Something I saw on social media just made me think. When I think, I write.
I was bullied at school. This is something you probably already know. Some of you were those bullies.
What I’ve just remembered is being eleven years old. I remember getting off the school bus in the morning.
My face still burns with the absolute shame of being greeted by twenty boys, shouting ‘shut up, Kate Baguley’. Of being followed round all day by the shouts and jeers of people telling me to shut up, over and over again. The humiliation is still branded onto the inside of me; it still stings.
I’m not sure why they wanted me to shut up: I spent years trying to guess; trying to change me to be the quiet, invisible person I am (sadly) not. I shrank myself mentally and physically in the hope that they would not be able to see me; not be able to hear me.
They got pretty close to ruining my life.
But, actually, nobody gets to do that. Nobody gets to choose whether I shut up or not. Whether I disappear or not.
Apart from me.
And I choose to speak. I choose to speak on behalf of all the people who have been bullied by co-workers, at school, at home, by children or adults.
And I choose to tell you that you should never shut up. Your voice is the most important in the whole world.
Tell the truth; name the bullies; shout your right to happiness and freedom out as loud as you can.
Because, honestly, you are worth more than the scum who chose to make you miserable.
(PS. None of the people who bullied me have ever had the guts to explain what made them choose me; what made them behave the way they did. I would really appreciate it if you were able to grow a pair and let me know – it would really help me to move on from the part of my life that you ruined. Thank you.)