I write this post after much contemplation as to whether it is appropriate or crosses boundaries I can never come back from. But unless I write about it, I’m accepting that it should be tolerated. It shouldn’t. It should never be tolerated. I want 2018 to be a year of positivity so I need to close this chapter once and for all, which is why I am posting this now.

At the age of 30, I am being subjected to bullying. Social bullying. Bullying which has been a problem for some time but has been swept under the carpet time after time. Bullying which has been justified by calling me ‘sensitive.’ Bullying which has been excused by those with a vested interest. Something that I only recently came to realise when I broke down at work and couldn’t function any more. When I sat with my colleagues, who told me THIS IS BULLYING.

I need to make one thing very clear and that is that I am not without my faults. There have been times where I have got things wrong. I’ve done the wrong thing or I’ve said the wrong thing. But does that mean I deserved to be outcasted? No.

It makes me human because no one is perfect. I have a voice and I will use it. I haven’t got to where I am now in my career by being a push over. I know what is right and what is wrong and I won’t sit there and nod my head just because it suits someone else, if I disagree.

The bullying I’ve been subjected to is social bullying and it has extended so far that these people have also targeted my family members, for no reason, other than the fact that they are my relatives.

You may be wondering what social bullying is. The definition from nobullying.com is:

“Social or covert bullying involves spreading rumors about another person, purposely leaving someone out of an activity or group or embarrassing a person in public. Another form of bullying that falls into this category involves encouraging others to avoid a certain person or group. Social bullying affects a person and their ability to relate to their environment as well as other people in a social setting. Not only does it have a direct impact on a person’s mental and emotional state, it can also adversely affect their reputation in both personal and professional circles.”

I find it bizarre to think that I went through my whole school life, sixth form, university and even working career to date, without even once experiencing this. Yet in my personal life, at this age, I’m going through it.

I’m an open and honest person and go into every relationship with everything I have. I guess that in a way is also my vulnerability, as I leave myself exposed to being hurt. If I think you’re doing wrong by me then I will say so, in the same way that if you feel that I’m doing wrong by you, I’d appreciate you coming to me. But going behind someone’s back, making up stories to ruin a person’s reputation for your own personal gain or just because you don’t want to see them happy is not right. It is not right now and it never will be.

I’ve asked myself the same questions so many times. Why me? What have I done that is so bad? What can I do now? Am I a bad person? The truth is, I could have done everything differently and it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference, because once those bullies have decided that you are their target, then that’s it, you are their target.

I have now decided that I will not be anyone’s target. I will stand up for myself. I will speak out when necessary, which in part is what got me into this situation. Because if I “played the game” and went along with things acting oblivious to the exclusions and rumours and spoke when I was spoken to and accepted that sometimes I would be ignored, then things, I’m sure, would have been different. But that’s not me. I will not play anyone’s game because life is not a game. It’s real people with real emotions, which cannot be played with.

I became half the person I was, so much so that my own family no longer recognised the person I was becoming. I still get extremely anxious when I know I’m going to be in certain social settings because I just don’t know what to expect. I often sit there without saying a word because I’d rather do that then give someone the opportunity to take what I’ve said and twist it. It’s not me being rude. It’s a defence mechanism and it’s sad that I feel this way.

I sought help from those I thought I could rely on but my pleas fell on deaf ears time and time again. I kept asking for help until I realised my pain was insignificant to these people and that is when I closed that door and threw away the key.

How am I coping with it? Well I am lucky that I have a great support network around me. People who know who I am and what I’m about. People who know my character and know that I don’t have bad intentions. These are the people, who have helped to lift me up when I could have fallen into a deep, dark hole.

I will no longer let things be swept under the carpet because before you know it, that carpet turns into a mountain of dirt in the middle of your home and that is not what my home is. My home is a place for love and happiness because that is what I want my children to be surrounded by.

The bullies nearly won, but then they dug their hole a little too deep and exposed themselves for what they really are. One word…..Karma. Do good by people and you will be surrounded with love. Do bad by people and one day you will face your creator.

So my message to anyone who feels they are being bullied…….trust yourself and believe in yourself. Only you have the power to create your own happiness and by giving these people significance in your life, you are opening up your life to unhappiness. Find your happy place and stay there. I have and I am a much happier mother/wife/daughter/person for it.