Almost 7 years later I’m sat shaking at a table in a restaurant because I’ve realised who is sat at the table on the left of me. It’s the girl who bullied me throughout secondary school. Suddenly, I’m no longer able to hear what my friend across the table is saying to me, I’m sat thinking do I run or do I cry? My brain is trying to comprehend why I’m feeling this way as I know they no longer have any power over me. They can’t say anything to touch me or knock me down, yet I’m scared to look around encase our eyes meet.
I haven’t seen their face in years, along with many others that I went to school with, it’s all in the past. However, it’s become apparent that the past can still affect me today, I’ve just tried to block it all out in order to move on.
It’s not nice to be terrified to get on your school bus encase your chair gets kicked the whole journey and when you try to challenge it, you get called names. I’d sit there with my headphones in, staring out the window, not looking at anyone and waiting for the journey to be over.
I remember my textiles class too well. I was left to choose between sitting with a group of girls who were considered popular. The thought of that made me panic so I chose to sit on another table with one girl who would pick on me for how I look, what I’m doing etc.
The days whilst I was at secondary school, especially from year 10 onwards I was completely anxiety-ridden. I couldn’t talk to anyone except my select few friends, if none of them were in one day then I’d spend my breaks walking loops around the corridors. I was left with no positive opinions about myself, my self-confidence had been totally destroyed.
All of this led me to spiral into a pit of depression and anxiety, I didn’t want to be here anymore. I spend my evenings at home with my mobile turned off, crying as I couldn’t take another day of not fitting in and being miserable.
It took me leaving secondary school and a few years of self-care before I got my confidence back. It sounds bizarre to say but I don’t think I actually realised how bad things were at the time because I’d forgotten what it was like to not feel that way.
It’s utterly destroying to see how much other people’s actions and comments can have an impact on someone else’s life. It’s never just a little comment that has no impact, even if you think you’re being harmless, you have no idea what that individual is experiencing behind the scenes.
The main reason I wanted to write all of this out in a blog post is because of how much seeing that person affected me. I felt trapped and for a second I was having flashbacks of everything bad that’s happened. One thing I don’t want to do anymore is bottle anything up, no matter how big or small, it eats you up, so I’m sharing it here.