I was bullied in secondary school and it was the time of my life that changed my perspective of the world, made me feel worthless and stupid. I hated myself.
Bullying in secondary school is not something a lot of people talk about here in Nigeria. Some parents do not know that bullying in secondary school is a thing. A big deal.
Especially boarding school where they are not in touch with their children and don’t get to notice the small changes in their mood, attitude, and appearance.
Bullying comes in different forms in school. It’s easy for teenagers to be depressed. They are young and mostly innocent, they may not recognize bullying till later.
I got into secondary school pretty early, I was 9 but did not face bullying till 12,13 (SS1 & SS2) and it was in 2 schools. But that of SS2 was the worse. The one in SS1 was prompted by people thinking I was a terrible person and a lesbian in school. it was a Christian school so it was bad.
In SS2 I was exposed to a new atmosphere when we moved to Kaduna and I Had to change my school. I was such a nice girl. My hostel was not mixed like my previous boarding school. It was just SS2 girls in one big room, we were about 83 or more.
I helped a lot of my classmates with the things they needed and I didn’t see it as a big deal till much later when I noticed I was being sent errands and treated like a junior. I just said I was going to stop but it escalated to people talking down on me and making me feel terrible. I was mocked for my pimples and I remember one time a girl purposely dropped my ironed uniform on the ground and was laughing about it. I can’t remember why.
I was accused of asking a guy out and I had nothing to do with him. I didn’t even fancy him, up till now I don’t know what caused that rumor.
I think that’s bullshit now anyways. I remember hating him so much. Girls will be talking about me to my face and using codes “talking about let them not ask your boyfriend out o, people are now asking boys out o”, and then I looked at it as a bad thing.
I honestly can’t remember a lot of things because I’ve blocked them out of my memory.
I think it’s one of the ways we deal with pain, I like to think that it happens subconsciously. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not. If it’s the right thing to do or not but it helps a little.
I can’t remember what really happened but I remember how the situation made me feel worthless, I cried a lot, I stayed in my bed and did not go to class.
It was a shitty experience and I don’t like remembering my days in that school.
Lucky for me I left after SS2 and this was because of the Christian, Muslim clash then. It was not a safe place and I’m so happy I left that place.
This post was triggered by a message I saw about a girl being bullied in secondary school and I started wondering why we don’t talk about this. I think I’ll have to stop saying that because that’s why I write what I write. The part of the girl child people don’t talk about.
I’ve not watched a Nigerian movie centered on bullying in secondary school. This topic deserves more representation.
I’ll be sharing some tips on how you can asses someone that’s being bullied and how to get over it
How to know when a teenager is being bullied in secondary school
change in appearance
Being teased about how teens look is the oldest form of bullying, a lot of teens are late bloomers but don’t even know so most of them feel terrible that they don’t look like their peers. They will want to start changing their looks to feel better, look better and even start dressing in a different way. A girl that loved colors can start hiding her colors and try to be invisible.
Keeping to herself
When I got home for the holidays, I mostly stayed in my own company, because I was used to myself, the pain, crying myself to sleep and wishing I had money for surgery so I can fix my face. At 13,14 I was everything I disliked. This is a very common way of handling pain because it’s easy. Once you notice withdrawal. Start checking up on her/him.
Bad academic performance
You can’t expect someone that does not want to exist to be slaying em grades. It’s not possible. They will be trying to shrink their self not blossom.
Stubborn, hot head and aggressive
There’s a lot of pain and anger that builds up and that leads to the person being explosive at any given chance.
There are a lot of things you start noticing when a teenager is being bullied. Pay attention to their mood, are they changing? Do they act up easily now? Absent-minded? Self-esteem issues.
If you pay more attention you’ll notice these things and it’s easier to curb at the moment than later.
How to get over bullying
For this, there is no straight answer, to be honest with you. Bullying makes you question why you even exist so getting over that is not something that happens in a week or a month.
It’s a gradual process.
This is a great way of starting, a lot of people may want to report to the school authorities but that will make the bullies more aware of their influence and most times they don’t change. They get worse.
They will feel stuck and sick and sometimes suicidal. So taking that child away from that toxic environment is good. I can’t tell you how good this is. Leaving everything behind. Sometimes I don’t want to wake up because it’s the same people and another set of drama. Taking them away makes them breathe fresh air and this goes for any form of pain. Leave the surrounding of that pain.
Talk talk talk
It’s not easy to open up about bullying especially because you’ll get the “no one can try that with me” or “if it’s me” or “you were too calm”, you caused it” reaction and if makes your self-worth goes down into your tummy. If someone opens up to you; Talk to them, let them cry, let them weep, just be there. Listen and talk to them. Encourage them. Make them feel good and just be there for them.
Boost of confidence
Is there something they are good at and have forgotten or don’t even want to try? Help them do that, take her for a walk, see a movie, anything to make her smile and feel better.
I want to chip in that there is no one size fits all approach to dealing with being bullied. For me, I kept my pain and carried it til for like 2,3 years till I met my best friend then that helped me; walked me out of my pain and sometimes I remember and it still hurts but I no longer feel worthless. It’s in my past.
I hope this post finds you if you’ve gone through this or know someone going through this. Help them heal and please leave comments on how you think they can heal.
Love and light