What I Learned From Being Bullied As A Teenager...

I fell down 7 times, but did I get up 8?

Photo by: Brodie Vissers

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became the "no care in the world" bitch that is me.

Primary school (Kindergarten to 5th grade) was the best time of my life, I lived in a bubble and it was great. I felt like we were a family, we all got along, no one was a "terrorist" or a "paki" or a "brownie." In all honesty, in primary school I was so naive I didn't even know racism was a thing. Then high school happened (6th grade to 10th grade) and I just want to talk about my experiences with bullies in high school and what these experiences taught me.

1. Margaret (not her real name because her name isn't up to standard to be in my story)

This girl hated me from the get go. She didn't like me because I was quiet and I minded my business. She found any opportunity to make me feel small, I guess to make herself feel better about herself (she was no Beyoncé, ya feel me?). My name was always in her mouth, and I could always hear her friends laughing in the background.

Small backstory: I had a problem with my jaw once my adult teeth came out and there was a large gap between my top and bottom set of teeth which meant that I had a strong lisp and you couldn't see my teeth when I spoke. I then had surgery when I was in college (THANK YOU NHS ILY) where they basically cracked my jaw and put it back into the right place. I was on a liquid diet for two months, couldn't eat normal food for six months, and I cried every time I saw my family eat chicken. It was a difficult time but it was worth it.

Anyways, she was always telling people around her that I looked like a fish and that always got a reaction from her low-life friends. That then resulted in a lot of her friends also having something to say about my teeth and the way I spoke. So then I decided to avoid speaking as much as I could, especially in class. This is where "not having a voice" slowly became a part of who I was.

This other time, it started snowing outside and this kid (who definitely had behaviour problems thinking about it now) threw a snowball into the classroom (I mean, who throws snowballs into classrooms? And why was he not in class???). So she picked up the snowball and threw it at me, like right at my face, FOR NO REASON. Most of the class laughed. The people who weren't laughing were giving me this remorseful look, and no one likes people feeling sorry for them. Am I Dobby from Harry Potter for you to be feeling sorry for me???

Another time, I was sat in Spanish class, and I heard her talking about me again so I was really annoyed. Anyways, towards the end of the lesson my teacher told me to do something, and obviously I wasn't in the mood so I rolled my eyes at her (my eyes did a 360), so she told me to stay behind. I just told her everything. That's what they tell you in high school, right? "Tell a teacher if someone's bullying you." Little did I know, it would make everything worse. Anyways, I thought my teacher was going to deal with her, and I felt good, I thought all my problems had just been solved. Skip to next lesson, and what does my teacher do? SHE GETS US BOTH IN A ROOM TO "TALK IT OUT." I don't know if I didn't make it clear to my teacher but at no point did I say I wanted to be friends with her. I just wanted her to keep my name out of her dirty, cavity filled mouth. Margaret obviously went and told everyone, and I was a dead man walking. Man snitched so man's gotta accept the consequences.

This other time (yes another time, she was obsessed with me. I should have asked her if she wanted an autograph or a selfie together), I went to an after school session and my friend forgot her artwork in another class so I went with her to get it and I put my bag on the chair that I was sat on (that chair is pretty much my property now). I come back and she's sat in my chair, and my bag and artwork have been thrown onto the floor and she and her dog face friends are just sat there cackling like Cinderella's ugly ass stepsisters. Child, please. Don't be telling me to go back to my country, when you can't follow standard British social norms. Uncultured swines.

(Those are only four stories that happened with Margaret; there's about 178 more.)

2. Harold (not his name, once again)

Harold was a Middle Eastern tall boy who pretended to be a "hard guy that you don't want to mess with" but he was actually an oversensitive little child. I remember once he threw a hissy fit and left the classroom in the most diva-ish manner because the girl next to him sprayed deodorant and he was like "some people are allergic." Boy, you literally think you're Randy Orton and you're crying because your nose hairs are triggered. Okay. 

Anyways, he spent most of his high school years telling everyone he saw that I looked like Tupac. Now, I know it's not that deep, I mean Tupac was a beautiful man, but imagine an already insecure 13-year-old girl being told that she looks like a 40-year-old bald man. Yeah. So I tried to avoid this guy at all times. If I saw him in the corridor coming towards me, I'd be doing some MI5 things trying to dodge him because he would literally shout in a busy corridor "YO DOESN'T SHE LOOK LIKE TUPAC" and I would cry inside.

3. Mol'isha (you guessed it, not her name)

THIS. BITCH. I absolutely hated this girl, and to be quite honest I still do. I remember in Science I used to sit behind her and she asked someone to take a photo of her. A few days later, it was the weekend and I was at home cleaning my bedroom and my friend sent me a screenshot of her Facebook timeline and Mol'isha had posted this photo and tagged her sister in it, and the caption was "look at E.T in the background." Yep, she was talking about me. I was about 13-years-old, and I still remember myself getting very hot, sweating, and the feeling of my stomach coming out of my mouth. I did nothing to her. Do you know how confusing it is as a kid to have someone do stuff like that to you with absolutely no motive??? 7 years later and I still remember everything like it happened yesterday. I feel sick right now.

***

At the end of high school, I became this even quieter, reserved girl with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, low self-worth, who never spoke up for herself, and I hate those five years because I felt like those people made me a nobody.

One thing I learned is that friends are so important in life. They will lift you when you're feeling down. At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure if I stalked the people who bullied me in high school on social media and saw how they were doing in life, they probably haven't glowed up at all, have contracted herpes 7 times, and/or are still sat at home with their parents doing nothing, so you know what? I'm goooood. So thanks for dragging me down because you have to hit rock bottom to get to the top, and I'm at the top b (and you're not).

The things I wish someone told my 11-year-old self:

  1. Appreciate your support system (whether that's friends, siblings, whoever). It's important you have someone to vent to, someone you can bitch about to. If you keep things bottled up, you're either going to explode or you're going to hurt yourself. I always say to myself that without my friends, I wouldn't have made it out of high school.
  2. I know telling a teacher didn't solve anything for me, but there may be a right teacher who can solve your problem. For example (wow, I have a story for everything), I was getting picked on by these kids in the year above and the teachers I told always made the situation worse, so I went to an Indian teacher, and you know he understood the struggle of being a minority in a 90 percent white school. MATE, when I tell you those kids did not look me in my eye ever again.
  3. Analyse your situation (I said what I said). Practise in the mirror what you want to say to someone if they come for you again (I love arguing with myself in the mirror). Sometimes, it's better to ignore it. Sometimes, you need to let that bitch know his/her place. That is one thing I regret about high school, I never let them know that they ain't shit, because let me tell you, the people who were bullying me were NOT God's gift. They were not beautiful or talented or clever. They were literally people who were just as insecure as me with a bigger voice than me and they used it to their advantage by dragging others down to make themselves more secure. But okay. I pray that Karma whoops your asses the same way a black mother would whoop her son's ass if he's acting up in church. 
  4. Just remember that as cliché as it sounds if someone is trying to drag you down, it's because they're lower than you. Look down at them and say "not today, hoe" and carry on being the badass bitch you are. 

As RuPaul once tweeted:

I want to thank all my friends in high school who made high school sweet for me when they were making it bitter. Thank you for making me laugh until tears ran down my face and I grew a six pack.

Shoutout to my high school friends: Aysha, Kadi, Ameena, Rosa, Abeer, Julia, Jazmin, and Kelsie. MY G'S. I wish the best for all your futures, I hope your skin glows, your purses are always stashed with that money, your everythaaang is always on fleek, you drive that German whip and your kids turn out like you so they can be there for the kids like me.

And to the people who bullied me, don't forget that one day you may have kids. They will grow up and go to high school, and your heart will literally break if you have to watch your child cry because kids like you are making your children feel like shit on a shoe.

And finally, do I forgive you? No, bitch. I pray the guilt keeps you up at night.

P.S. To Margaret, because you are the worst person I've ever met in my life, if I ever see you in person and my name leaves your mouth, I'm throwing my heavy iPhone 6s Plus at your head.

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