My Bullying Experience

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For those of you that know me, bullying is an issue very close and central to my heart and this is why I have decided to go ahead and dedicate a post on it. I have been contemplating writing this for quite some time now but have many times hesitated as it is such a personal topic that has happened in my life and if I am honest can still be quite painful to talk about. I know that for some of you this post will have no interest to you what so ever and that is completely fine, I am still my beauty obsessed self and will be back writing about that shortly, however, I wanted to write this post as I feel it is finally time to speak out about what I experienced and to inform and show people how cruel bullying can really be. I want you to know that I am taking a big risk by doing this - there is a chance 'they' might see this and it could cause so much more abuse and trouble, but that don't faze me no more, I am in a good place in my life right now and nobody can knock me back down to the bottom again.  I will do a follow up post prior to this about ways of helping you get through bullying.

My bullying experience started at high school. I can't remember the first 3 years of being bullied in too much detail as I was only in year 7 - so about 11 years old, but the memories I do remember are still painful enough to leave a scar there.
 It started off  when a girl I hung around with had one day decided to turn everyone in the group I hung around with against me - I remember being so confused, asking what I had done wrong and why they weren't speaking to me but their only answer was *Scarlett* doesn't like you so we don't.
From then on my life was pretty much hell - break and dinner times were the worst - sitting on a table on my own, having no one to talk to but myself. I would see the bullies across the canteen out of the corner of my eye, they would all be sitting together, being loud whilst sitting there with smug faces, laughing with the occasional comment of abuse shouted across at me.
One incident that really sticks out for me is a geography lesson. Like most lessons there was a seating plan, of course it would be just my luck to be on a table full of all the bullies. I kept my head down, got on with my work and ignored them. Before the end of the lesson, one of the girls unbeknown to me got under the table and pulled my shoes off ( they were some flat dolly shoes) - I was gob smacked and immediately pleaded with her to give them me back! - She started laughing and at this point the whole of the class had caught on to what was happening and joined in laughing too. It was humiliating.... The bell then rang and she immediately shot off out the door with my shoes before chucking them out of the 3rd floor window of the building. My shoes were gone. I turned to my teacher looking at him for help or comfort only to be greeted with neither. I ran out of the room in floods of tears sobbing my heart out, shoeless and alone. Unbeknown to me this was the start of years of torture and I now read this back thinking how minor this is compared to what the next few years was to be...

At the age of 15 I was at an all time low - I had no friends, I hated school and the daily torture from my bullies was destroying me. After sitting alone in class one morning with tears uncontrollably streaming down my face, my tutor finally acknowledged I was upset and took me aside to see what the problem was. He was generally shocked by it all and wanted to help. He then introduced me to another girl in my tutor group and told me to stick with her and her friends. They all seemed so nice and welcoming - for the first time ever there seemed a light at the end of tunnel and I was hoping this was the beginning of a new start and a chapter of happiness in my life... but any hope of that soon disappeared when it became quite apparent that these girls really weren't my sort of people. They were the girls from your typical 'popular' clique - of course for all the wrong reasons - Loud, gobby, bitchy, intimidating, drinkers, smokers (you get the picture!) Whereas I was quiet, shy, friendly, hardworking and wanting to achieve something from my life. I won't go into the endless stories I have to share about being bullied by these girls as I could honestly sit here all day. I was at a point in my life where I remember thinking about suicide so often, I remember going home crying to my mum and sobbing my heart out into my pillows most nights. I wanted to die. I remember saying and thinking so often " I don't want to be here no more". I remember googling in search engines 'easy ways to commit suicide' but then I figured none were particularly easy and simple - I was too scared and the closest I got was taking 8 paracetemol then realising that my death would only be slow and painful if I actually was to overdose - I didn't really want to die, I just wanted friends, help and to be happy! I think if it wasn't for my mum and what she was going through (cancer) then I would have killed myself but I couldn't have done that to her, especially when she was so poorly - she was going through enough.

What really annoyed me was how little my school actually did, they wanted no involvement what so ever or if they did get involved would make it 10 times worse. The bullying always continued into out of school hours, at home via email, MSN, text message - you name it they would find a way. One night one of the bullies popped up on my computer saying things to me like - "Your an ugly little bitch, no-one likes you why don't you do everyone a favour and go and die, if you come school tomorrow your head will be down that toilet and I will beat the shit out of you". - I remember that so clearly, I was petrified. My mum was fuming and immediately printed the conversation off and went down the school to get it sorted once and for all. The schools answer? - "We can't get involved as it was out of school hours". Brilliant. The most common bullying was name calling and being called ugly was just the norm in my eyes.

Leaving school was suppose to be a new chapter for me - I had picked a college right across town so I could well and truly start a fresh with no reminders or people from the past. To keep it short, it didn't go as planned. I hadn't made many friends and was feeling so lonely and alone. I then made a friend on the bus one day, she was from my old school - I had never hung around with her at school but knew her as another bitch, however, I decided I would not pre-judge and give it a go, I was so desperate to have friends that to me having some one was better than no one.... this was when the 3rd and probably the worst stage of bullying occurred in my life. I was 16/17.
These girls were ultimate bitches, the sorts of girls that although are your friend will always try to make you look stupid in front of people in a bid to try and make themselves look better.
After months of hanging around with them it ended up with them beating me up, spitting on me saying "I hope you die" whilst walking off and leaving me in the middle of town with nothing. Luckily there are still genuine people out there and 2 random guys I did not know got me in a taxi and took me home that night.

These pictures are about a week after being beat up so don't look too bad at all, but I wanted to share them just so you can get a picture of what they did to me - as well as a black eye I had numerous bruises all over my body where I had been kicked and stood on.
After this I vowed for things to change, I got a new best friend - a girl who use to hang around with the girls who beat me up ironically. It was a big risk, I did not want to ever see or have anything to do with the girls who beat me up ever again but she swore to me that she could never be their friend after what they did to her and seeing what they did to me. I was finally happy. We were joined to the hip every evening after college and every weekend. For the first time ever I finally felt like I had a friend there for me. To cut the happy ending short, she went back to the girls who beat me up.

At this time in my life I had started making youtube videos under the user name GlamViva17, about make-up, fashion and everything my blog is based around to be honest. I kept my name hidden, knowing that making these videos were risky and if found my life would be over. Making youtube videos was an escape for me, being able to do something I loved whilst socialising with like-minded people in the Youtube community. - You can kind of guess what happened next.... the girl I was friends with went and told all the bullies about my Youtube channel, which then got around the whole of the 6th form at my old school. I was the conversation of the school. I found myself logging in my facebook the next day to be greeted with endless people talking about me on their status's here are a couple...

 What was more amusing was that some of these girls were girls I had never spoken to in my life but yet I was the topic of their day. At the time I didn't see it like that, I remember going for a walk looking for a bridge or somewhere I could throw myself off to take away all the pain. I couldn't live with this anymore. Would it ever go away?

They were out to destroy my life, turning the few people I had completely against me, I was alone. In January 2010 my world was to crumble even more when my mum got diagnosed with breast cancer. My one remaining best friend now battling for her life. I had to remain strong, although the bullying was still continuing I had to be there for my mum. I eventually confided in my tutor about all my problems as my college work started to suffer, my attendance was at an all time low and I was at risk of being chucked out. It was a breath of fresh air to finally be able to have a good cry and let it all out. She transferred me to counselling in which I had twice a week. It wasn't easy, it took me ages to finally focus on my college work and keep up a regular attendance, but luckily my good AS grades gave them belief in me that I could turn it around and that I was a capable student.

I managed to scrape 3 A-levels, none that I was relatively proud of but I had got into uni so my results was irrelevant :).

I am now in my second year of university at Nottingham Trent studying to be a teacher. Originally my plan was always to study journalism and went Northampton University straight after college to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist, but the timing was all wrong. The events of the past year had finally caught up with me, I was homesick and I couldn't cope being away from my mum knowing she was still ill. I managed to get my part-time job back and spent the next year paying of my 1 year rental tenancy that I had signed. Goodbye 3 grand for nothing. That broke my heart seeing my hard earned cash going to a money grabbing landlord. I decided to switch degrees, although journalism is my main passion and ambition, Northampton gave me the taster of how hard that industry is to crack and how many other amazing journalist there are - there is so much competition. I figured I would pursue my second love of being a teacher and gather journalism experience after my degree. I have a boyfriend who I have now been with for 2 and half years and it is so amazing to finally be accepted and have someone who loves you for being you! Although finding friends has still been hard, I finally have a handful of friends who are actually worth having. Bullying will scar me forever, I still have little confidence, am very insecure and will never leave my house without make-up but apart from that I got through it.
When I look at my life now compared to what it was it is a million miles away, I have finally found happiness and I really hope that other people that have been through this can find that too.

I will be posting an advice post on bullying in the next couple of days - so watch out for that if you want to know how I dealt with it.

Sorry for the length of this post but I just wanted you to get an idea of how nasty and horrible bullying can be. If anyone has any questions please feel free to post below and I will be more than happy to reply.



Anonymous said...

Made me cry Laura! Your an inspiration to many girls! I admire you and all you've achieved
I love you babe
Katie xxx

@KateyDavisx said...

Loved your blog. Think its good that you wrote about your experience! Amazed me that you managed to keep going throughout, love the idea of the YouTube videos that keep you focusing on something else! Think that's one of the most important things, having something else positive to focus on! Good for you babe Xx

fashionablyACE said...

i'm so inspired by you, what a brave post to make. i think you blog is great and i wish you the best with it! xxx

Laura Gemma said...

Aww thanks babe, that's nice of you to say :-)
Love you too.
Laura xo

Laura Gemma said...

Thank you for your comment really appreciate it. I loved making YouTube videos, gave me friends and something to focus on. Sometimes it amazes me too that I kept going but you hang on to hope and reaching your dreams :-) Laura Xxx

lauren glass said...

You are an inspiration. I've suffered from bullying all my life. It's only been recently at the age of 21 that it finally stopped. You are so brave putting this up, and letting people in. I know how hard it is, you almost feel ashamed, and worried that the people you're telling will think you're weak and do the same. I wish you every success in your life, good things come to those who wait or in your case those who are put down. <3 xxxx

Laura Gemma said...

Thank you babe that mean a lot :-)
Laura xo

NatashaJanesWorld said...

This really touched me, I can relate to it so much, I was so lonely, always that girl by myself. You are so brave and its amazing how far you have come. Your blog and youtube channel is one of my absolute favourites, its true what they say bullies really are jelous. Your beautiful inside and out and they saw that as a threat, cant believe people can be so evil though. I'm sure this post will help many people. Good luck with everything, you deserve to be happy :) xxx

Sophie Wilson said...
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Sophie said...

This made me cry! Im so glad you got through this! Ur such a beautiful n clever girl! You are so much better than they are, don't let anybody get you down! You are gna go so far and i wish u all the best! You are an inspiration! X

Helen Chambers said...
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Abi Tottenham-Smith said...

Oh my god this made me so angry and upset, I cannot believe people can be so utterly horrific to eachother! I am actually shocked by some of the things you wrote about and cannot begin to imagine how horrible it was for you! I admire you for talking about it and getting through it. All I can say is, I bet those girls are absolutely nowhere in their lives now and look who got the last laugh! xxx

Anonymous said...

This is so sad to read, especially because I knew you at school but I never knew about any of this going on.
You have a lot going for you now Laura and I wish you the best of luck in all you do. X

Anonymous said...

I remember you from school, always thought you were such a pretty bubbly and friendly girl. Had know idea that you went through all that! I think i know a few people you are talking about, they always made me feel uncomfortable at school too and to be honest look at where they are now! Should be very proud of yourself! Good Luck with your new course hun! xx

laura t said...

You are beautiful inside and out. You shouldn't quit journalism because it's competitive you seem driven and focused enough to succeed and your blog is great. Your so brave for sharing your story, i wish you all the best your amazing xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

This is so sad! I think your blog is amazing and you seem like such a lovely person. I also think you would be great at making youtube videos and I would definitely watch them:)!xxx

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