Hi, my name is Madi Crowther and I am 16 years old. I am writing this blog today to tell my story and hopefully let people know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
I have always been a happy, friendly girl who would try my hardest to make someone feel welcome and comfortable. Most of the time I’d be out with my friends and family or doing the hobbies that I loved. Little did I know, it would all change in the blink of an eye.
When the bullying started, I thought it wouldn’t last long, but in reality, it lasted 3 years.
Everyday, I would wake up, petrified of what the day would hold. The thought of going out of my house, facing the world, haunted me. I would have to drag myself out of bed because all I wanted to do was curl up and hide away. School was my worst nightmare.
I had a nice friendship group, with three other girls. We shared lots of laughs and memories together. However, things quickly changed. They all decided one day that they wanted to start smoking and go out drinking every weekend, but I knew it was wrong so I said no. They went behind my back and told their “new found friends”.
At first, it started with name calling, but I bit my tongue and acted as if it didn’t bother me. They all saw that “I wasn’t affected” by it, so they decided to try several other ways to get a reaction from me. Other times it would be actual physical abuse. I would be pushed, shoved and people would even go to the extent of viciously pushing/throwing objects into me like chairs, pens and even cigarette ends. It got that extreme, that groups of students would wait for me outside my lessons to attack me. I’d see no other escape than to run home.
I bottled up my feelings all the time, so I didn’t come across to people that I was weak. When really, I was crumbling away inside. Each incident that happened would knock my confidence down a little bit more each time, to the point where I just felt invisible.
Every school day felt like a losing battle. I became more isolated to the world every time something else happened. I wasn’t me anymore. If my school day didn’t consist of anything dramatic, I’d be thinking everything could go away for a while, but I was always wrong. People would try everything in their power to contact me, whether that would be messaging me on my social media or even going to the extent of getting my number off of someone. Getting threatened became normal for me.
All my self-esteem had gone and was non existent anymore. It was me against 50+ other people aged between 13–16-year-olds. I was 13 when it all started.
My family were all very supportive of me, making sure that I knew that I wasn’t alone in any of this. But the longer it went on, the more I knew that it wasn’t going to stop on its own. I knew I had to stand up for myself. I knew I had to face them.
Bringing all my confidence back wasn’t easy. The thought of walking up to them, sent shivers down my spine. But deep down I knew I had to stand my ground. I wasn’t going to let them carry it on for any longer. They weren’t going to take my happiness away from me anymore.
Standing up to everyone was not easy, but once I had, it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The old me was back. I realised that no one should ever make an individual feel the way they made me feel. I knew when comments were made against me, I could stand up for myself.
I could smile again.
I was the old me again.