Hello everyone,

Today I want to briefly touch on a topic VERY close to my own heart. I want to my readers to get to know me and what my life has been about but also I want people to be able to relate to me more.

Sometimes the topics might be fun and pleasant and sometimes the topics will be like today a little more hard hitting and extremely personal.

I've been on the brunt end of a gang of bullies before. It is horrible and embarrassing. There was never a time in school from primary to secondary that someone didn't pass remark on me. I have chosen to block a lot of the comments and actions from my mind because I want to be positive in life and treat people with dignity and respect.

This was me in first year of primary school. see those teeth? Yep that was the main focus of the bullies comments. My teeth did get slightly worse and yes it bothered me. I will give you one instance and then move on. I had turned 16 and I was walking through the school yard to the shelters to go home. I think I was alone. I had gotten maybe half way up when a gang of the popular girls (or so they thought) came toward me with bags of food and buckets. I got pinned to the ground, couldn't move and someone always had my arms and legs so what could I do? I was egged as they called it. In these bags and buckets were gone off foods mixed with liquids and flour. I was covered from head to toe and every name from horsey to lanky streak of shit was yelled at me. I was a slim girl back then and I am tall. How I got home that day I can't remember but my sister did tell me I was a wreck.

My mam never understood why I was so quiet about my bullying but after that instance I had enough. I went to the principal and tried to make my last two years in secondary school a bit better. It kind of worked but at the same time, it never left my mind. Even seeing those girls ten years on makes me feel sick. Some are friends on my Facebook because I am the better person and whilst I'll never really speak to them again, they can see how good I have it now (even when I don't, let them think that).

When I was 18 I had to wear train track braces for 3 years to push the alignment of my jaw line so it was the same as the other. When I turned 21 I had my jaw broke for the alignment to be permanent. It was tough, I couldn't eat properly for a few months and I had my mouth wired shut so I couldn't talk properly. That was my buck teeth problem fixed. A few years after my operation my friend threw my mobile phone towards me and it knocked my front tooth out. All my years of dental work were thrown into disarray. I got over it and this Summer I get my front tooth fixed again for the final time.

The point to my post is this, stand tall and be strong. I see people being bullied online, in person and it drives me bonkers. We have one life to live, why can we not all get along and as a united front be happy for each other?

Always talk to someone, get the help you need. Never be afraid to use that voice you've been given. As someone that's been through bullying, I can say now that I should have used my voice positively back then. The thing I have never done is feel sorry for the bullies. In my eyes, they knew what they were doing. Whilst some people may think differently, always remember it is not your fault.

National Bullying Helpline website have tonnes of information and people on hand for you to talk to should you need to. Never stoop to the level of a bully and no matter how bad the bullying is? Always try rise above and talk to someone.

Always smile and never let anyone bring you down. They're not worth it.

V xox

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