My names Laura, 23 years of age. I was bullied in school.
It started around age 7/8 in primary school, I’m a plus sized girl I always have been even from a younger age. I was called the generic names of fatty, elephant; anything that related to me being fat I was called it but it did not faze me much, in primary I can’t really remember that far back for it to affect me. It’s when I hit secondary school the memories come flooding back.
My older sister attended the same school and she was adored by all teachers and students, my mother had no worries of me attending because of this but it seemed to be the complete opposite for me. I had friends that I carried on with from primary school but they seemed to of gained popularity and I became lost in the loser world. They would speak to me but only when it would benefit them or to mock me. Back then I guess I dressed similar to the skinhead style. I enjoyed having a shaved head with out there colours. Thinking about it now I didn’t help myself by looking this way but why should I be judged on how I look and how I want to express myself?
It was all just the name calling that got to me the most and the hurtful things the boys used to say to me, because what girl wants to be unattractive and not worshipped by men. I can remember in year 8 all of the ‘chavs’ as we called them decided it was time for all those who were different to be hurt and injured, they charged round from the opposite side of school to the music block and threw stones at us. Only one person stuck up for all of us that day and he ended up face down in a pool of his own blood. I can’t shake that image out of my head, he was just lying there unconscious while they video and photographed him. To think that this was a catholic school, it was unbelievable, they all had no morals or mercy and in the end the teachers called an ambulance. I never saw the guy again.
The second incident was in a science lesson. To be honest throughout school with everything that happened I took to self-harm well during science I thought clever me would try and relieve this stress by getting the blade off a sharpener and I ended up by accident slitting from my thumb to my wrist. For that split moment I thought maybe those who saw it happen would take pity and leave me alone and see what was happening to me. Nope, it didn’t I ended up with a very bloody blazer and in the nurse’s office eating sugar.
In my last year of school, I started hanging around over the hill, me and my best friend at the time called it. We would sit and drink and play games all innocent until one girl turned on me because my best friend decided to stir things. I got beat up that night. My first ever panic attack and no one was there helping as they all feared this girl. One person helped and I owe that person a lot as if it wasn’t for her it could have been a whole lot worse. I got back home that night with broken glasses and a lenses missing, my right side of my face was bruised and swollen, but if anything the thing that haunted me the most was the feeling of that split second and never being able to escape
I then started hanging out at the moth instead (man on the horse) with a girl a year older than me. All the people who were there abused drugs and had been in and out of prison. At this point I was drinking a lot, it was my cry for help and no one saw. It affected me a lot at the age 15, I got left in town late at night on my own in my uniform and guys stole off me and attempted to hurt me that night. I shrugged it off and the next day I did the same again but this day was my final breaking point. A guy who was feared at the time decided to publicly shame me and had his friends hold me and pour beer over me I dread to think what would have happened if my cousin hadn’t turned up and seen the incident because they then stopped and cowered away.
The teachers saw me as an easy target, they were constantly telling me I was no good and that I wouldn’t go far. They also said this to my parents and continuously tried to explain how stupid I was. If I could go back to them now I would raise my middle finger and ask them why they had become a teacher when they could not even identify a child victim of bullying and support them with their dyspraxia and dyslexia. I would love to show them how far I’ve come. I was an art GCSE drop out, I left school with C’s and D’s because of how bad the bullying had got and from the lack of support from the teaching staff. The day I received my results I walked in and walked back out and I have never looked back at that place since. The school was hell for a catholic holy place it had no morals or courtesy for its pupils. They found out I had been self-harming through bullies and yet again the school put it down to my lack of intelligence. In actual fact I struggled with dyslexia and dyspraxia and being bullied on top didn’t help my confidence. I got sent to a clinic which tried to speak to me about my problems and sort me out, it was evident it was the school and the others that were making me this way.
My name is Laura Elizabeth and I am a survivor of self-harm and bullying. I stopped self-harming at the age of 18 when I met my fiancé. It would be perfect if I never had these ugly scars but they remind me of how far I’ve come. I’m a sufferer of depression and social anxiety now and I hate to be left on my own but I am a lot more confident and I appreciate my life now more than ever. I was once that person who saw no way out and nearly let those people destroy me, but having a strong support network of family I am overcoming this. Things affect me today, I can’t be in crowds of people and I dread the moment I have to stand in front of people but I can now say I am a university student in my final year wanting to be a teacher. I don’t want children or teenagers to experience what I had. Find your haven and find your hobby and let that get you through the dark times. I am a photographer and my photographs are a constant expression of who I am.
so please stay positive through all those hard moments because if I can get this far so can you!