If you’ve been bullied, it’s important to talk to a professional
One SpunOut.ie reader talks about how being bullied impacted them and how professionals can help
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A short story for anyone being bullied. I just want to share this with you to let you know that things WILL get better. When I was in primary school, I was terribly bullied. The best part of my day was the 3 seconds when I’d wake up and not know what was going on. Teachers were told, but at the end of the day I was a black sheep in my own village, and much of the damage was done outside of school hours. Fast forward into secondary school, I had a couple of good years, until BANG, more bullying again.
Like a ball rolling, one small thing can lead to more serious bullying if not dealt with in the first instance. There isn’t really any need to get into the details. It was horrific. Punches thrown, 7/8 people waiting to beat me up after school, gardai involved, the works. And we’ll keep going. At the start of working life it happened again. Being walked all over, blamed for things I didn’t do, being verbally abused.
My advice to anyone being bullied is this. If and when it happens, no matter what age you are, get help. Go to see a counselor. I can’t emphasize this enough. You can tell all the teachers you want, you can go the other way about it and fight back, but the real piece here that I think would have made a real difference to my life is that if I went to counseling the first time it happened, even after it had stopped, I could have got the tools I needed to deal with people like that, how to react/not react, and how to deal with it systematically there and then and not leave it become a big deal. Sometimes bullying happens regardless, but I can’t help but feel that if I went to counseling as a young man after being bullied the first time, got the tools, got taught how to love myself more, appreciate myself more, grow my self esteem more, maybe I might not have looked like a soft target the next time, and the next time, and the next time.
I’m telling you this, because years on even after it has stopped, anxiety had gotten a grip in my social life and in work. I got panic attacks over the smallest of things going wrong, and I’d literally be too anxious to meet people. I’m good now, I got the help I needed. But the piece I want to put across to all those being bullied is, just go to a professional, talk to them about it. They’ll tell you what you can do, what you could do, and maybe what you should have done. Bullies can be beaten. They’re usually not that smart and are only bullying you due to their own insecurities.
Even if you’ve gotten over the bout of bullying you are currently enduring or if it’s still ongoing, I strongly recommend meeting someone professional regardless of how nice and supporting your parents/teachers/friends are. I’m speaking from experience because I feel a lot of the bullying I experienced in my life need not have happened if I had more tools to deal with it after the first time. And as dark as the road ahead may seem there really is always light at the end of the tunnel. Really hope this helps someone.