Saturday, 28 June 2014

JADE: BULLYING RUINED MY LIFE...

Reader Jade speaks out about how relentless bullying ruined her school years and almost took her life...

Jade says:
When I was ten, we moved from Wales to the North east of England and I was badly bullied both at school and at home. One of the bullies was my own stepbrother, so I felt I could never get away from it. We moved back to Wales but the bullying continued and got worse. Some girls told me I was fat and ugly, others hated me for being smart, and boys would ask me out as a joke. Worse, one of the boys repeatedly hit and touched me. I was thirteen and terrified of school, so I began skipping meals and making myself sick so I wouldn't have to go. One day some girls followed me home, threw stones at me and posted vile notes through my door; that was the day I began to self-harm.

I got a scholarship to a private school but the bullying continued online and in person if I dared to go out to the swimming pool or the park. Things were better by the time I went to college to study A levels, but by then I was struggling with depression, anxiety and eating problems... I was still haunted by the bullying. I had to change things; I got counselling and began to develop coping techniques, and was accepted at university to study to be a vet. And then, the day before my Physics A level, I found out I was pregnant. I was devastated, and my boyfriend didn't want to know... I had never felt more alone.

Six months after my baby was born, I tried to end my life. I just couldn't stop the feelings of hopelessness, sadness and anxiety. I couldn't see a way out of the black hole I was in. I ended up in hospital for four months, and amazingly, that saved me. The doctors helped me with my baby, sorted out my medication and gave me coping techniques which are now a lifeline. Life is very different now. I have a great boyfriend, my daughter is two and I am about to take my A levels and go to uni in September. Best of all, I have ways to fight the hopelessness that sometimes threatens to take over. Writing therapy has been amazing - a way to pour my feelings out onto paper.

If anyone out there is feeling low, please talk to your parents, a teacher, a doctor, a friend. It may seem scary, but it can really help. Learn some coping techniques - the MIND website has a section on this. More than anything, tell yourself every day that you CAN do it, even though it can feel terrible, and as though it will never end. Work hard and believe - there is help out there, there IS a way through. They say sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you - that is NOT true. Those words and cruel names can haunt you. Bullies don't understand that what they think is a bit of fun can cause so much harm.

Names have been changed, pic posed by model.

If YOU are being bullied, please call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or contact Beat Bullying at http://www.beatbullying.org

Cathy says:
Jade's story is a heartbreaker. If her bullies knew just how much damage they did, I wonder if they'd feel guilty? I hope so, but sadly, the damage was done and Jade has had to battle very hard to come through. COMMENT BELOW if you'd like to show her your support, or to share your own stories of being bullied or struggling with depression.

12 comments:

  1. Well my friend at school - Jasmine - self harms because she hates her life. She lives in a counsil flat with her mum who pays her little attention and she is constantly fighting with friends and I think she feels just alone. I am really worried that one day she will take her life. She has cuts and scars all up her arms, legs and hips and it is scaring me silly. I dont know how I can help her anymore. xxx

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    1. I have just been reading a book about a girl who self harms herself and who's mum ignores her. Try and talk to your friend and tell her that she is worrying you. You could even try to contact childline who could help find your friend someone to help. Blondie (Hope it all works out with your friend) x

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    2. Wow, I feel awful knowing that's how my friends probably felt when I was in the grip of self harming - I'm trying to stop now. I agree with Blondie - you should support Jasmine and let her know you're there for her whilst pointing her in the right direction such as Childline BUT don't take on the burden alone. You're hurting too here and you might also benefit from calling Childline. Jasmine won't like this - I know I hated it - but if you can get ahold of whatever she uses to self harm, consfiscate it/them. My friends threw my blades away and even though I had a complete meltdown and screamed at them, I do appreciate that they were trying to help and it did work temporarily. I couldn't hurt myself until I found new instruments. It might work, it might not. You also need to tell her how it makes you feel. She may be so wrapped up in her own pain, she can't see how it's affecting you and others. It will be an uncomfortable conversation but it might be an eye opener for her. Chances are, she doesn't like herself and doesn't care how much she hurts herself but knowing she's hurting others as well? Pretty good reason to stop although it takes time, of course. Also, be careful with that one because when I was told my behaviour was hurting others, I hated myself so much that it didn't help at all. As I got older, I started to see sense so it's a hit and miss sort of thing. It helps some people and hurts others. Last point, and also a pretty important one: introduce her to new coping mechanisms. Writing, drawing, singing, any way of letting emotions out that isn't damaging works. And there's loads of lists of ways to quit self harming online - off the top of my head, there's using a red marker to draw lines on the skin you'd cut, snapping an elastic band or hair bobble against your wrist or holding ice cubes - so, yeah, maybe you can print some tips out and give them to Jasmine? Knowing you're by her side, helping is reassuring, at least. Of course, the problems and emotions behind the self harm need to be tackled too but I'm afraid I'm no expert on that. Sorry. All I do know is that she needs your support but you have to remember to look after yourself too. Don't let worry get on top of you because it's not good for you. Just try your best to show her you're there for her and I'm sure you can work through it together. :-)

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    3. Hello, I am so sorry about your friend and I hope everything will turn out okay! Maybe if it is worrying you so much, talk to a trusted adult or maybe you could contact childline and they could help Jasmine?

      The pain must be horrible for you! Its always scary to watch a friend go through these sort of things, but just try maybe to comfort her, tell her how much she means to you. My best friend used to cut but her mum found out and I told her how amazing she is and how much I love her - now everything is okay.
      x

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  2. This is such a sad story. It really shows how bullying ruins your life because, even years later, people's self esteem is still in ruins. However, it's great to know that whoever was the real 'Jade' is having help with her baby and building back every thing the bullies knocked down
    Good luck
    Xxx

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  3. Poor Jade. There is this girl at school who's being bullied by nearly every one in our year. Me and my friend are nice to her though, everyone has the right to be happy. Everyone is allowed to be free, happy, to enjoy life.
    I feel sad for bullies. They must be very hurt themselves. If only bullying could stop. The world would be a very happy place for each and every one of us.

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    1. I really agree Rosa. And although bullies are cruel and heartless, sometimes they themselves are having difficulties with THEIR lives. Not all bullies have a motif but often we have to spare a little time to think how the bullies may be feeling.
      If they're only doing it for the kick of it, though, they deserve to feel guilty. Those people should be extremely ashamed of themselves, for the damage they've done can leave people scarred for life.(Not physically.)
      On a more positive note..... WELL DONE JADE!!! Good luck in life although I'm sure you won't need it. I'm so glad you found the right people to support you.

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  4. Oh Jade, your story is just shattering. I honestly don't know what to say, but I write, I write to support you and perspective on small facts everyday for which it's taking so the head while there are much more serious... I also write against those pesky students who believe their actions "fun" and who say "It was just for laugh.". I don't understand it. I'm not perfect, and nobody's perfect, but it's inhuman to get there. Your story deserves to be read by so many people. And I'm sure and certain that you was much more talented than your classmates, whatever they say, whatever they do. I hope your life, Jade, will be much better than it has started and that you will continue to be happy.
    Manon ❤

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  5. I am 100% with you Jade! No bully will ever know how their version of fun can hurt people and honestly some never will. You just can't let them get to you. Never try to fight back or be upset all the time cause of what they say. Just be proud of who you are and what you're doing with your life. That's how I'm not affected by bullies in my school!

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  6. Jade, or whoever you are... This story has really affected me. I'm not being silly, it really has. I have never been bullied, never bullied others, and I hope that I will never have the horribleness in me to do so, so I have no experience in this subject, but how you are picking yourself up, caring for your child... I really admire you. I really respect you for the fact that you haven't given your daughter up. That must have been hard, the decision. Or you might have not had to make a decision. You might have known right from the start that you would keep your child. That you had it in you to try and make another's life as good as you can possibly can. I think the fact that you have spoken out, told others about your difficulties, is incredible. To have that courage...
    There's an author that I know of... You might not know her, but you can find her on Facebook at Gabe and Izzy. She wrote an amazing book that I've read, all about how she was bullied because she was disabled, and how her dog helped her to live into adulthood. She never tried to take her life, I believe, but you might want to look it up. Maybe your dog can be your daughter...?
    I wish you well in the rest of your life, and your daughter's too. I hope you both live to be strong, independent, and with lots of friends who care about you. Because friends can make all the difference in a person's life. I hope you know now that there are people who care about you, want to help you when you're low. Bullies are dreadful. They mock people, make their lives hell... But sometimes, bullies can be bullied at home, like you were, although of course you weren't the bully, or have other problems. I know, that doesn't excuse their behaviour. But maybe we should all think of their feelings, as they should think of ours.
    Take care of yourself, Jade. You are brave. You can live. You have so many tings to live for, especially your daughter. I wish you the best in everything. X

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  7. This story really got to me because it is similar to my sstory. I was only bullied for 2 years before I moved forms but the scars of that time are still here, after 3 years. I sefharmed for a long time and have only recently stopped. I attempted more times than I can count. But I am now working hard to overcme it while also helping others with similar situations on BeatBullying.

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  8. Oh Jade... This story touched me. We don't have very serious bullying in my school, but my friend used to self-harm and it scared me so much. She's stopped since, but I'm terrified that there'll be a trigger that will spark it off again.

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