- Year 9, Lesbian issue
- No one believing me
- Wouldn’t get in car
- Effects of the incidents on me, overthinking, whispering and benefits from this
- Bullies and knowledge from being bullied
- How being bullied changed me
- Year 12
- Discover camp
- Overall today, I want you to remember that you make decisions for yourself and sometimes they are not great but you have to face the consequences. Consequences might just surprise you and be fun. Your parents only do things to try and help you in most cases so don’t fight against them because they really don’t know what they are doing either. I want you to learn that you are important but also make an impact with everything you do. Your parents or guardians are just trying to do their best for you. I have actually applied to go back at as a leader because I enjoyed it so much. The course gave me a better outlook on life and able to enjoy life more than before.
When I was in year nine at the age of 13, I remember being asked as I was walking into my house on the drive a girl two years above me said “are you lesbian?”, Which I replied with “NO!” She continued to follow me up the stairs to my room persisting with this idea. I thought I had shut it down at this point. The next day in dining hall everyone was looking at me strangely and I knew then that the girl had shared a post about me being apparently lesbian. Everyone in that room had been twisted to believe I was Lesbian. People were whispering about me during classes that day and avoided sitting next to me. I went on Facebook and there was a lot of posts about me and people laughing and commenting things that I won’t repeat. As days went on more rumours started that were weird and even I would wonder who made up as they were so strange.
The counsellor thought I was lying and told me I was fine and not to come back. Which they actually can’t do but she did. I went to school every day wishing people would stop looking at me weirdly and avoiding me. My parents had been told the lies and thought I was lying to get attention. My sister didn’t believe anything I would say and would tell me “everything is good you are just being dramatic”.
At the end of the summer holidays, I wouldn’t get in the car or pack to go to school. I went to a new school in Wellington which was a very good idea. I never talked about my year with many people because it was so bad! My sister never once talked to me about it. This year is the first year people will know what happened to me in year nine.
I unfortunately, picked up two problems from this experience which is overthinking things and not being able to manage to whisper very well. I am working on getting better at controlling these two issues which means I am a calmer person. I have learned how to notice when people are struggling and how to keep myself happy most of the time. I have also gained the ability to hold myself together for longer before breaking but sometimes that is bad because I hold in my emotions instead of letting them out. Managing my feelings has been valuable to me because I know when someone is being bullied that we actually need to help the bully because that is the person causing the issue.
Often the person being bullied will be very strong willed and take a long time to break down to get to the problem or truth. You have to be stern but kind to the bully as they are hurting too and might not want to listen. From being bullied I learnt that the bully/ies have issues themselves. There are reasons behind why they did what they did; something that they are trying to cover up themselves and find that bullying simply uncovers it. As by simply making someone else feel the same pain, they find more pain and the anger to hurt the person even more. Helping the person being bullied is important too because they have a different view on the bully than you. You have to make sure the person is okay and change the view of the person as they are sorting the issues. I believe that people who have been bullied become a stronger person because they know what a bad time is and can bounce back quickly from bad situations.
This has changed me because I don’t take shit from people anymore and if they do try to continue to give it to me I will ask them why they are doing it or get someone else to see if they are alright. I learnt that speaking out is very hard because most of the time people don’t believe your side of the story as the bully has covered their paths very well. I learn that finding something that you enjoy is very important as it takes up time and gives you time to not think about what is happening in your life, a breather. I am now also very forgiving to people because people change and they are often not themselves when they are bullying others.
Even though my sister didn’t believe me in the past I still admire her because she is a part of what I want to be. She has the ability to make time for people even when she is super busy and still remain calm. Does not let things slip even when she is tired e.g. work and does not explode when angry. Everything she does for others is based off kindness and empathy. She tries to help even if she does not know what she is looking at because she wants to. I know what pushes her buttons and that she is not perfect which makes her human. I admire her because she holds attributes and qualities that I don’t have and also some that I have which she does not have. I recognise these as important because I want to have these attributes in my personality because they make you a more welcoming person.
Up to year 12, my life was going well at my new school and I hit a roadblock. I just didn’t enjoy school and stopped caring about my work. I yelled at my parents a lot and often didn’t turn up to school in the morning. At the middle of term three, it had got particularly bad and I was not studying for exams and avoiding being at home for most of the day. My classic day would be rowing, school, library and rowing only getting home at 8 pm at night with enough time to eat shower and crash in bed away from my family. I don’t know why but I would get angry when they asked where I was going and with who and what time I would be where. I would yell f off often and slam doors. The most painful thing I said to them was “At least I still around, I could just leave!” I knew this hurt them and it would wind them up but it was only because I was angry.
In the holidays of term three, I was sent to a camp called Discovery for teens. This was the best seven days of my life. Getting there wasn’t so pretty but the effects it had on me were huge. Over the 7 days, I learnt a lot about myself as well as other people. I had to learn to trust a group of strangers and know that they wouldn’t hurt me with words or physically during activities. This took a while for our group because we all had boundaries that we had to push through.
Over the week we were given skills to use and learnt skills we can use to study and use in everyday life. I learned about lots of people’s pasts and how they came to be on the course. At the end of the program, we had to break a piece of wood with our hand but the piece of wood was something that we wanted to abolish or conquer in our lives and drew it on the base of the piece of wood. This was the hardest thing to do out of the course and it took some people over an hour to get mentally ready to do it. People Tried to leave the situation but the doors were locked and they had a breakdown but got the guts to do it eventually.
At the end of the course, we had to sings songs on stage that had to mean to the group and we all apologies to our parents and said: “thank you”. It sounds cheesy but it actually was the hardest thing to do. Ever since this camp I have been a calmer person and been able to deal with myself and stay on track. I get along with my parents more now but I still have to work on my relationship with them. One of the most important things I learnt from the course was what I do when I am feeling uncomfortable I would subconsciously lie. I have got much better at not doing it and noticing when I am and stop and tell someone that’s not true and apologize. It’s a bit weird when I do that but I don’t want to lie and the only way to stop it from happening is to stop half way through and face what I just said and move forward with the truth.
Overall today, I want you to remember that you make decisions for yourself and sometimes they are not great but you have to face the consequences. Consequences might just surprise you and be fun. Your parents only do things to try and help you in most cases so don’t fight against them because they really don’t know what they are doing either. I want you to learn that you are important but also make an impact with everything you do. Your parents or guardians are just trying to do their best for you. I have actually applied to go back at as a leader because I enjoyed it so much. The course gave me a better outlook on life and able to enjoy life more than before.