Things That Shine
Hi folks! So, this isn’t going to be my usual type of blog but I believe it is something that is incredibly important to write about. That something is bullying. I am all too aware that bullying occurs both online and offline in both the equestrian community and everyday life. I hope that in reading this blog you know you are not alone and maybe I can even help you to deal with bullying you may be experiencing or helping someone who is being bullied.
I have experienced bullying since I was in primary school. At that time, it was a lot of childish name calling and playground fights. My mum got involved and teachers ended it quickly. Once I got into secondary school I had a close group of friends. After some time, bullying started creeping in again; an untrue rumour about a boy, name calling, talking behind my back, and awful things said about me on social media, mainly the platform Ask.fm. I was crying myself to sleep most nights, scared and, truthfully, embarrassed to tell my parents in case the bullies came after me for it. I started punishing myself, believing it was my fault, that I wasn’t good enough for the “cool” people who were doing this to me. My only way out was my horse, spending time with Ben took my mind off them for a little while but every weekday morning I woke up in dread, sick to my stomach that I had to go to school and be at the mercy of these people, day after day.
Mum found out after I broke down one day, she had seen my phone and the awful comments on my Ask.fm account, many of which were anonymous. Comments calling me “a slut”, telling me I’m “worthless”, that I should end my life. She was horrified to see what this was doing to me and what I had done to myself to try to escape it. The school got involved, my account and others were shut down, teachers spoke with the people we knew were making the comments and I ended up seeing my school’s counsellor. Things got better and I was overjoyed to finally leave school for university in 2015. I believed I had escaped bullies, that I was now an adult and people could simply talk to me if they had a problem. Unfortunately, bullies still exist in the adult world. Recently rumours, lies and name calling have crept back into my life. I genuinely believed some of these people were my friends, we had hung out, talked horses and shared personal information.
I often wonder why bullying happens. As a 20-year-old, I believed bulling was an age thing or a school thing but honestly, I believe it’s a people thing. People cut others down out of pure jealousy. Maybe you have a great, happy relationship, a beautiful horse, a prestigious university place or have supportive sponsors, people will always find a reason to be jealous of your life and want to destroy what makes you happy. I often find they are a coward, perhaps they are unhappy in their own life or purely bully for no reason other than being a nasty person. Don’t waste your time or your tears on people like this. They simply aren’t worth it. When I told my parents about what was going on, dad came back to me and said...
“You will meet two types of people in life; Radiators and Drains. Radiators give off warmth and make you feel happy and comfortable. Drains simply drain you of happiness and try to bring you down.”
I think this is so true, don’t surround yourself with people who drain you of your happiness.
I find in times like this surrounding yourself with friends and family who love and support you, dive into your hobbies and know in your self that you are better than a bully. You shouldn’t feel alone, uncomfortable or unhappy because of another person. You are you! A unique, awesome person, don’t let someone try to dim your light because its shining in their eyes. Bullies will spend all their time looking for the faults in others yet spend no time trying to correct their own, they are intimidated by you and simply can’t handle who you are so will try to talk bad about you in the hopes others won’t find you appealing.
If you find yourself being bullied, tell someone. I know you may fear the consequences but honestly, it will help. Telling a parent, teacher or friend helps you to get the ball rolling and maybe even help others who are being bullied. If you are being targeted online, block, block, block! Not being able to see what someone is posting is so much better than it being in your face all the time. Try not to be a part of a group that you may find is starting to target and bully people. I also regret being part of social media platforms like Ask.fm, they are a pool for bullies alike to target innocent people. It isn’t worth it, if you want people’s opinions on you just ask them, don’t allow yourself to feel like you need to hear them anonymously to feel good.
I hope this blog has helped you in some way and please remember you are not alone. You are never alone. There is always someone out there who is willing and happy to help you get through this. Don’t let a bully dictate your self-worth. People throw rocks at things that shine. I am always here for anyone who needs to talk. You can find me at @erinandbenny on Instagram, please feel free to talk to me as I am happy to help.
ACAS : 0300 123 1100
Childline : 0800 111
The NSPCC : 0808 800 5000
Relate : 0300 100 1234
Victim Support : 01380 729476
Samaritans : 0845 790 9090