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Featured Are you bullied? How do you deal with it?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Isadora, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. Isadora

    Isadora Active Member

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    I'm bullied all the time.

    I go to secondary school and am bullied everyday by the other girls in my class. They are always laughing at me or calling me names and making fun of me about how I look or how I sound. Most days are unbearable at school because of them and if it's too much some days I don't go in.

    I'm on half term now but am dreading going back.
     
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Dealt with it every day back in highschool.

    During normal times, I did this by... not doing anything. Like, literally. Any stupid comments thrown my way merely resulted in a blank stare of general disdain. Didnt matter what they said, it all received the same stare in return. With no satisfying responses, they usually would give up fast. If I was feeling extra moody, I wouldnt even bother with the stare. Wouldnt even look at them. If I was reading a book (and that was usually what I was doing) I'd just keep reading. Basically saying "your comments arent even worth the trouble of me responding with that stare".

    On the occaision when anyone tried something stupid, well, I never resorted to violence. Typically, I'd make sure situations were engineered so that if someone was dumb enough to try anything, they'd effectively self-destruct. They'd get in immediate trouble, while I'd remain unaffected. It's interesting, really... the amount of effect that words can have, if given to the right people at the right times. And how much influence a mere student can have over faculty. Interesting also how simply positioning yourself in certain places in a given room can also influence events.

    Usually, putting a stop to their antics required very little effort. Most bullies arent very bright, after all. And after doing it enough times... eventually most of them simply stayed away from me. So that was good.

    That's what worked for me. But that doesnt mean that stuff will work for everyone. The main thing though that I always emphasize to anyone getting bullied: dont resort to violence, and dont be afraid to ask for help from teachers. If teachers shrug you off... keep pestering them about it anyway. After all, it's their freaking job. Teachers still wont help? Try going a bit higher.

    Seriously, you'd be surprised at what can be accomplished, depending on the actions you take. Just have confidence in yourself, and think things through, as every situation is different. Dont let jerks get to you regardless though. All those stupid comments and insults... they arent worth your time.
     
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  3. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    Yup, Half Term has just started in England too. I used to teach in a girls' school, which was by choice (because I was bullied by the boys when I was at school, so even as an twentysomething man with letters after my name I was still a bit scared of teenaged boys, and felt much safer with girls) and my impression is that girls, when they decide to be nasty, are much better and more efficient at being nasty than boys. So being a girl who's being bullied by other girls could well be an even worse trip than being a boy who's being bullied by the other boys. So you have my sincere sympathy.

    I know time moves a lot slower for someone of your age than it does for someone of my age, but at least if you are at secondary school then the end is in sight, i.e. school is not a life sentence and you will be out of there within a few years, and if nothing else you may pick up a few exam certificates which are likely (not guaranteed, but likely at least) to be useful to you afterwards.

    You may have noticed that if the bullies don't get a reaction, they typically give up, because it's no longer worth the effort for them. I'm afraid boys give up sooner than girls, though. However, if you could somehow find a way to carry on regardless, and act as if you were proud to be you irrespective of anyone else's comments or attitude, then eventually they would give up, and as they get a bit more mature they're likely to actually respect the fact you carried on being yourself. I realize this is easier said than done; if they've reduced you to a level where you can't conceive of ever pulling that trick off, then I'm sorry. But I promise you it can happen.

    Do you have a diagnosis, and are the teachers aware of it, and could the teachers do more than they have been doing to shield you from the worst of the bullying, at least? I know from my own experiences as a schoolboy that, sometimes, some well-intentioned interventions by teachers can actually pour petrol on the fire, so I realize this isn't always the right way forward.

    You are you, and (unless you're an axe-murderer or a war criminal or whatever) you have every right to be you. If the other girls are, as yet, too immature and too cruel to respect that, well, yes this is going to hurt you (until they maybe grow up a bit), but it needn't stop you being you, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you being you, and if you can summon up the courage, maybe you could try to just focus on carrying on being you. You're not getting out of bed and getting dressed and going to school for anyone else: you're doing it for you (plus because it's compulsory anyway, and this is a hell many of us with A.S.D. have lived through and survived).

    Is there anything about school you do like or value? Because if so, maybe you could try to concentrate on that and sod what the bullies are trying to do to you. They are in the wrong: obviously, telling them that would be a bad idea, but you can still know that it is they who are in the wrong, and there's nothing actually wrong with you at all.

    Oh dear. This sounds like the kind of input that someone in your position could be too demoralized to use. Sorry!

    If all else fails, maybe just try to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, and surviving one day at a time, one week at a time, one half-of-a-term at a time.

    There will be a lot of people here who have suffered as you are suffering, because it often goes with the Asperger's/A.S.D. territory, so maybe talking to them on here sometimes could help you to keep going?

    Try to at least enjoy your week off anyway, and then good luck with the second half of term.
     
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  4. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    tell the teachers !you could get a break ,I was off for a few weeks ,see what they could do for you !but tell! them !
     
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  5. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    Yeah, I was kind of assuming the teachers would have already noticed the problem, but teachers are not necessarily good at noticing stuff, so maybe finding a nice teacher and telling that one there's a problem could be a good idea.

    But again, teachers don't always intervene in ways that actually help with the situation, so there are times to ask for help and there are times to just turn yourself into a fortress of one and live through it.
     
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  6. Isadora

    Isadora Active Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate it.

    I think most of the teachers at my school know about my diagnosis but only one teacher actually seemed to like me, but she left earlier this year.

    I like art lessons, cooking and history but the rest I don't enjoy. Sadly the girls who bully me are in my class so are with me most of the day. I Im very emotional and easily upset. Whenever the girls are mean to me or do horrible things to me I burst into tears and end up crying in the toilets. Usually it is just name calling or saying horrible things about me but sometimes they push me onto the ground when it's wet or muddy or they take my bag and throw my books around. I've never been violent to anyone but I am shy and quiet and very easily upset, especially as now they laugh and joke about my dying mum. All I can do is cry.

    I had a really kind teacher who I spoke to a lot, mostly about my sick mum who has cancer. She was a great support to me and she helped me deal with a few of the bullies, she told the whole class that bullying wasn't tolerated in her classroom, so that stopped the bullies in her classes. But she had a baby and has left now so I don't know if she will be back.

    Since she left the bullying has got a lot worse and last month I didn't go to school a few times because I was feeling overwhelmed. I'm dreading going back.
     
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  7. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    O.K. poppet, well that is one seriously bad deal you've been given. I am not going to insult you by trying to deny it.

    Teachers are not necessarily the kind & caring & sensitive souls we need them to be. Nor are psychiatrists, if it comes to that! Hopefully either another nice teacher will turn up, or the one who's had a baby will return within six months (they usually do, if the baby is healthy, because they need the money, to be honest...).

    It's good that you've never been violent to anyone, because obviously that would not help. It doesn't sound as if that would be your style anyway.

    I vividly remember the boys worked out I hated having my books or possessions touched by anyone else. The only thing I can remember doing about this was to refrain from taking any possessions I was really fond of to school, ever. I'm still grieving for the Paddington Bear ruler I lost on the school bus in about 1983...

    How to not end up in tears, I don't really know, because up until the age of at least 14, I was still being reduced to tears at school on a pretty regular basis (I was not a terribly macho teenaged boy...). But it was a thing I tried to practise, and eventually I did get better at it. If you can practise not ending up in tears, that would obviously help, but I know this is easier said than done.

    If you've been at the same school since age 11 and things are still as you describe now, then it doesn't sound like it's the ideal school for someone like you to be at; maybe the teachers are too tired and too fed up with their jobs to notice or care about the trouble you're having (this can happen: I've seen it, when I was a teacher). Is there any chance when you get to 16 you could choose another school or college?

    Meanwhile, hopefully the other girls may grow up a bit: there's still time for that to happen.

    It sounds like Art could be a very healthy subject for you, hopefully could be therapeutic in some way, or may become therapeutic when you're a bit older, if you carry on with it.

    At least you have identified three things about school you can get some kind of enjoyment from: can you try to focus on those and, as far as possible, block out the rest, or else just resign yourself to living through the rest?

    In a way, having A.S.D. is a little bit like being from a racial minority: we just have to learn to accept that we will suffer a certain amount of bullying and mockery and humiliation, simply because of the way we were born. If you have to get to grips with that at the same time as your mother is so ill, then clearly that sucks, to put it mildly.

    Try not to think about school for the next 8 or 9 days. You'll only spoil your own Half Term by dwelling on that topic.

    And once you go back, hopefully this forum may sometimes be of some help to you. Good luck.
     
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  8. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I used to ignore bullies or stare at them briefly with either a blank face or a smile while giving them the middle finger (and then ignoring them).

    Your bullies sound truly awful, making fun of your sick mum :(

    Tell the teachers. If they don’t listen or try to blame you, ask your parents about switching to a different school or even finishing your secondary school education via correspondence courses if they are available in your area.

    Nobody should have to put with that kind of mistreatment.
     
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  9. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    could You leave school, in Britain you used to be able to leave school at 15 I think for some reasons, some people can be homeschooled, you need somebody to help you, I was referred to a child psychologist ,when I was having the problems you are having ,so I was off school for a long time .I went back but then transferred to another school ,that wasn’t perfect but was slightly better than the comprehensive school .

    after I told my mam ,I just slowly ,stopped going, I used to stay off one afternoon a week and spend it with my mother .But that was only about eight or nine months before I could legally leave !and you had! to leave !the school .I was at a school where everybody had to leave at 16.I wish I’d been strong enough to say !I’m just not going to school and should’ve been homeschooled .I know your mother probably can’t do it ,even when my mother was completely paralysed (and I mean completely ,she had Motor neurone disease ,the worst form they had ever seen )she was stronger than me.
     
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  10. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's surprising how similar your situation - and reaction - was to mine. You almost sound like you're describing my own experiences. Blank stare, always with a book, always indifferent towards their bullying. Indifferent towards anything concerning them, really. My only reaction from time to time was to respond with 'You're annoying'. It's interesting how little I cared about them and societal expectations at the time. I didn't have to play nice and most would ger bored with the 'unresponsive robot'.

    I responded only once in a truly violent way but it was more of an instinctual reaction than methodical approach. I didn't plan it and I got lucky, I suppose. It was after the bell when my class was still waiting in the corridor for the teacher. One of the girls was always persistent - the more I would ignore her, the more she would bother me. Teachers didn't really care in my school - kids will be kids, right? - so she would get more and more confident every time she escaped any form of punishment. On that day she already took my bag, messed my books, talked at me the typical slurs and then tried to force me to take my clothes off before the whole class. I didn't really perceive it as an attempt at humiliation at the time but I hated when people would touch me without asking.

    So I beat her. Not very badly, no one would be able to see anything - what's the point in aiming at the face anyway? She never tried again - she was as much of a coward as any bully. No one from my class did and no teacher ever knew. Suddenly I became not only cold and weird but also scary. You could see it in other kids' eyes. Teachers talked to me what happened but nothing ever came out of it. But then, they cared little in general. I did get a teacher that cared but it happened some years later, so at the time I was on my own.

    I don't condone violence and I don't say it solves problems - but I can see how at times it feels necessary. It's better to try to talk to your teachers or maybe a school counsellor about bullying first. That teacher I mentioned, the one that cared? She helped a lot with kids outside my class and it was easier and less stressful than getting into a fight, especially that the school policy was very harsh towards violence, so if a teacher saw me on that day or if the girl or the class told on me - I would have been suspended for sure. The rules were ridiculous in that school, to be honest - shoving and slapping were fine, throwing water and slurs were fine, destruction of property was fine, stealing was fine but fights? - a big NO!

    In bullying, a lot depends on your body language. Maybe you could describe as your reactions to some of the bullying and we could help you solve the problem by working on the way you carry yourself? As mentioned before, bullies are cowards. They always find the easiest prey. If you become more confident and difficult to rile up, maybe they will leave you alone - but you will need to stand up for yourself and start fighting back - not literally, mind you.

    1. Start with talking to your most trusted/favourite teacher - or even your parents if you trust them to help you.
    2. Check if your school has a counsellor.
    3. Check what's written in code of conduct about the behaviour of the bullies and what are consequences of doing it.
    4. Check what's exactly your school's policy on this specific kind of bullying - you can ask a teacher or listen during breaks if anyone talks about something like this.
    5. Read on body language and how to make others see you as a confident, strong person.
    6. In a pitch, talk to your parents about changing schools.

    There's much to be done but above all, you need to start fighting for yourself or it will never stop. You can do it. Let us know how it's going.

    You deserve to have a peaceful education. Now, go, prepare yourself for the first talk. Make a list of things they do to you and how it makes you feel to help you gather your thoughts.

    Just make sure bullies don't get the list.

    Edit:
    That's unacceptable. They have no right to any of this. Please remember it. In some countries, it even breaks the law as emotional and verbal abuse and your school should be held responsible for making sure it stops.

    If the bullying is getting worse, you really need to speak to someone. Try any teacher. Even all of them. If you can, organise things so that the teacher would witness the bullying. Or record them and show it to the teacher if they don't believe you. Check for the counsellor and ask if you can move to a different class. It's not often that it's made but still happens. Ask for help. If people don't know, they won't be able to give it to you. Please, get help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  11. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    (Changing schools at 15 in the U.K. is a bit of a "nuclear option", which was why I didn't mention it as a possibility: on top of the fact that changing schools can be pretty scary and traumatic anyway, even if the local council would allow it, it could also mess up Isadora's GCSE courses, perhaps especially Art which would be a shame; hence I concentrated more on how to struggle on at same school until after GCSE ... but that is not to disagree with the above comments, necessarily)
     
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  12. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I know little about the UK system, to be honest. What about moving to a parallel class? Would something like this work? Is it done? Isadora said that the bullies are mostly in her class, so getting less time with them every day could be helpful for her mental state. I know it helped me, as well as later changing schools after exams helped by giving me a fresh start. I even remember getting new people in the middle of secondary school, as well as classes changing all the time due to specialisations in high school - but that wasn't the UK.
     
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  13. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    They could change her to another house(probably wouldn’t do it that would mean moving another child into the house she is in I don’t think the care that much), in the comprehensive system everybody is put into a house ,to be honest I don’t think it would do any good, it’s the mindset of English people.
    They never did that with me they let me have time off and then I went back to exactly the same situation.
     
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  14. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    That depends on the person and the school. I changed schools often as a kid, it was scary as all change can be but it was not traumatic.

    For me, constant harassment and abuse by peers would always have been a far, far, far, far worse thing than changing schools and I am not a person who is good with change by any stretch of the imagination.

    The idea of changing classes/houses seems like a potentially good one to me, too.
     
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  15. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wait, houses? British call their classes 'houses'? Is this where Hogwarts houses came from? That's... kind of surreal. Do they have names too? Like 'House of Roses' or something? Huh. We just had letters, Class A and Class B etc.

    I think talking about changing the class would still be a good idea, though. Isadora has little to lose and much to gain in case of the move.
     
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  16. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    Only in a school that has houses, surely? I've taught in three Comprehensives and I don't remember them having houses, or certainly not houses that actually made any difference to anything anyway. Houses mean slightly more in the private system but even then, unlike Hogwarts, the people in your class are still the same people, whatever house you're in.

    For subjects like History and Art there may not be a parallel class: depends on size of school. Also depends on willingness of school to rewrite timetable. Sometimes GCSE options clash, so you end up having to be in such-and-such a class for X if you also want to study Y and Z.

    Tortoise's point taken about changing schools not necessarily being a personal upheaval.

    Depends how helpful the council feels like being and whether the GCSE courses at the other school are compatible, maybe.
     
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  17. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Still, wouldn't changing even one class to spend one less hour per week with the bullies be better than nothing? Even changing only Maths or only English class would mean a few hours less with the other girls. It would already mean a bit more time to calm down and learn instead of worrying about having them in the same room.
     
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  18. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    No I think it’s more the discipline side (and sort of parenting on a mass scale )of thing ,so that they can identify you (in the school grounds or near the school grounds ),because the comprehensive schools have a large amount of pupils compared to the primary school ,that divide them into houses ,the classes are exactly the same as your classes and just so we understand !we all don’t just go into twee! little houses ! you can be visually identified by a piece of thick ribbon (different colour each house )that’s sewed onto a top pocket.
     
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  19. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    i’m interested when did you teach?:)
     
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  20. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    Only Isadora would know if this kind of thing might be possible at her particular school.


    But yes, agree with you in principle.

    Except I went to a private school and did get moved around by well-intentioned teachers, and then the bullies singled me out for the special treatment I'd received, and bullied me for that very reason...
     
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