Saturday, 6 June 2015

LUCY: THEY SEE ME AS AN EASY TARGET...

Reader Lucy, aged fifteen, describes what it's like to be bullied - and shares her tactics for coping with the hurt.


Lucy says:
I am a big fan of Cathy Cassidy's books - I've read every single one and it's weird, because much of what she writes about in her books are things that have happened to me. I relate to the books so much and they have helped me through some very bad times. I have been a victim of extreme bullying; and when I say extreme, I mean EXTREME. I don't wear make up, I'm probably not the prettiest… but I don't think I am awful, either. I don't think I deserve to be singled out… I don't look so very different from anybody else. For some reason, the bullies see me as an easy target, perhaps because I love work. I don't get detentions. I always want to study and revise and I miss out on parties that I'd really love to go to because I am shy and because my homework comes first. This, of course, is another reason I am picked on.

I get called 'fat', 'ugly', 'boring' and 'useless' - and it's not just one person behind the name calling, it's everyone. I know those things aren't true, but after all this time the words seep under my skin and a part of me begins to believe them. I never answer back, because in my first year of secondary school I stood up to one  girl in my year and found myself being blamed for being the bully myself. Mostly I just take the negativity and move on, but as I get older it gets worse. I've tried wearing make-up to school to try to fit in and look pretty, and I just get laughed at for 'trying too hard.'

Every time I am down and feel like running away and starting again, I turn to Cathy's books - my favourite is Gingersnaps. Every time I read the books I completely forget everything but the story and am whisked away into Ginger's world, or Scarlett's, or Hannah's. The books are my escape route from a life that feels very grim and difficult… but one day, when I get straight As and the haters get Fs, well, maybe I will be the one who's laughing. I hope it doesn't sound harsh, but I have to believe that that day will come.

Pictures posed by model Sydney, with thanks.

Cathy says:
It's wonderful to know that Lucy finds an escape in my books, but do you think she is right to try to cope alone without getting adult help? Continual bullying can wreck self-esteem and ruin lives. What would YOU do? COMMENT BELOW and share your views...

22 comments:

  1. I do get the occasional teasing from the boys, but what I do is sing. When I sing, the boys look at me and are muted, then I walk off. But one thing that I notice is that after I sing, the boys stop teasing me for just a bit. Then it all happens again - but I don't take it close to the heart. Good advice which is also a quote is:

    "If people are trying to bring you down, it only means that you are above them."

    And remember, bullies don't prosper - even if it's not visible to you quite quickly!

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    1. Totally agree with you . . .

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  2. remember all they want is a reaction. i know most people say tell and adult but with that just made it worse for me i used to just live my life in a book and it was great until i ran out of books to read. my advice is tell a friend and always have a couple of good comebacks handy! you never know one of the bullies may become your best friend live IS full of surprises ;)

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  3. I get bullied all the time. the first was in primary at about the age of 7 and the last was a couple of months ago. I'm usually bullied because I love books and school and maths. Sometimes I come home go to m room and stay there until tea. No one should be bullied. But if you are being bullied talk to someone they will always help and remember if your being bullied it's probably because the bully is jealous of you.

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  4. if u get bullied its because u remind them of something they dont like about their self

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  5. remember bullies are cowards

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    1. I totally agree with you !!!!

      When I read these I want to put bullies in there place !!!!!!!! I feel for everyone that has been buulied as one of my friends are bullied and sometimes she skips school as it makes her feel sick

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  6. You have to do something about this, and quick.Talk to your parents, or a teacher, and tell them what's happening.
    A really good tip which I found online a while ago is to keep a diary of exactly what the bullies do to you. That way, you've got good evidence if you do want to tell a teacher, and you'll be able to remember and tell them everything that the bully has done to you. That will also help if you're nervous about telling anyone - just give them the diary, and they can read for themselves what the bullies have done.
    The most important thing is, don't feel embarrassed or ashamed. It's the bully who has the problem, not you, and admitting that you're being bullied is nothing to be ashamed of - it happens to everyone at some point and you can't help it.
    Anyway, you should definitely tell someone what's happening, or otherwise call childline. They've got a great website, too, where you can speak to people going through the same thing as you.

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    1. That is so right. Tell someone, parent, gaurdian, teacher, friend. I think it's best not to stay quite.

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  7. To be honest, I do think that bullying in terms of it's effects and how to deal with it should be taught on the school curriculum, and schools should have more powers to enforce more serious sanctions for bullying. That way, the numbers of bullies and victims would probably be reduced.

    I've been bullied myself for being different and not being afraid to stand out. It does wreck your life, and in the end the emotional cost was very great. I would advise anyone who is being bullied to seek help.

    I know Lucy had a bad experience with reporting it in the first instance, but so did I. I was blamed for everything the bully had done to me in return for reporting what had happened to me, and I have had to build my life back up again after my character was defamed. I don't regret reporting the bullying. To a bully, not reporting it makes you an easier target, because you're isolating yourself from the help you could get. This means that in the long run, you're less likely to 'fight back', and the bullies are less likely to be caught.

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  8. I think part of why bullies have such power is the fact they pick on certain insecurities... I've never been bullied myself, but I've never liked my forehead and am always hiding it by the way I part my hair, but I've been thinking it's time to deal with it and to wear my hair back until I'm comfortable with it. Did it with makeup sometime ago, and now I have no qualms about being seen without it! Perhaps this technique could help others with their self-esteem? - Lauren WS

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  9. I'm going through the same thing, my parents think its just silly. But its not. Sometimes my mum just makes things worse.

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    1. I can relate to that, and I think your parents are thinking that it's just silly because either they haven't gone through it, or that they think that the whole concept of bullying someone just for who they are is silly.

      I feel sorry for you.

      And if it seems to you that your mum is making things worse, how about you tell someone else about this, and maybe you'll feel more relaxed when the person you've told has the right solution for it which'll satisfy you and make ends meet.

      And if they're bothering you so much, muster up the courage to fight back. They're the obstacles of life which I'm sure you'll overcome. Trust me. And another word of advice is to believe in yourself. At that exact moment after you've been taunted or teased by a bully, believe that he or she has no right to be tormenting you like that. If they are physically hurting you, make sure a trusted senior is there as a witness. And always have some great, yet appropriate comebacks up your sleeve. Here is a scenario with comebacks that may come useful. The one in ' ' is what you'll be saying. The one without is narration or the bully.

      Bully insults. 'And?' Bully insults again. 'What about you?' Bully describes him/herself as brilliant. 'Really? Never knew that.'

      And now for one that really gets on people's nerves:

      Bully insults. 'I know you are but what am I?'

      And some more:

      Bully insults. 'Okay!'

      Bully insults. 'So are you.'

      Bully insults. "Perfect definition of you."

      Hope these help!

      Zarin :-)

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    2. These are quite helpful, but what about the more sneaky sort of bullying? I've been teased, mimicked, even had rubbers thrown at me. Your advice is great for more common insults, though, and I'll definitely try out those comebacks.

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    3. Zoe, I understand your situation. If you get mimicked, what I would do is roll my eyes at them and let it go (remind yourself of Frozen), when you get teased, say some really long word that'll confuse them like sesquipedalian; meaning that you use long words. If the bully tells off you cos' he or she thinks you've said something inappropriate, then say that you've looked up a new word in the dictionary and it just came back to your mind so you said it. There, sorted. And then about the rubbers being thrown at you, TELL someone. And if you have already, tell another person. Or, say:

      'Is that all you can do? Oh yeah, people like you are good for nothing so that's why you end up doing things that are good for nothing. So sorry for you.'

      By the way, if you already didn't know, the last sentence on the paragraph above was sarcasm. That's another useful skill to use in comebacks.

      Hope I was helpful! (Just rephrasing it!)

      Zarin :-)

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    4. Thanks, that's really good advice! I'll definitely try that next time

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  10. Bully's are just jealous of you.Remember that they may be the prettiest person in school but on the inside they are just as ugly as a witch.Its not looks that count its whats on the inside.I know that if you are bullied everyone says to tell a teacher or a parent but sometimes thats hard so you could even tell an older sister a friend or anyone.

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  11. Just remember that when you leave school and are happy and successful in life. That those people will be working in Macca's because they've wasted the time they had for making friendships and for learning. Maybe later they will understand what they've lost, because after everything, you can't turn back time. I certainly agree with an earlier comment - keep a diary and note times and places, after awhile no one can deny that proof. Or if you can, try and get audio of them bulling you, you can't say that's faked.

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    1. I never thought of that one there, Anonymous - brilliant idea to prove the bullying to a teacher! In fact, adding on to the audio technique Anonymous has shared, you could always use your phone to record what's been happening, and they'll be able to listen to it and see it for real - wish I'd thought of that one!!! :-)

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  12. i have was bullied in year 5 but i am friends with the bully now and i think bullies are just trying to hurt others because they are insecure

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    1. I agree with you, Anonymous. The bully might be feeling insecure but even then they shouldn't be trying to to hurt you in the first place.

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  13. i AM INSECURE AND WAS when i was bullied; called names behind my back on instragram and away from school not at high school with them now but with someone else who gave me a hard time in a clever way she still does now and she's in my form on my table but not in any of my classes luckily but still out of everyone in my class who applied none of them got in except for me...and her:'(

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