Growing up as the only brown kid in school, I experienced bullying from the very start. I grew up knowing I would always have to defend myself and my family. I always managed to get great grades, I had lots of friends and any abuse I got I learnt to fight back. This was me.
It might have been racial slurs one day, it might have been getting into fights with boys (yes I got bullied by boys, they thought picking on a girl was brave), whatever happened I dealt with it.
I didn’t allow the pathetic attempts by a few idiots to get me down, or instil fear in me. I was tough. I just got on with things. I was a strong person, who could handle anything.
When I was 17 though I was tested. I was attacked by a neighbour.
This was the most awful, brutal and humiliating thing that had ever happened to me. I had been broken.
This man made me realise that I was physically weaker than him.
I couldn’t fight back…the only thing I could do was go to the police.
I then had a gang against me. I would be chased from college. Threatened with gang rape.
My single mother threatened with rape. This was bullying. A group of people, using their strength to intimidate, inflict pain repeatedly.
I felt powerless. I felt weak. I felt worthless.
My mother made an enormous sacrifice and sold our house so we could leave the area quickly while the police built their case.
I went off to university determined to better myself. I would be better than that scum. But in honesty I wanted an escape.
It was part way through my first year of study, the court date had arrived. The trial lasted 4 long days.
The defendant brought his entire family and gang of friends to intimidate me. It was horrible, I was so nervous and anxious I kept vomiting in the bathroom. They could hear me. They laughed. I was upset with myself; my body was betraying what I wanted it to do; to appear calm strong and carefree. My stomach was failing miserably.
After four days. I received the phone call with the verdict.
Much more vomiting followed.
Feeling completely let down, I went through a period of depression and neglected my studies. I had to go home to my mother so I arranged to return to university that September and start my first year over again. I was so disgusted that I had allowed such a disgusting human being to make me feel this way. I had to take control again.
Being at home, being the eldest I could stay depressed. I didn’t want my little sister and brothers to see me this way. I got a job, worked long hours, indulged in a lot of retail therapy and created a plan. The plan was to rest my mind, be with my family and accept their support, enjoy myself and then return to my studies and be the best. I wanted to show the world I was strong again, I was better than those bullies, and they hadn’t won. Slowly I started to feel ‘normal’.
When September came, my mission statement was this: I WILL NOT GRADUATE WITH LESS THAN A FIRST!
I grafted hard, I had sleepless nights, I balanced a job throughout my studies and worked like a dog. When I felt I was slacking I would look at the postit on my wall and remember my mission, and that would be all the motivation I needed.
I cried when I saw my results. I had done it.
It was my proudest moment. I won.
I achieved this. I deserved this, and no one could take this away.
We have to have a dream otherwise there will be nothing to work towards. How will we know where we are going?
Getting a first was my old dream, I have a new one now. Focus your mind and you will get there, and if your dream changes along the way then great, at least you’ve not been wandering aimlessly and you will already be part way there.
There is no weakness when we can’t do something. But you must never stop trying.
So picture you dream, set your goal…then go for it!
Posted by: Annonymous