If you could have a second chance at just one event in your life, what would you choose? What would you do differently? How do you think your life would be different now?
I would go back to when I was a child, and find the confidence to talk to a trusted adult about being bullied at school. I cannot remember the names of the boys her bullied me, but I remember the names they called me.
They chose me because I was vulnerable. I didn’t like confrontation, I still don’t. I would much rather walk away from an argument than fight my corner. They used to follow me home, and my only defence was reciting ”Sticks and Stones” to them. Those words were hardly enough to stop them making my life a misery.
My writing gave me a sense of power, because I could control what happened in my first book. She did what I never could do – tell someone. It took a lot to happen, but she eventually told someone. Giving the bullies a power they don’t deserve is not the way to be.
We need to educate, not only the children, and adults being bullied, but the bullies themselves. Banter. I hate that word. But it’s only banter. No it isn’t, because even when the person being bullied laughs, it isn’t because they think it is funny. More so they are afraid to make it worse.
I would go back, to tell myself to tell an adult. Tell them I am being bullied because nobody deserves to feel bad. Nobody should bully another person, whether it be at school, work, or in a marriage. Everyone deserves to have a life where they can feel safe.
None of us are perfect, but kindness costs nothing. If you see bullying happening, be that friend. Don’t ignore it, because words hurt, but a kind word can make all the difference and you never know, you just might make a friend.
I still remember the day I started secondary school, and I found some courage to go and speak to a girl. Forty five years later, my best friend is across the miles in America, but we are still besties. She took a chance on me, and because of her I was able to start afresh in secondary.