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Peer Pressure and Bullying Social pressure can take many different forms, including intimidation, bullying and even physical attacks. If you feel you could be a victim or perpetrator (who wishes to stop) of bullying, talk about it here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Music4lyfe Offline
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Name: Alana
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Bullying stopped, still feel threatened - February 14th 2014, 12:01 PM

So I've been bullied and hated on since kindergarten, when I first came into contact with other kids. Naturally that damaged my self esteem quite a lot over the years and has lead to thing like paranoia, depression and social anxiety. When I was younger was when it was the worst. In kindergarten and early primary school, I do not recall a day where I wasn't called fat or ugly or some other name, and told that I couldn't play with them. Around grade 4 or 5, I started defending myself... But I was no good at wise comebacks, so I'd usually hit them or intimidate them with my size (Probably not the best approach, but I was young and didn't know what to do). Around year 6 I got... Half decent, with comebacks. Sometimes. But I'd still solve most of my problems with violence. However, I was never in big trouble, like there were no gut-wrenching fights that were full on, people shouting FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT and then I get expelled, that never happened. I was a teachers pet, after all, as socializing with other students and making friends became a near-impossible task. I'd usually only fight back people who wouldn't tell, and would fight me back. I let the others who would cry off to the teachers, walk all over me. Because to me, violence was the only answer. And no, I was never abused or hit as a child. It's just how I was.

Whether people started to fear me, or respect me, in highschool (year 7, last year) the bullying almost stopped. I still got teased here and there... But overall, beside the exclusion and pointing and laughing, the bullying had stopped. I still get laughed at on occasion, and spoken to in a patronizing way by my classmates, but I've also stopped hitting people. However, although people aren't calling me names or making fun of my athletic ability particularly as strong, I still am unbelievably paranoid.
I can't even take my classmates' word for it when they tell me what classes we have when I forget to bring my timetable to school... "What do we have?" "History and Science" "Mmkay..." *Thinking: What if they are lying? They probably only told me that to send me to the wrong classroom and embarrass me!* And then I end up walking half way across the corridor anyway to check the timetable on the wall anyway, and I have not once been lied to about it, but still, it's like a voice in my head, insisting that they're lying. Then, when people act like my friend, I always assume that they're either being forced to be polite or plotting against me. I'm not even so sure about my friend who's been there since kindergarten... Also, I feel almost ashamed to show myself in public, because I feel like I'm not pretty or skinny enough to be a member of society. I also feel like I don't deserve to do things that normal teenage girls do; crush on boys, go to parties, etc.. When I have a crush, I don't care if they find out... I just don't tell anyone because I'm scared that THEY'LL get teased. I don't fit anywhere.
I even feel like adults hate me. I don't know why... I guess it's because of things that have happened in the past, with adults who have the maturity of children (one mother even blamed me for her daughter having a panic attack in maths, saying that her daughter was hanging out with me too much).
I constantly feel like everyone is against me, and my defense mechanism is remaining very reserved and... I guess you could say, kind of posh or haughty looking. I don't know what to do to get rid of these feelings or paranoia's... Any advice or support?

Thank you in advance, and have a great day <3


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Re: Bullying stopped, still feel threatened - February 14th 2014, 04:05 PM

Hey there, Alana!

I can relate to an awful lot of what you've said. I was also bullied pretty much from when I first came into contact with children my own age. Fortunately, the bullying is not as severe for me these days, and things have gotten a little better. Like you, however, I still struggle with feelings of intense paranoia. I still feel like people hate me. I dread certain situations in school. I definitely know how you feel, and I'm sorry you went through that.

With regards overcoming feelings of paranoia, it can be helpful to remind yourself of more positive ideas to combat negative automatic thoughts. Take the scenario you gave, your classmate telling you what classes you have. In reality, it's probably safe to say that your classmate will have little to gain from sending you to the wrong classroom. If they haven't shown that they dislike you, then it's unlikely that they would try to embarrass you. So, try and gradually change how you think about those situations. It's quite difficult, but you can get there. At the end of the day, if you turn up at the wrong classroom, most people will have forgotten about within a few minutes, so try not to sweat it! And this is coming from someone with rather severe social anxiety.

There's no reason you wouldn't deserve to enjoy your life as much as anyone else. I've felt detached for the reason that I didn't do those things, and that I've never even had much of an interest in what most teenagers do. Who says you have to succumb to what's "normal"? At the risk of sounding like clichéd, be yourself. And don't feel like you have to be pretty or skinny or whatever else, just be you.

I hope things get better! I'm always a PM or VM away. Take care!

Gareth
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Re: Bullying stopped, still feel threatened - February 14th 2014, 04:58 PM

I'm sorry you have gone through all of that.
The only advice I can really give, knowing being bullied does make that fear, is that you try to get over the fear.
Really, it will take time to get over. The bullying did stop because you are getting older, and they are growing up, just like you are. As you get older things get a lot better like that. A lot of young teens do not seem to think that is true, but a lot of the time in highschool the bullies stop, because they grow up, sure there will be some stupid stuff here and there, but they do grow up.
I hope that in time you will begin to be okay, and not fear that people will always be like that. Like I said before. It just takes time.
Good luck.
   
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