Bullying is a problem.
It takes many forms and it destroys too many lives.
I am here to share my personal story with bullying and to present solutions on how to fight it.
I live in the UK and I moved here to study Theatre, but things didn´t went as I excepted. I had a life changing experience with bullying in the first year in the UK and that made me want to change my career choice.
Since I was a child I loved to perform, mostly because I wanted to make people laugh. With this in mind, in my 18 years old I decided that I was going to risk everything by apply to an international University and by pursuing a very hard career.
It is to notice that I made this decision over time, I thought a lot about it and I was completely sure that I wanted to be an Actress.
So my happy version of 18 years old packed her bags and came to the UK in the leap of faith that she could do everything that she wanted to do.
I picked up a knife to kill myself at 5 months in the Course, I cried my heart out at 3 months in the Course, I decided that I wanted to go back to Portugal after only 2 months. I never felt so useless and insecure in my life.
Bullying can take many forms, hit many ages, inflict many consequences. For me was depression, being left with no confidence and giving up on my dream.
I suffered bullying from several people in my class during that first year. I suffered dirty looks, I was ignored, I was laugh upon, I was called someone that is over reacting, I was called a liar, a child.
The bullying that I suffered wasn´t violent or all at once.
It started slow, the looks.
It intensified, the laughing at my performing.
It became unbearable when I notice that I didn´t belong there, I was ignored by almost everyone, I was made a liar, I was called dumb everyday.
I started missing classes, having lunch in the bathroom, avoiding saying a word.
I was so confident in my art, my performance that I never thought that a couple of rotten people would destroy that. But they did. Since then I never performed again. They took that from me.
I tried to seek help, I went to a therapist: she told me it was a cultural shock. I went to the programme leader: she told me to try more.
I went to a supposed friend: she called me a bitch.
Don´t give up, was something that I had written all over my mind.
“Just don´t give up, please”
When I tried to talk to my “friend” and she called me a bitch I had the confirmation that my life was worthless. It is funny because when I gave her an opportunity to apologise for that day she told me that if I published something to do with her here she would press charges.
It is hard when nobody sees it. I know. I felt it and it hurt like hell. It makes you confused, It made me blame myself for what I was feeling.
But hopefully I got out in time. I got out broken but alive.
I lost all of my confidence, not only in my performance but in myself. I am a insecure person because of that experience.
I lost my dream, I never went back for it. BUT I discovered a passion for writing and I am happy with it.
I developed depression and anxiety and I will never be able to be myself because of this experience.
My personal advice is to get out. If you are in a situation where you suffering bullying, silent or violent bullying distance yourself from it.
Yes, you can. You can change classes, or school or group of friends. Talk to people that can help with it. Express your urgency in getting out of this situation.
And never, EVER, believe them. They are shallow people that feel better by taking on strong people like yourself. You are stronger than you know, you are stronger than they are.