October 20, 2016
During the first two years at elementary school, it was just small things that were happening to me, e.g. I found my notebook in the garbage, my schoolbag had been filled with rubbish and snack wrappers from my classmates. I have never told this to anyone, I was just thinking it was normal.
As time went by, I started to realize this is not normal, but it was too late. It happened that two schoolmates pushed me and knocked me down to the ground, one of them held me and the other one brutally kicked me. They then ran away and left me there alone. I was not able to get up from the ground. The physical pain has gone after a period of time, but what happened next is unforgettable.
I was a disease for them
Except for a few pupils in the classroom, who were not engaged in bullying and did not want to have anything to do with it, the others expelled me from their society. Whenever I came closer to them, they yelled nasty things at me and said I am a disease. They virtually sanitized everything I touched. It was so unbearable that I tried to commit suicide several times. I feared going to school. Nobody wanted to sit next to me and I had to borrow a pen from my teacher. In that time, I made a very big mistake, I thought that when I would be close to the teacher, I would be relatively safe. I did not realize that I was closing myself into my own world and loosing general human capability.
The animals helped me
In that time my love for animals rose. When I was down, they always sensed it. In the 7th grade, I started to train in martial arts, hoping I would learn how to defend myself. But my self-confidence was already down, it did not help. However another miracle happened. Two girls from my previous class started to attend my class, so for the first time in my life I had friends.
Then another breakpoint arrived, I had passed the high school entrance exams and started to attend high school. Most of all, I wanted everybody to leave me alone. But the memories did not disseapear and I chose the wrong way to cope with it. I tried to heal myself with food and during the first 6 months at high school, I gained 13 kilos. With the troubles in my family and the troubles with studying,I suddenly realized that I was haunted by permanent feelings of being threatened and anxiety. I did not have any communication abilities and was not able to be amongst people. Thus it carried on for another 4 years.
How I won my life back
By coincidence, I went to the School Earth Day festival as an animal caregiver. At the festival, one person sitting next to me asked me a lot about my animals. Later, she told me that she is a psychologist and her name is Monika. It took another year before I gathered enough courage to visit her. I found out that I have been suffering from social phobia, it simply means, I had been afraid of people. Monika was the first person whom I had told my story to. During the next few months we met on many occasions. She went with me to the city, taught me how to shop and do other things, which I had not been able to do for a long time.
Today I am feeling a lot better. I believe that there is a new beginning for me. I have won back my life.
Alice, 26 years, Prague, Czech Republic
The story you have just read, clearly shows, that bullying could stealthily developed from the early signs to the very severe symptoms and totally unacceptable behaviour. It is likely, that the school could prevent, what was happening to Alice. In the case, that the school would have a proper anti-bullying policy, including teachers’ training, Alice’s school experience could be very different.
We know the Alice’s story from our previous anti-bullying project. The name and several details were changed for privacy reasons, her experience is true.
October 10, 2016
“At lunchtime I say, half the day is gone, it remains only the other half. But then another thought ruins everything: tomorrow we start again”.
“I feel wearing the looks of others. I see their smiles when they stare at me, I feel they look at my old sneakers, my frayed jeans, my sweater with high neck and my backpack. I heard someone calling me homeless”.
These are just some of the harrowing confessions contained in The Secret Life of Emilie, the French seventeen year old girl who committed suicide (22 January 2016) for the consequences of years of bullying suffered in the classroom.
Emilie did not share this pain with anyone, not even his parents, not to give them the disappointment of having a daughter laughed, unable to react to the harassment and intimidation suffered by his classmates.
You can read Emilie’s Diary here.
Stop bullying now (TELEFONO AZZURRO).
June 27, 2016
The victims of cyberbullying threaten self-harm and depression. And 1 out of 10 attempts suicide. While it is being debated in the Chamber of Deputies in Italy a decree to make it a crime, that’s what it is and how it is changing cyberbullying.
Investigation of Mohamed Maael