Trigger Warning – This post goes into detail about bullying. Please do not continue to read if this subject is a trigger for you.
I started The Procrastinating Mum blog because I felt like I needed an outlet for everything that I was feeling when my anxiety and depression had taken over. I felt like I needed to share everything that I had been through and let go of all of the emotions. Sometimes writing things down really helps you to let go.
And that is exactly what my brave husband is doing in this post. He is sharing his bullying experience and everything that he has been through.
Bullying. What is bullying? It can be picking on someone because they are different. Talking about someone behind their backs. Spreading lies. And the one that everyone always associates bullying with, physical abuse.
Now, before I start this post the last thing I am looking for is sympathy or to upset anyone, namely my mum, dad and wife with what I am about to talk about. But what I am looking to do is open up and try to banish some demons that have haunted and followed me for a good 25 years of my life.
The one thing I am not going to do is name people. This is for the pure reason they do not deserve the fucking time. They know who they are, and I hope they sleep well at night.
A lot of what I am going to discuss I don’t even know if my mum and dad are aware of.
So, Here Goes
I think I was about 9 or 10 when the bullying really started to become bad when I was in junior school. I am gonna put this out there straight away, I was an easy target (not that that is a reason for any of this) and I was a very sensitive child. I’m not exactly sure how it all started. For some reason, a group of kids took a disliking to me and the name-calling started.
The name-calling then escalated to becoming physical. It started with dead arms and legs, to wedgies to being kicked in the genitals. I wish that this was the worst of it. If only I knew.
As I grew up and started to take interest in certain things. This then became the focus of the bully’s attention. Be it the girls I was interested in, or the fact that I loved art, football and wrestling. None of this was safe.
Unfortunately, as I entered secondary school, the same group of kids also did, to the same school. I remember on my first day of secondary school getting called into the headmaster’s room. As I walked in, 5 of the boys I had been bullied by in the previous school were all there too. I thought ‘great, they have been told about these fuckers from my last school and I am going to be protected’.
Problem was, they got me mixed up with one of my bullies and gave me a dressing down. When I tried to explain after this meeting that they had made a mistake, I got told he had his eye on me, and not in a good way. Great, that’s me fucked.
Things Were About To Get Worse
As I went through secondary school, the bullying became worse. I not only had the original group to worry about but the kids they starting hanging around with starting joining in on the attacks. My lunch would be urinated on, I had my glasses broken, I was pinned down on the floor and hit in the face, arms, legs and privates. They also locked me in a locker and left for a good few hours. I was only found when a cleaner came through and heard me asking for help.
Once, I was pinned to the ground while a group of 8 lads pulled down my trousers and underwear, taking them right off and running off with them leaving me half-naked in a hallway.
I would have a group of kids every lunchtime waiting for me, to beat me up. In the end, I resorted to eating my lunch in the toilets.
As a kid, I had a serious knee injury whilst playing football, so I ended up on crutches a lot. Well, these would get stolen, I would get tripped up and even had my leg stamped on once not long after I had had knee surgery. I was constantly told that I was faking my injury, so it would get targeted when the bullies would strike.
I would go home at night and cry myself to sleep. I’d wake up in the morning wondering if there was any way of getting out of going to school.
I finally found a few friends who I thought I could trust. I would spend a lot of time with them, telling them what was happening and confiding in them. Only, it turned out that they befriended me so that they could join in with the ‘original’ bullies. They would feedback to them what I had been saying and arrange for me to be in places for the beatings to happen.
I Wanted It All To End. I Wanted Life To End
The straw that broke the camels back was an incident that happened outside of school when I was 14. I was walking home from the shops after getting the morning papers for my dad, and the group were waiting for me.
They pinned me down, held a cigarette to my eye and told me that one day they were going to KILL ME. I was crushed. Why do these boys hate me so much?
I went home, dropped the papers off and left the house. I remember taking my school tie, some paracetamol and leaving. Where I used to live there was an underpass and I hopped the rail. I stood on the concrete ledge and thought ‘just jumped Daz, no one likes you, what would they care?’ But I bottled it.
I then thought about hanging myself with my school tie from a tree. But the knot I tied to make the noose wasn’t strong enough, so I just fell to the ground. (Sorry mum if this is the first time you are hearing about this).
After that failed attempt, I finally decided to tell my mum and dad how bad it had got. My mum went to each house of the kids who were involved and lost it.
For a time it stopped. But not forever. Throughout college, I was subjected to some kind of bullying.
Bullying Has Always Followed Me
But bullying doesn’t just happen at school or college. Even in relationships before I finally met my wife, I was emotionally and mentally bullied. I was in a very toxic relationship where I wasn’t allowed out, wasn’t allowed to have girls names in my phone, and was even locked out of my girlfriend’s room (she worked in a place that had on-site shared housing) and made to sleep half-naked in a shared kitchen area. The same girl also locked me in her room refusing to let me leave and hit me around the face and told me she would tell people I had raped her because I spoke to her in the shower. How dare I?
She would make threats. One time we were driving and she threatened to crash the car and kill us both, or if I was to leave her she would harm herself.
Just before I met her, I was beaten up in broad daylight walking home from the pub. I was attacked from behind and woke up in the middle of a football pitch, covered in blood. I had bruised ribs and swollen testicles where the people/person must have stomped on them (I have no clue as I was knocked out pretty much from the start of the attack).
I was in a very dark place after this and had to have therapy to even leave the house in any type of darkness. Well, one night we had a row and she told me that she wished the people who attacked me had killed me, as I was better off dead. As she slept that night, I sat on the floor in her room, crying and drinking neat vodka. I decided to raid her draws for any kind of tablets I could find. I didn’t care what it was, I was just broken. That was attempt number 2.
I finally found the courage to end the relationship a few weeks later, but eventually had to block her numbers and social media because the messages I received were just vile.
Luckily, I am now in a good place. I have a wonderful wife who loves me, a great family who I know will bend over backwards for me, and a select group of friends who I know I can trust with my life.
It’s taken me nearly 20 years to trust anyone.
I was approached a few years ago by one of the guys who had bullied me. I was having a pint with a friend and he came up to me and actually apologised to me for his part in the bullying. It didn’t make right what he did, but I did appreciate it and we shook hands. Fair play to him.
One thing I want to say is, I am someone who will try very hard to be liked, and this stems from the above. So if I am a little bit ‘try hard’ or over the top or even reserved and quiet, this is because I have been through so much in my childhood that I do just want people to like me.
Thanks To Those That Have Saved Me
I want to thank my wife because she is the first person I have been able to be myself with. I haven’t had to change to be someone she wants me to be, which I have had to do in previous relationships. She is truly the best thing to ever happen to me.
Also thanks to my closest friends (I think I counted about 10 of you).
Most of all, thank you to my mum and dad. If it wasn’t for the support and love that you guys gave me, the endless tears I shed on your shoulders and the nights that you sat up with me when I was having nightmares, I honestly do not think I would be here today.
To anyone who is going through this or has been through bullying and never spoken about it, PLEASE, speak to someone. No one deserves to be treated like this. We should all feel safe in school, work and relationships. It’s never too late to speak up. Speak to a teacher, a close friend or a parent or someone you trust. Do not suffer in silence.
Also, if you have subjected someone to abuse, it’s never too late to right your wrongs. If you feel guilty for what you have put someone through, reach out and apologise. You may not get the response you are looking for, but it may help that person move on.
Lastly, I want to say this. Fuck the group that bullied me, fuck them all. Because no matter how hard you tried, I have come away from all of this with a beautiful wife, a beautiful son and I’m able to hold my head up high knowing that I am an OK person. What have you got?
You will not break me any more.
For anyone that has been affected by anything that we have discussed today please see the details below: