bullying, lies, isolation and at one point it did escalate into a physical attack.

I personally wish I had had the courage to call the police. I wish I had had the courage to tell my parents, or at least let my friends know the true scale of it, if they were not fully aware.

The reason I did not, was because for years I had assumed if I told the teacher it would stop. I did tell. I didn’t mess around. I told various teachers of various superior positions in the school. Nothing. I put notes in the “bully box” in the school’s nurses office. Nothing. I was in tears in that very office on more than one occasion. Nothing. I hid in that office everyday for weeks, and they wondered my I needed so much paracetamol. Nothing. I went to deputy heads, and other teachers in tears, scared and upset, and yet still nothing was done.

Being bullied is an intensely lonely time in your life. Feeling like everyone hates you, you start to believe that you are worthless. I did not need teachers ignoring what was going on. Certain teachers even ignored one quite severe incident in the girls changing rooms. I will not go into detail, however, I would say ignoring that was borderline neglect.

Everyone deserves to feel safe at school. Everyone deserves to be happy and have the chance to make friends.

The bullying I experienced turned me into a cold and standoffish person. I just did not trust anyone. I always thought people had an ulterior motive for talking to me. This was a defence mechanism. I didn’t want to be hurt any more. The fact even teachers did not care made me think I was worthless.

Now, along with other things, like my father passing away suddenly, this helped trigger an eating disorder. My self esteem was so low. I thought I was worth nothing. Less than nothing.

Bullying should not be tolerated. 

Teachers should not neglect their student’s needs.

I have my own thoughts as to why my pleas for help fell on deaf ears. At a very academic school, I was not the clever one, or good at sport, or drama. I fell in the middle of everything, miss average. I fell through the net. The high flyers were allowed to do what they liked to who they liked because of who they were.

This is all theory, however, the facts are that I asked for help and it was ignored repeatedly.

Bullying can destroy people. It is serious.
Every one deserves the chance to be happy, think they are worth something and thrive.
Words can last a lifetime.
They can chip away at someone’s life so they have nothing left.

All I know now, is if I ever see bullying, I WILL ACT.

I am getting over the things said to me. I am a stronger person and I will not let anyone from my past interfere with my future happiness. I know it had made me a better person because I know I never ever want to make someone feel the way I did, and ultimately people in the real world, outside the school environment, will not put up with it.

They will be fired, dismissed, ignored themselves.
They will have to become a better person at some point, otherwise they will lose everything themselves.

I genuinely hope my school bullies have found peace with themselves and don’t wish to harm people any more. I hope they have grown up. I genuinely hope they are happy, because I stand by what I said. Everyone deserves happiness. I might not like them, but I have forgiven. And this blog post is me finally letting go.