13 November 2017

We're All Different. But All Equal.

I was out with some old school friends the other week, reminiscing about the old school days, the laughs we used to have, all the memories we made.

Of course, someone says, "I'd love to relive high school again". Nah, no way. I'd rather have 10 Venflons pierced in my hand.

As it is Anti-Bullying Week this week, I thought I'd write a post about how bullying can have such a huge impact on your life if you have ever been put through the torture it brings.
But first, let me tell you a story. Picture a 14-year-old girl, a little slow to develop as she has a life threatening illness which slows down her maturing on the same level development as the other girls in her year. She has short brown hair with a full fringe that makes her cringe every time she looks at her reflection in the mirror. She has blown out cheeks due to taking high doses of steroids. She never wears makeup because she couldn't see the point of making herself to look and feel different than she was. She feels too embarrassed to take her Creon in front of everyone in the canteen so she hides it by putting her hefty, cheap bag in front of her which is full to the brim with books which she knows that she will need for her timetabled lessons. A girl who fears going to school every morning knowing that she will be ridiculed about her looks and ways as soon as she steps foot in front of the school gates.
Now, if you are really good at guessing games, you will have rightly assumed that 14-year-old girl was me. And this didn't just happen when I was 14, but through most of my high school years. The times I used to come home from school and the tears would start rolling because I wouldn't even dare let them show in front of those "people" in school. The times the tears used to fall and splash on my polo shirt emblazoned with the school crest. I never EVER wanted to show defeat, I wanted to be able to put on a strong face, maybe like a poker face, but boy was that hard.

I constantly looked at my Nokia 7373 phone to see how long was left until I could finally walk over the walkover bridge and meet my Mam after she had finished work.

I could never relive those days again.

Before anyone says anything, I haven't written to be pitied on or for attention, I'm trying to get across to people how truly mortifying and self-destroying being bullying can be for someone.

Why would I even wish to go back to the days where I was made to feel unattractive, useless and utterly defenceless?

A place where I got called a fat c**t, ugly and pathetic for not smoking when they knew full well I couldn't because of CF? (like I would have wanted to, it's a disgusting habit). A place where my facial features were put under the spotlight and I knew I couldn't do anything to change that. Back then contouring and super arched eyebrows weren't such a high maintenance task to keep up with as it is now.

Can you see why I'm not one of those people who doesn't want to do a throwback/Timehop and travel back in time back to comp?

But do you know what?

Looking back and looking at where I am with my life now, I want to thank those bullies for making me see that I'm a lot stronger than I look and that I could handle anything life throws at me. And also thank you for making me see that I am the much better person, because, put it this way, I have got a lot further in my life than they have. I'm a lot more confident than I used to be and I'm fully embracing what those people criticised and shamed me for, my chipmunk cheeks and unique personality! I would rather be me and be eccentric than boring and bitchy like they were.
I'm so sorry for the LONG post! I just needed to get my point when it comes to bullying.
If you are being bullied, please speak out. I never did and I could saved a whole load of hassle on myself if I told somebody. I know there's that stigma attached to telling someone makes you a grass, but I finally realised, it doesn't.

Please do not ever think that you are anything less than those bullies make you feel. You are beautiful, handsome, clever, funny (like you got a good sense of humour 'funny') and more importantly, YOU. Bullies are only jealous of you because they know deep down that you are the pupil in their year who is going to make it far in life and go onto bigger and better things.

Be Yourself.
Now my 24-year-old self is going to sit back and relax and wait for the next opportunity to come along, however big or small.

We're all different. But all equal.
Lucy
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