My problems with anxiety really began for me when I started high school. Up until this point I never experienced bullying previously in any form at primary school, I had always worked hard at primary school and got on well with my class mates, who were pleased to see me win the effort and achievement award on the last day at primary school. I hoped that the same would be said at high school where all I wanted to do was work hard and achieve good results. Other people resented this fact and I was bullied for 5 years for pretty much every day of my high school years.
The bullying was mainly in the form of name calling ranging from mild insults to obscene insults that insinuated that I was homosexual and the spreading of rumours about me, all of which weren’t true. I did also have my fair share of physical bullying ranging from being punched in the stomach, thrown into the lockers in the corridors to being spat on. My mother frequently went into the school to try and sort the problems out by speaking to the year coordinator, but that only seemed to exacerbate the problem. I remember I used to come home and pray to God so that he would protect me from the bullies, I felt very isolated, lonely and scared. I became very self-conscious and withdrawn, my confidence was destroyed and I began to conceal information from people as I knew the bullies would use anything they could in attempt to get at me. I also became very defensive and introvert with people, I always rejected any female attention for fear of the bullies making fun of the issue. All of these I now know to be ‘safety behaviours’ became an obsession. I would walk home a certain way to avoid people and be reluctant to make new friends, only hanging around the same group of people that I knew and trusted.