See Sense, Stop Bullying: I was bullied because I have a learning difficulty
When I was 11 I was bullied because I acted differently from the other students. I would rock back and forth and sometimes scream for no reason. I did these things because I was autistic but I was not diagnosed until I was older.
The bullies would use horrible hand gestures to warn me away as well as shout at me. One time they shouted the word ‘beast’. They called me that so many times it made me feel like I really was a beast.
It got so bad that in the morning I would wake up and not want to go to school. I would feel sick. While this was happening I never told anybody, not even my Mum. So nothing was ever done about it. I left to go to another school for secondary school but looking back I wish I had told her.
Bullied by old friends…
In secondary school aged about 14, the bullying started again. But this time it was by someone who had been my friend for about three years. I went to her house to hang out and to have dinner. She was always a bossy kind of girl but that didn't matter to me as I was always a follower and never a leader. While I was there, before dinner, we were talking about something and I made a suggestion. She didn't like it and I think that because I stood up for myself she became aggressive.
She pushed me hard and I fell on to the bed. We were making a lot of noise so she ran down and told her mum that I pushed her. Next thing that happened was my mum came to collect me and that was the end of our friendship. While at school her fiends started hanging up on me and made me feel isolated. I always felt that I was watching my back. At one point I had to sit with the sixth formers on the school bus because of the bullying they put me through.
In the classroom I felt I was never good enough. It felt like they, my bullies, were always watching. I always really enjoyed art and thought I was good. But my self-confidence was really low at that time and I didn't think my work deserved the credit it would get. I would speak to my parents but not always as I felt they could do nothing to stop it.
Finding new friends…
Back at school I slowly made new friends who I still see to this day. They were really supportive, made me feel a sense of belonging and accepted me for who I am.
It is just so easy for someone to look at another person and immediately find something wrong with them. I also feel it is based on looks mostly, for example if they look different like race or disability people can act differently towards them.
Unfortunately I think there is always going to be bullying. We naturally judge people so I believe that we need to be more open and understanding and that takes education. Education needs to come from our families, the community and school. There is awareness but not enough.
For help and advice visit Ditch the Label.
Last Updated: 30 November 2017