Hey guys, I just wanted to start off this post by saying thank you for the support from last weeks blog post, it means more to me than anyone will ever know. The summer holiday’s are finally here! Yippeee! Since it’s the summer holidays, I wanted to talk about all the grief I got at the start of Year 12 and how I dealt with it because I know a few people who are going through the same sort of thing at the moment.
I have wanted to write about this topic and experience for a while now. I never thought it was the right time to do so, but since it’s the summer holidays and come September it will be a year since it happened, I feel that it’s best to write about it now. Fingers crossed it will help someone, I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through the same sort of thing and not know how to deal with it. Hope this helps.
For years, I have wanted to get my hair cut a certain way, I wanted to have one side of my head shaved. Why? Why not, I like the way it looks. I didn’t think it would be an issue. I mean, why would it be an issue? It’s my hair and I can have it the way I want. I didn’t think anything of it, I didn’t actually realise that there would be any grief, I thought it would be absolutely fine. I mean, people get their hair cut, dye it, do whatever they want to their hair all the time, so why would it be any different?
A week before results day I went and got my hair done, I had finally convinced myself that I wanted it exactly the way I thought. So I went to go and get it done. A few days after getting it done, I put a picture up on social media. There were nothing but nice comments about it.
I then went to collect my GCSE results a week later and yet again, I got a lot of compliments about the way my hair looked. I was absolutely chuffed, it raised my confidence.
Alison, what is your actual point…? Okay, I’m getting there…
The new school year finally started, it was the start of Year 12. We went back to school on my birthday, there still wasn’t a problem, I got told my hair looked nice.
No more than two weeks into sixth form it all started…
I didn’t do anything to provoke what happened. The first time it happened I was in a maths lesson. “She looks like Skrillex”, along with various other comments were said to me and about me. It was just three people saying it, I ignored it. It didn’t actually bother me to begin with, I was so happy with the way it looked that nothing could bring me down. But then walking home a group of Year 10s started to say the same thing, when I say a group I mean like 20 boys saying things to me. It did bother me a little bit. Of course it would, I was happy with how it looked.
The same thing carried on, I would get various comments said to me in maths and when walking home I would get the same thing. One lunch time, I started to get the same thing from the same group of boys. Although I was sat with my friends so it didn’t bother me. A few of my friends told them to leave me alone. The group still carried on but because we weren’t paying any attention to them they started to throw food at me. How can you ignore that? A few of my friends got up to go and speak to them but then I thought about, “If you ignore it and pretend you don’t notice, they might stop, right?” I was wrong. It carried on until a teacher came over telling them to stop.
It carried on for a whole week, I had food thrown at me near enough every lunch time. I then went and told someone, I wasn’t going to at first but a friend convinced me to go, she even came with me to in case I didn’t really want to talk about it. The outcome of talking about it was that it all stopped for like three days…but then it carried on again..
This happened for a whole month and I didn’t tell anyone else, I thought if I left it, it would stop, it would end and I would be left alone. Obviously telling someone wasn’t the right answer. I was 100% wrong! Being honest, I didn’t want to tell anyone, it’s kind of embarrassing when you are having food thrown at you on a daily basis, it really affects someone’s self-esteem..
When on my way home I would have things said to me, the advantages of riding a bike are that you can get past people faster than on foot. But not if they block the path just so they can say cruel things…
It was no longer my hair they were picking on me for, they were now saying things about my weight and anything else they thought of. I eventually had enough of all the grief I was getting, I spoke to my friend about it and then finally went and told my dad.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, no one knows what is going on unless you tell them, after all, they don’t have a crystal ball.
The morning after I told my dad, he went into the school to go and speak to someone about what was going on. I felt nervous, I didn’t really want him to go into the school, I thought it would cause more problems but once again I was wrong. I got asked to explain what was going on and why I didn’t tell anyone that it carried on after telling the first teacher. The sad truth is that I was use to it, I wasn’t happy with it but I was used to it. Which links back to a post that I wrote a few weeks ago: Just because you’re used to something doesn’t mean it’s okay..!
Within two weeks, I was getting pulled out of my lessons to go and speak about how I felt. I then got the opportunity to speak to the people who were causing me to feel the way I was feeling. My main question was why, why did they feel the need to be cruel? Why did they have to take it that far in the first place? What did I ever do to them for them to treat me how they did? And so on…
Most of the answers I got were, “It was just a joke” or they said that they never did it…
I didn’t understand how I could possibly take it as a joke, I get the whole being called Skrillex thing, I found it funny after a while, not that I want to be called that because I don’t. But throwing food at me…how is that a joke?
I wanted to find a way to avoid having food thrown at me or being called names. I just really don’t understand how anyone in the right mind thinks that what I experienced was okay.
I thought that because it was a new year, that I would be in sixth form, that maybe, just maybe, people might have grown up and would finally leave me alone. I was wrong with that thought. Everyone that usually supports me reassured me that it wasn’t me, that it was them that had the problem and that I shouldn’t let them effect who I am.
Here’s my advice, if you want to do something different (Get your hair cut, dyed, change your style of clothes, ect), then go for it, if you like it then just do it. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do. If you get any grief then tell someone straight away, you never know it might not get better unless you tell someone.
Do what is best for you, forget everyone else, don’t worry about what people will say or think. You should have your best interests at heart.
I just wanted to finish this post off by saying thank you for all the support I got with this incident, you know who you are. It means so much to me. Without the support I would have most likely ended up leaving sixth form, that’s what I wanted to do. Who can learn and enjoy themselves when you have people bringing you down? Not me, that’s for sure. Massive thank you to my friends and my dad for supporting me through this, and even though I know they won’t see this, I want to acknowledge the support I got from two teachers at school, they arranged my opportunity of being able to speak to the ones that bullied me.
Some people will read this and will say, “That wasn’t bullying, chill.” It was bullying, it made me unhappy, made me want to leave school, made me feel uncomfortable with who I was and made me want to disappear within school, it WAS bullying.
Thank you for the ongoing support. Hope this has helped at least one person, or at least opened up someone’s eyes. Finally writing and posting this has made me feel like a massive weight has just been lifted off my shoulders. That’s it from me this week, I hope everyone has an amazing first week of their summer, there will be a new post next week! Stay positive and have hope. Much love – Alison xx