This is Hannah's story of her ecounter with bulliying...
My name is Hannah Louise, I’m 15 years of age and I’m from Essex. In year 4 I was a very happy girl and had a good circle of friends, but all changed when a new girl came into the circle and joined us.
At first I thought she was a lovely girl who just wanted to be friends with everyone but found it hard to fit in. We spent a lot of time together in and out of school, which after a while I started noticing her picking on people. I didn’t want to be involved in bullying, I became scared because I thought if I wasn’t friends with her she would do the same to me. So I remained friends with her.
Over time she tried to make me bully people with her and I didn’t want to especially when I saw her hitting people, so I plucked up the courage to tell my mum that I didn’t want to see her outside of school again, so I stopped being her friend.She wasn’t happy with me not being her friend so she then started bullying me. This continued from year 4 in primary school right up to year 7 in secondary school, which was when I finally left.
The bullying over this period of time started with name calling, lying to my other friends so they didn’t want to speak to me anymore and then she started physically bullying me, I wanted it to stop so I left school. It seemed the best option at the time.I was on my own.
When we went to secondary school it continued. Even with 1500 students in the school she still mana to find me in the lunch break and corridors. I got to the point where I couldn’t cope and I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I stayed at home, locked myself in my bedroom and never came out except when I wasn’t having a down day and only when there was just mum and/or dad in the house, but staying at home didn’t make me feel better. When I was really low I just wanted to kill myself.
My doctor came round to see me on a weekly basis and arranged for me to see a counsellor, Phillipa and a doctor who specialised in child and adolescent mental health. With the help of these people I was diagnosed with depression and over the next few months they worked with me with counselling and medication at home until I was ready to find the courage to leave the house and visit them. It took months.
It was also at this point i met a women called Jannette who completely turned my life around, she invited me to see a school in Harlow that would accept me on a part time basis and help to re build my confidence and trust in people again. I have been there now for 18 months and I attend the school part time over 3 days and I’m still looking at increasing my hours. Unlike before I am now trying to look to the future. I know I still need to build my confidence and trust in people.
Last year I entered my first beauty pageant, which took six months of mental preparation. I was very nervous but I got through the competition and won a crown. Since then I have entered two more pageants and am trying to become a model. With the help of Jannette and staff at the school I also want to train to help school children who have been bullied. I never dreamt three years ago that I could turn my life around and be happy again. Although I’m not one hundred percent better I am more positive than negative and it’s with thanks to Phillipa, Jannette and the doctors who patiently stuck by me to help me believe in myself again.