I read this quote today and it really made think about how I was treated in high school.
In school, I felt like I was constantly just clinging onto different groups of people, not really feeling like I belonged in any group.
Being bullied made me feel like more of an outcast than I already did. I knew I was different to everyone at school and, my gosh that feeling was enforced by everyone around me.
I was bullied for being different, for my sexuality, for my acne, for the way I dressed and the people I hung around with, basically anything anyone could pick on.
It ran me right into the ground. It caused depression and added to my, then undiagnosed, BPD.
It caused me to question my existence on a daily basis. Why was I so disgusting to everyone else? What was I doing so wrong? What could I change about myself to fit in and for everyone to like me?
I self-harmed regularly on a daily basis to release the intense emotional pain I was feeling caused by the bullying. My self-harm was so bad at one point, you couldn't see the skin on my arm. It was cut after cut after cut after cut and if it didn't go deep enough or bleed hard enough, then it wasn't enough. I needed more and more. I hadn’t felt enough pain for how ‘weird’ or how much of a ‘freak’ I was. I genuinely believed that there was something wrong with me. If everyone kept calling me a ‘freak’, I must be and I deserve more pain. I deserve to be hurting because everything everyone is saying must be true and I don’t deserve to be here. And I had to carry on cutting until I had released enough and it started to hurt.
I cried myself to sleep every single night and woke up every morning with a feeling of dread of going back to school.
I skipped every P.E lesson or made up an excuse because I couldn’t bear what the other girls would say about me in the changing rooms.
I remember once, in English class. I used to wear a long rainbow sleeveless glove that went upto my elbow, it used to cover my cuts. The English class was quiet. We weren’t allowed to speak in this lesson. The teacher noticed my glove under the blazer sleeve and ordered me to remove it. I sunk into the ground, couldn’t believe that my secret was about to be exposed.
Everyone started at me in the silence, as I started to remove the glove. Everyone saw the glove. My arm. My cuts.
Not one person, including the teacher, pulled me aside and spoke to me about it. I was alone and I was scared. I had no real friends to talk too.
This isn't a pity post. Infact, it’s the complete opposite. This is a post about how I used all of that to make me a better person.
As an adult, being bullied has certainly taught me a few things and helped me grow and evolve in ways bullies made me feel I couldn't.
You can't change what other people say to you or about you, you can only change how you respond to it.
So I just want to say THANK YOU to my past bullies.
Thank you for showing me how NOT to behave. As an adult I now know that I must always be nice, even when someone else isn't. Thank you for the nasty words you chose to describe me and my appearance, they made me learn to accept myself and my flaws for the wonderful unique individual that I am.
Thank you for reminding me that I am sensitive. That is my greatest superpower.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to realise my potential – All those vile and nasty comments, they haunt me still but I have chosen to wear them with pride.
Thank you for showing me everything that I am not and never will be.
Thank you for showing me that not everyone on this planet will like me... but I now know that is a good thing and I am OKAY with that.
Because I am me! I am a badass, warrior. I am Claire Welch-Beasley and not everyone will like me. I'm never going to change my ‘weird’, ‘quirky’ ways for anyone.
I'm here for anyone who has been bullied, or is currently being bullied. You are enough, you are worthy and your 'flaws' are perfect. They make you the beautiful individual you are.
There are LIFELONG SIDE EFFECTS OF BULLYING.
Choose your words carefully and your actions more so. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. How would your actions affect you?
Bullying can actually have deep, long lasting effects on someone's mental health. Especially at school age. And I know this, because I have battled with my mental health for a very long time...But that's for another time ;)
Thankyou for reading, I appreciate you <3
Claire Welch - Beasley
P.S I can help you build up the confidence that your bullies may have taken away from you. You are perfect <3