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Share My Story to Help Others

Posted: 1/18/2012

I wanted to share my story with younger teenagers to show them that they are not alone.

I was seven years old when I was first noticed as a suitable target. I was average height, blonde haired, brown eyed and adhered to the school uniform, the only thing different about me was that I was on my own since my best friend, Sophie, had moved away. It wasn't much at first, occasionally I would be ignored by other students and would play by myself between lessons but that was about it. I would sit at the back of the class and sink into my own world, giving my peers an excuse to laugh at me and call me names. I lost my connections with what little friends I had left and was outcast completely.

At that point, it was only names and ignorance. At that age, kids don't have any real sense of much else. When I got a little older, the abuse began to get worse.

By the time I was in year four I was almost afraid to go into school. I would be laughed at during lunchtime and ate in silence most days, occasionally "forgetting" my dinner so I didn't have to sit with people who would call me names and throw my food on the ground. I made a few friends that year, but they would only play with me when there was nobody to see and so I would still play in silence. The boys of the year would chase me with spiders and put them in the hood of my coat so they would crawl out onto my neck, and then laugh when I screamed.

Luckily, my relief came walking home from school as my mum used to come and meet me, and so nobody would try anything once the adults arrived. That of course was overcome quite quickly, as they then turned to insulting my parents behind my back and spreading rumours. Once my family found out they complained to the school, but hardly anything could be done to stop it as the teachers could never catch the students in the act. I started being followed home in year six when I could make the journey alone. My little brother had started school by this point as well and was warned by his friends to tell nobody we were related or else the same would happen to him. That year was when the violence began. People would push and trip me on the way home so I would fall and scrape my face and hands and knees on the pavement.

We complained to the school again that year, and I was told to make a list of everyone who bullied me. Unfortunately, the girls who were responsible offered to help and, oblivious, the teacher let them so I was unable to tell the truth. The fact I complained was enough to make the abuse worse and worse, and I learned to keep my mouth shut.

The violence worsened when I reached secondary school. I would have people goad me into retaliation, then when I turned I would have pieces of sharpened flint thrown at my face until I was on the floor, covered in blood and screaming. I was almost blinded once, and yet the other students just kicked me as they passed and went home. The girl I would walk home with would run and hide so that nobody could see she was with me, and then return when they had gone and take me to her house to get cleaned up before I got home. I was told that snitching would make the assaults worse, and so I stayed quiet and lied to cover their tracks.

A couple of years later I was subjected to a different kind of abuse. I had managed to secure a few friends and through one of them I met Jordan. He was a lovley guy, charming and sweet and made me feel wanted and safe. He would tell me that he could protect me from the people who hurt me, and for the first time in my life I felt loved. I was thirteen by this point, he was fifteen. We had been together a month before I went to his place, as he lived quite far away from myself, and thats when the change happened. He would try to undress me, and when I refused he would ask me if I loved him or not. He began to use me as a sex object, forcing me to touch him and perform indecent acts upon him. Its taken me five years to realise that he sexually abused me in horrifying ways and to tell anybody about it, as I was terrified of being called names and worsening the attacks.

I suffered with Jordan for five months before he left me. I found out that during our "relationship" he had cheated on me twice, both times making it seem like it was all my fault. I begged him not to leave but he became more and more annoyed and eventually abused me mentally and verbally, telling me that I would never be loved and that I deserved all the pain and more because I was a worthless little sl** who should go die.

I'm eighteen now. In five years I have gone from self harm, to attempted suicide. I have been cheated on and sexually abused again and now I live with underlying mental health problems which will be with me for my entire life. I cannot trust anyone, I have depression, social anxiety disorders, self hatred issues and often still believe I am worthless - but I am getting better. Its been two years since the last attack, the scars are healing and I have secured a group of friends and a boyfriend who loves me.

Bullying and abuse must be stopped before more young people are forced to a point where they want to take their own lives. I'm living proof that it only gets better once its stopped.

By: Lydia, from the UK

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