When I was in Year 8, I was bullied by a group of my old friends. When I told my form tutor and head of years, they dealt with the situation amazingly. Those people haven’t spoken to me again till this day. I have to say, my head of years and form tutor were really good people- in their role and from heart as well.
I started to suffer depression… went a few years not even realising what depression was and what people with depression do.
I try to consume myself with work so that I don’t feel. And don’t get it confused, I don’t mean my college work, I mean by working physically, busying myself up. I volunteered at two primary schools. One of the primary schools I had to attend twice a week- one day before college started and one day after college finished. The other primary school I had to visit another day of the week after college.
That was three days of the week- my free periods lost, and my mind exploding. It would be hectic, I had to run from one place to another. It wasn’t just going to the primary schools that had me stressed out, there were a number of other things such as keeping up with my coursework, and other responsibilities.
I realised I was putting too much on myself, I needed to chill out. There were those days when I felt so sad- too the root of everything- that I simply wasn’t in the mood for things. In primary schools, you are basically socialising children. You have to be a good role model, you can’t be sad and quiet. That’s just not acceptable. And somehow, playing the role of happy in the eyes of people was just too much and it was draining me out. It took all my energy.
I decided to quit the extra responsibilities I’d put on myself. Give myself more time, I needed it- emotionally, mentally and physically. I went to talk to a manager of a group of teachers at my college as she was the one who had originally set me up with this volunteering experience. She asked me why I didn’t want to do it anymore, what made me change my mind.
I told her half the truth; “It’s just a lot to handle, I need the time because I have the exams coming up soon so…”
“You should have thought about that before.” She replied to me with a weird look on her face.
Then she continued on to tell me that I was coming to tell her this when I had to be there in 20 minutes. I answered that I was waiting for her at the door while she was busy with someone else.
She told me that there were other ways of telling her like through email… boy, she failed to realise or even question the fact that maybe I couldn’t do that either?! I had two double lessons that morning, I had no access to my email. Instead of appreciating that I came to see her when I could or even that I came at all wasn’t enough to her.
She failed to realise that depression can hit you back with no advanced warning. It didn’t knock at my door telling me to inform the teacher a couple days before. The mix of feelings and emotions was what made me do it on that day.
I was just talking to some secondary school children, they told me about the bullying that was going on in their school and the fact that teachers said that by informing them the kids were moaning too much and they didn’t do anything about it.
C’mon, teachers, they aren’t five years old- they know when they’re getting picked on. Help them out. DO NOT treat it like it’s nothing.
It hurts… a lot.