If you read this before February 27th 2011, you'll notice it has changed. In fact, I rewrote the whole thing. Why? Because I've changed since I made Bully Aware. I've grown up a lot, and I've started to understand the effects bullying had on me. I'm starting to understand why it lasted so long, and why being bullied in the first place made it easier for me to be bullied again. But, most importantly... I'm starting to get over the effects, and become more confident, and I'm starting to become the person I was before it all happened.
When It All Started
I had never been bullied before year 3. Life was good - I was friends with pretty much everyone, I always played outside with my friends and played football with them at school. But something just changed that year - I don't know why, but people started to not like me. My best friends didn't like me anymore, they started calling me names and telling me to go away. Sometimes they would even tell a teacher that I was bullying them, and I got in trouble - I didn't get a chance to explain. They sometimes hit me, too, but the name-calling was worse. A teacher found out about the bullying, and we were told to apologize and be friends again. It seemed like a good way to deal with it - I had friends again, and that made me happy. But, in year 4, it started again. And, again, we were told to just make up and be friends. But after last time, I didn't want to be friends again. One of them told a teacher that I was bullying him because I didn't want to be friends with him, and I got in trouble and told to be his friend. I was bullied, mostly by the same people, through the rest of year 4. I learned over time that the best way to deal with it was to tell me parents or a teacher, and it always stopped the bullying for a while, and towards the end of the year it stopped completely.
New School, New Friends
Middle school seemed different at first. I was in a class with some friends that I had known before first school but had been in a different class to them so I hadn't seen them much. But I found it hard to talk to them, and to make new friends - being bullied in first school had damaged my confidence, and I had gone so long without really talking to people or going out with them that I didn't really know how to talk to people. I had friends for a while, although I never saw or talked to them outside of school. But because I never talked much and I never played outside, they got bored and started ignoring me. Because of that, it made me try to get their attention because I wanted friends. But they just thought I was annoying, and it just made them like me less.
In year 6, a year 8 pinned me against a fence and threatened to kill me if I told a teacher. But I told the head teacher, and he was in trouble - he never even looked at me again. The only reason he threatened me in the first place was because he was scared of teachers. Also in year 6, I got bullied by someone in my class. Sometimes, he was my only friend, but other times, he bullied me and I hated him. He once threw me on the floor for no reason, and accidentally knocked a drum off a table - the metal edge hit me on the head and it was bleeding. Usually he called me names and wouldn't let me be near any of my friends, because he said they were his. One day, I just snapped, and I asked him to fight me. I knew that I could win, but I really wasn't going to fight him, and he knew it - I just wanted to show him that I wasn't scared of him. But someone told a teacher and, I got shouted at. I wasn't given a chance to explain. After school, he taunted me and called me names, because he knew I wouldn't hit him. Later that week the head of year talked to us both about what happened. We just got told to shake hands and be friends. Again.
Year 7 was different - that was the year I set up Bully Aware. I made some friends that year, and people started to respect me. It definitely made me a more confident person, and I started talking to people more. But after a few months, I started getting bullied again - it was a different person this time, some I had never really talked to before. He always said the website was stupid, said it was a bad idea. He even told people that this whole story was a lie.. but no. Because if it was a lie, and I hadn't been bullied, my life would be so much different now. I would be a different person, popular, lots of friends and probably a girlfriend. And I would be able to have a proper conversation face-to-face with people. Anyway, he kept bullying me for most of year 8. He always called me stuff, called me fat and four-eyes and a nerd. I got really aggressive, I usually swore at him and shouted. I even wanted to hit him sometimes, but I never would.
Towards the end of year 8, everything changed. I started walking home from school, which I hadn't been allowed to do before because we lived so far from school, and I made some good friends. We sometimes went to Netto and bought sweets. We always went to the park on the way home, and had some really funny times (like when Nathan was running down a hill and tripped on his schoolbag and rolled all the way to the bottom). Yeah, it doesn't seem like much - most people do that every day. But when you haven't had proper friends for almost 6 years, it really is great. I also made friends with some people I hadn't talked to since starting middle school, and some of the people who had bullied me in first school.
It Didn't Last Long
Because.. About a month after I had started making friends, we moved to high school. Most of them went to a different school. Only two of my friends actually went to the same school as me, and I only ever see one of them. We don't walk home together anymore. I never see them outside of school. In fact, the ones who went to a different school, I've never even spoke to since then.
I did make some good friends at high school, though, because I was a more confident person then. I could walk over to a group of people and join in a conversation - I actually became quite popular. But, again, it didn't last long. I just drifted away from my friends because I never went out and I still couldn't have a conversation properly. I have good friends, yes, but I never really speak to them.
I was bullied once at the start of high school. But as soon as a teacher found out, it was dealt with and it ended straight away.
I'm now half way through year 9, and life is different now. I don't usually get bullied now but, whenever somebody calls me something or tries to wind me up, I can deal with it. When I was getting bullied regularly, it made me very easy to annoy - just saying something slightly negative about me could make me snap. But now, after having been through it, I'm really starting to become a stronger and more confident person.
I'm still really bad at talking to people though - I can make friends, but I can't have a conversation, so I lose friends. I'm still not as confident as I used to be, and I don't like making eye-contact, and I could be like that for life. They are just the long-term effects of bullying, and I'll probably never be the same as I was before it all happened. But now, I'm starting to understand why bullying changed me so much and I'm starting to realize that these effects could last forever. But I did get through it, so anyone else can too - and I'll always be here to help them.