Standing Up to Bullying (I Realise I’m Late to the Party)

Journal Entry Featured PostI realise I’m a little late to ‘Stand up to Bullying’ day, which was 13th June. But I recently read a blog post on The British Nerd Network which inspired me to talk about my own experiences with bullying.
My parents moved us from the North East of England to the Midlands when I was three years old. My sister was only a baby and I would be starting school the following September. First year of my first primary school (which was around a mile away) was difficult and my mum said I would constantly come home from school saying I hadn’t made any friends because nobody could understand what I was saying (I had a broad Northern accent at the time). I remember sitting on the curb of the playground every dinner time by myself, while all the other kids played together and pointed and laughed at me.
My mum transferred me to a different primary school which was closer to our home and there I found a firm friend, Sam. She and I were inseparable for years, but she was accepted a lot more by the other kids because she was so laid back and quiet, whereas I was more likely to state my mind. She was always invited to play with the other kids but I never was. A particular playtime sticks in my mind, that sounds so stupid but at the time was really a big deal for me (how the problems of a seven year old differ to a thirty-two year old!) – a group of girls were re-enacting the Disney Beauty and the Beast movie (which I was obsessed with) and they asked Sam if she wanted to play. She said yes and asked if I could join in. They told me there weren’t any characters left for me to play. Sam said she wouldn’t play unless I did. So they told me I “could be the wardrobe”. Need I say more. As stupid as that sounds it really crushed me back then. I was also bullied from year 2 all the way to year 6, relentlessly. Jamie I hope you never go through what you put me though.
By the time I reached the age for high school, my mum had firmly decided I wasn’t going to go the local school where Sam was going. I would be going to an all girls’ school right across town that no one I knew was going to. It took me over an hour and three buses to get to school every day. And every day a couple of girls, Tiffany and Louise, made my life a living hell with their constant name calling, ridiculing and general humiliation of me.
I came home from school in tears most days. One day I came home and my mum told me that we would be moving again, this time to a place near Wales in the countryside. I would be transferring to yet another school, a much smaller close-knit one. One where not only did I not know anyone, but I couldn’t even find my way home once I got there because I wasn’t familiar with the area or the mile and a half walk to and from school.
I will remember my first day at that school for the rest of my life. It was like a scene from ‘Mean Girls’. I walked into the classroom and for a change I was the popular “city” kid that everyone wanted to know. I thought everything would change because all the girls were clinging to me asking me tons of questions about the city. I had nothing in common with any of them and although I felt completely out of my comfort zone, I thought for once I might have an easy life.
The girls showed me around school and demanded I sat with them at dinnertime. I happily opened my lunchbox and listening to them chatting away, when a girl came up to the table and was greeted by everyone. There was nowhere for her to sit and every single girl at that table (all ten of them) turned and looked at me and said “you’re in Kate’s (not me, that was the name of the girl who had nowhere to sit) seat, you’ll have to move”. I said “where will I sit?” to which I just received blank stares. I collected my stuff, got up, left the canteen and spent the rest of my lunch in the girls toilets, locked in safe, alone. This became the norm for me. I had no real friends until much later on in high school life, whereupon I befriended a group of nerds who took me under their wing and looked after me for a while. I was ridiculed in P.E (because I sucked at it), ridiculed for playing video games and ridiculed because I had never had a boyfriend (this finally happened when I turned fifteen). I hated the entirety of my school life and couldn’t wait to leave.
By the time I reached college, I thought life would be a little easier as I went to college with my boyfriend at the time. My mum didn’t like how clingy I was with my boyfriend and had placed a call with the college to make sure we were in separate classes at all times. So I was back to square one of not knowing anyone. Luckily, I met a guy there who would later become the surrogate big brother I had always wanted. We have been close since the day we met and he all but lived with my family for a long time. He moved away when I was nineteen and we lost touch for a while but I saw him recently and it was good to catch up.
Getting back to my point, a guy in college who seemed to be the leader of a clique decided I was an easy target. Tom, you also made my life hell.
Mid way through college I had had enough. The bullies had targeted me throughout my entire life because I HAD LET THEM. I was finally pushed to breaking point and exploded in class one day. The shock on the faces of the bullies was just priceless. They attempted to push me only once more but by then I had hardened myself up and I never let another snidey comment go unpunished. The bullies began to be afraid of me calling them out with sarcastic remarks to which they had no reply, looking like fools in front of their friends and the rest of the class. They eventually left me alone completely.
From that day I became an advocate against bullying, sticking up for the kids who still got bullied or were targets, looking after them and knocking the bullies back down for them, time and time again, showing them how to create their own armour, like I did.
My entire personality changed and I became extremely outspoken, brutally honest and a force to be reckoned with. I brought this into my adult life, refusing to be made a pushover of and standing my ground in every situation I got thrown into.
I found out the hard way that the only way to beat the bullies is to “beat” the bullies. I don’t necessarily mean give them a good thump, although by all means, this does also work. I mean beat them at their own game – a sarcastic put down can be battled with a sarcastic put down of your own, a harsh word can be thrown back in their face with raised eyebrow and a single profanity or an extremely loud and bored sounding sigh. Once they realise that they don’t hurt you or bother you, only bore you and mildly amuse you at their weak attempts, the comments and attempts will die down and eventually stop altogether.
Stand up for yourself! Don’t let them get away with it and be like me, regretting my childhood for the plain reason of being too weak to make a stand and fight back. I’m more than making up for it now.

One thought on “Standing Up to Bullying (I Realise I’m Late to the Party)

  1. Hello Kate. I was partly browsing through posts here on WordPress when I came across this post from you. I just read it and it is interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. You are brutally honest and how you recount these experiences really bring it to life in the mind of the reader. I agree with certain aspects of your post, I agree that we should not be afraid. However I doubt that saying bad things to someone who says bad things to us is the right course of action. Two wrongs do not make a right. We do not use darkness to drive out darkness, we use light to drive out darkness. I am not saying that we need to be foot-mats and let everyone walk all over us. As a matter of fact, we need to be principled. Everyone around us needs to know that we manage our time wisely and we only give something our time if it is worth it. However, there is no maturity in exchanging words with someone who is immature enough to insult us. They simply are not wise and do not know any better.

    To put a spiritual spin on things. From the Bible, we learn about promoting love, even to those who do not deserve it. The same way that God has done for us. If there is someone bothering you, pray to God about it. Our heavenly father is more than capable of dealing with the person for us. Let your personality do the talking. Let people know that you are all about love and positivity. However, if someone tries to bring up drama, just leave the room and leave them there. They would not look so smart, when the person that they are talking to has left them there to speak their unwise words by themselves. Will they say that they are talking to someone who is absent? Only an unwise person keeps speaking to someone who has clearly ignored them.

    Now, here is my #MeTOO moment. I too was bullied, and boy was it bad. I was the emotional kid who was naive. I let people put me down as much as they liked. Although, I do not think I should have been involved in an exchange of words with them or fight with them. I at least could have called them aside and calmly told them that I did not like how they were treating me. But really speaking, I think I simply gave those people too much of my time. When I reached high school, I realized this. I stopped hanging out with them and I felt good. I was more focused on achieving goals and my hard-work paid off. The students who did not like me still had to clap for me when I was announced as the valedictorian of the set for that graduating year. That happened because I started to give more meaningful things my time. I honestly wish I knew God during this period. Aside from knowing that prayers work and God could have helped me. When I decided to go solo and focus more on my goals, God could have added meaning to my life and given me a purpose. I struggled with insecurity and social anxiety. God could have shown me my true identity in him and all of these would not have been an issue. It has been about 9 years since high school. 9 years since being made fun of and having the whole class laugh at me. 9 years since having fellow student threaten to beat me up. 9 years since being publicly embarrassed in the presence of boys at a time when I was still super shy in front of them. 9 years since having friends who were always super quick to turn around and stab me in the back. The memories of high school still does come knocking. However, with my new found identity in Jesus, those insecurities are coming of. If Jesus did this for me, he can do the same for you.

    I do not know whether you have a relationship with God or not. If you already have a good relationship with God, congratulations, you are on the right path. You do not need to read this comment any further. Chances are high that if you have a relationship with God, you probably already know everything that I am about to tell you. I would say this, keep praying, keep obeying him, and keep trusting in him, and he would come through for you. However, if you do not yet have a relationship with God, you are in luck, here are some exciting details about God that you need to know:

    You may have heard that God is the creator of the universe and everything within it. This claim is 100% true. God did create everything in the universe, including us humans. Like a good father loves his children, God loves each and every one of us dearly. He likes to provide for us, to bless us, and to help us. His intention is to provide for us in this life and to also grant us eternal life. Eternal life is the life after this life that we are currently living, you can simply call it the after-life. Eternal life would last forever. Not everybody would gain access into the eternal life. Since that life would last forever and in it people would not die, it would not make sense to allow in violent people, liars, thieves and others. Since these people would not die, there would be no end to the problems that they would cause. Therefore, only the purest people are allowed in. We humans cannot be pure by ourselves. We are prone to envy, lying, cheating others and so much more. We learn to do these bad things from such a young age, by the time we reach adulthood, we are already too far gone in it. For this reason, God sent his son Jesus to die for our sins. So that we can be easily redeemed and saved. The blood of Jesus has made us pure and worthy. After the death of Jesus, all we need to do is to believe in Jesus and obey the Word of God, and those are the core for gaining access into eternal life. Like I mentioned earlier, God loves to bless us, and he desires to give us everything that we need. However, because God exists in the spiritual realm and we exist in the physical realm, we need to learn to understand how God communicates and to build a relationship with him in order to understand him. Over the course of building a relationship with him, you would understand how he works and how to locate the blessings that he has sent to you both in this life and for the next.

    It is important that we know the extent of God’s love and the provisions that he has made for us. He has conferred a new identity on all those who believe in him. The world may call them fat, ugly, too nerdy, loser or whatever they can think of. However, the Bible says about God’s followers in 1 Peter 2:9
    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”.

    God has promised that he has big plans for us. He says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

    God will protect us, he says in Isaiah 43:2
    “When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze”.

    He says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    God is ready to listen to our needs, the Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

    I suggest that you build a relationship with God and begin to enjoy the joy of his presence and his faithfulness. You cannot let your past define you. Let the lord erase any spirit that is not good for your mind and let him fill you with joy, peace, happiness and fruitfulness. Do not focus on the world and on its evil ways. focus on God and on his good ways and he would send his light to protect you from that evil.

    If you wish to build a solid relationship with God, I would include below a lengthy and detailed suggestion on how you can do so. However, I find that many people get scared at the length of the suggestions. I want to say this, it is a step by step process, do not feel the need to execute it all in one day. Go at a pace that works for you and trust the process. Some people also get the impression that I am judging them or trying to tell them how to act or how to be, No! I do not want it to come across that way, because that is not my intention, I am simply giving friendly suggestions. Some people also get the impression that i am trying to say that if they do not do everything on my suggestion list that they would be doomed. I am not trying to say this. Also bear in mind, that although my suggestions seem lengthy, they would quickly become second nature to you. If you struggle with any of the steps, you can ask God for assistance and he would it make it easier for you.

    If you are ready, here are my suggestions:

    1. Confession of faith: you need to find a quiet space. Imagine that Jesus is in front of you. Ask him for forgiveness of your past sins and the sins of your ancestors. Ask him to give you the strength to forgive those who have offended you. Honestly, I suggest that you forgive the people who have offended you, because whatever they did to you is now in the past, and upon a confession of Jesus as your Lord, you become a new creation. In addition, God commands that we need to forgive others, before he can forgive us. You can also get a deliverance before your confession of faith. Deliverance will rid you off any ungodly spirits that have taken residence in your body and mind. A pastor with a deliverance anointing should be able to help with this. There are also videos on YouTube, where pastors with a deliverance anointing pray directly for people through the videos. You just need to search “deliverance prayer” in the search bar to reach these videos. Now, you need to tell Jesus that you want him to come and be your lord and personal savior, and surrender to him. You need to know that Jesus died for you. He died on the cross so that you may have a chance at salvation. The minute you give your life to Jesus, you need to know that you can no longer live as you wish, you shall live according to the stipulations in the bible. Believe in your heart that Jesus was risen up from the dead by God, and confess with your mouth that he is the messiah and your personal savior.

    2. Prayers: ask Jesus to bless you with eternal life. Tell him to make a place for you in his heavenly abode. You need to understand that praying for heaven is the best prayer that you can ever pray. Life on earth is so short, you need to be worried about eternal life, which is so much longer. God knows that you need clothes, food, shelter etc. He is your creator and he knows your every need. The bible tells us to pray for eternal life and God would provide our other needs (i.e. clothes, shelter etc.) according to his riches. If there is something bothering you, tell God in prayer, commit it to him and ask him to do it for you. However, bear in mind that this life is temporary and so are the things in this life. When you are praying, the devil will try to disrupt your prayers by bringing sudden disturbances such as sudden phone calls or loud noises and evil thoughts. An example of an evil thought that the devil tries to use to stop people from praying is by bringing the thought that Jesus is not present and that they are simply wasting their time. Jesus is there with you when you pray. So pray like you mean it. Pray the same way you will if Jesus was right in front of you because he is. You need to understand how prayers work as well. You see, when you pray, God answers prayers. God usually has three answers to prayers Yes, Yes but Wait, and No. God has a reason for every answer that he gives. He loves you and he will make sure that everything works out well for you in the end. When you get a No from God, sometimes it is not because that thing is not good for you at that point in time, but it may be because God is trying to draw your attention to something that you are doing wrong in your life. When you get a No from God, you need to evaluate yourself, what is the motive of your prayer? is it pure? Is it Godly? Is there an area of sin in your life that you need to work on? When you reflect on these things and you find something in yourself lacking, try to fix it. When God says Yes to prayers and sends you his blessings, trust me, there are spiritual forces of the devil in high places that work against people so that their blessings from God would not reach them. You need to pray against these spiritual forces. Rebuke them by the power and the name of Jesus. This way, your blessings would be able to reach you. Lastly, some people pray lazy prayers. For example, someone might pray for a job, without actually applying to any. God does not reward laziness. When you are praying for something, you need to be putting some work in as well. God rewards hard-work and we ought to strive to be hardworking. God’s role is to direct, bless, and make your path clear. However, bear in mind that sometimes God answers even lazy prayers and gives us undeserved blessings, that shows you the power of his love. He would always be with you. You need to make sure that you are close to God in prayer. Do not cease to tell him about what you are struggling with. If you are struggling with sins of the flesh that you believe are hindering your spiritual growth, you need to make sure that you tell God. Make sure that you pray for an increment in faith. Faith is important, you need to have faith in God. When we pray, we need to have faith, God does not like it when we doubt his ability to provide us with what we want, he is mighty and nothing is impossible with him. When you are low in faith, pray to God for an increment in faith. Remember to pray for your family, your city, your country and the world in fact, no prayers are too big for God. Pray that unsaved people would be saved. Pray for your non-Christian family members, pray that they see the light and become saved. When you pray, make sure that you take care of sins. The bible says that we need to forgive others if we want our sins to be forgiven. Make sure you forgive others, ask for forgiveness of your sins first before praying. Sins can block your prayers from getting to God. Try to avoid sin, but pray for forgiveness of sins everyday, because sometimes, we are not aware of the sins that we are committing. When you get answers to your prayers, remember to thank God.

    3. The Bible: You need to make sure that you are reading the bible and that you are obeying it. I suggest you begin with the New Testament because the coming of Jesus changed many of the things that were practised before. However, bear in mind that the old testament is also important. You can find free bible apps on google play. You can also find free bibles online. The New Living Translation is an easy to read bible version. However, the most popular one is the King James Version.

    4. Hearing from God: Trust me, God would speak to you. He would speak to you through dreams. Through people, through situations, through the bible and so much more. You need to practice and perfect the art of hearing God’s voice. Dreams contain a lot of symbolism. When you possess an avid knowledge of what the bible says, you would understand the biblical meaning of all the symbols in your dreams. However, for now, you can search online bible dream dictionaries for the meaning of things you see in your dream. You also need to know that although there are general meanings for some symbols, some interpretations are based on context. Take context into account. God does communicate via dreams. Sometimes, you might be asking God for direction on something. Pay attention to the words all around you during this time i.e, the things people say, words you see when reading the bible etc. Sometimes you might even just turn on your TV and the TV anchor would say something that directly relates to what you are going through. Pay attention to these things. You would know it is God’s voice when whatever is said is not in contradiction to the bible and God’s nature. If it is in contradiction then it might just be something random that popped up. You can also hear God’s voice by meditating on him. You can do this by finding a quiet space, you can play some background Christian music if you want. During this time, close your eyes and focus on God. Do some praise and worship in your heart first, then invite Jesus to come to you. Ask a question and pay attention to any bible verses that are brought to your mind, inner voices that you hear, any general feelings etc. If what is said is in line with the bible, then it is probably God speaking. It might take several weeks before you begin to hear God via meditation. If you keep trying one method and it does not work, try another method, like paying attention to the words around you. As you practise the art of listening and hearing, God might give you the gift of seeing visions or the gift of hearing an inner voice, and take you to deeper depths of hearing.

    5. Fasting: fasting is an effective way to get God’s attention. Fasting is a way to spend time with him. You deprive yourself of food because what you seek for is more than food. There are different types of fasting, and you need to plan what works for you. There is the:

    A. Avoidance fasting: This is a fasting form where you avoid something that you cannot do without i.e. Coffee.

    B. Daniel’s fast: In this sort of fasting, you only eat fruit and vegetables and drink water. You do not eat anything cooked or anything other than fruits and vegetables.

    C. Water fast: In this sort of fasting, you do not eat anything, you only drink water. No food, just water.

    D. Total fast: In this sort of fasting, you do not eat or drink anything. You do not drink even water.

    Make sure that you work out what works for you. You can pray to God for directions on the timing of the fasting to follow. However, as a general time-frame, on fasting days, many Christians fast from 6am to 6pm. Many Christians also use those moments when they feel hungry/ feel cravings as prompts to pray. You need to have increased prayers during fasting periods.

    6. Temptations: When you believe in Jesus. Trust me, the devil sometimes would throw trials and tribulations into your life, the goal of this is to get you to denounce your faith. The goal is to frustrate you. You need to pray and fast when trials and tribulations strike. God would never leave you or forsake you. He would be with you and with God, you will overcome this if it ever happens.

    7. Spreading the gospel: Now that you know the truth, you are chosen. It is now your duty to share the truth in the bible with others. Make sure that you save people from falling prey to Satan’s tactics. You need to join the fight to depopulate the devil’s camp, while populating God’s kingdom. With spreading the gospel, do not feel the need to finish reading the whole bible before you begin. You can teach people the little you know.

    8. Read: There is a lot of material out there. There are ministers of God who have practised for about 40 years. These people have a lot of stories about their ministry. Some of them have the gift to heal others, others see visions, some of them hear God’s voice. Many of these people have written books about how they accomplished what they have accomplished, and how they got their gift. Buy these books and read them. If you do not have money, some of these ministers have shared their stories for free on YouTube, take advantage of that.

    9: Reform yourself: begin to watch Christian movies and listen to Christian music. Make sure that your thoughts, actions, and words are in obedience to the word of God. Make sure that you are not doing anything sinful in your thoughts, actions or words. Refine your world, the space around you, the things you see and hear, make it all about God. You can also join a community of bible believing Christians. However, I need to tell you that there is sectarianism in the religion. Do not pay attention to sectarianism, pay attention to the bible. The bible is your authority. If a church seems to have too much sectarianism issue going on, if they are more focused on promoting their denomination than promoting God and the word in his bible, you need to stop going there. Get a water baptism, and pray so that God would baptise you in the holy spirit.

    (I know I have written this list in the order of 1 to 9. It is crucial that you begin with Step 1. Prayers are something that you need to do constantly, so is bible study, hearing from God and reforming yourself. However, you can start small with fasting and spreading the gospel. You can start by preaching to your family members in the beginning phase of spreading the gospel, but you need to expand on these over time. I know this list seems long and all these seem deep, but trust me, you would blend into it so easily and it would become second nature to you. Pray to God to make all of these easy for you, and he will. The devil would try to trick you into believing that God’s standards are too high and that you would never overcome sin, when in actuality, you can. So therefore, pray to God and believe and he would help you overcome sin).

    If you ever backslide and fall back into sin again while trying to follow God’s word. You need to ask him to forgive you and try to get back on track. You should also ask him to strengthen you, so that you can have more strength in withstanding and blocking off sin. God would hear your prayer and he would send help according to his will.

    If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. If you need to talk, I am here for you. God bless you. Have a blessed day 🙂


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