This is probably the first deeply personal article I am writing for this blog. In this article I will cover my struggles with bullying, self and body image.
My friends and family would say I am one of those people that just doesn’t give a damn what people think. Which is true but in the past I struggled to accept myself physically and personally. This was thanks to good old bullying oh joy. Bullying for me started during the last 4 years of primary school (7-10 years old I was). The older kids use to tease me for being a chubby kid. Believe me I wasn’t thin as a rake, I was a squishy kid, which I look back and think being squishy is good cause I give the BEST bear hugs. But the kids took advantage of my body type and called me names like fatty, pig and ugly. To little me hearing those taunts crushed me and lowered my confidence and self esteem very low. Also while at primary school I was suffering from a bladder capacity problem. After going through GP after GP and not getting anywhere closer to finding out what was wrong with me. My parents demanded to have me transferred to a specialist unit in London. And after a few visits and monitoring through ultrasounds 10 years of wondering what the hell was wrong with me was laid to rest. The final and miracle GP confirmed with me that since birth my bladder wasn’t developing at the rate it should of been. In other words my bladder was weak and smaller than normal. The GP said that as soon as I hit puberty my bladder should develop normally and the problem will go away. When the kids at primary school found out about my problem they would tease me about that too. I was eventually discharged from hospital on 22nd March 2011. After 13 years the problem was well and truly behind me. But the damage was done and I still carry the metaphoric scars. The bullying and teasing left me very self-conscious so much so I hated looking at my bare body in the mirror.
Now personally I was one of those kids that wanted to make everyone happy and be loved by everyone (in other words fit in). One example of this is, some should I say ex friends I was hanging out with at the start of secondary school started to change and lost interest in me. I didn’t want them to leave me so I started to act like someone I wasn’t to please them and to fit in. In other words they had me wrapped around their fingers and treated me like a puppet on strings. Summer 2012 was a brilliant summer but through being someone I wasn’t I lost myself trying to please others. That year I holidayed in Jamaica with my family and I was glad that I was FAR away from my problems. This gave me time to re-evaluate my life and get back to well ME. The me that loved rock, heavy metal, alternative music, loved video games, anime, manga, sci-fi, reading and internet personalities. And the other thing didn’t care what people thought. At that point I was probably the loneliest and most vulnerable I’d been in my whole life. But in September 2012 I had started my penultimate year at secondary school (Year 10) and little did 14 year old me know an old face was to give me what I most needed to be loved and feel like I belong. This old face was my very close friend Kieran. He came up to me waiting at the gate for my “friends” and he could see I was upset. He then grabbed me by the hand and said “Come on Jen walk with me instead” so I did. And from that moment I let go of those toxic people. Cannot thank Kieran enough for what he did for me that day in September 2012. From then, through college until now I’ve met so many amazing people and they know who they are. I truly feel I can be myself and not be ashamed of it and I feel so liberated. I feel like a bird that has been set free to soar in the sky. Because of those people I am proud of the body I’m in. I’m 9 and a half stone of pure women and I’m proud, I’m a rocker and I’m proud, I’m a geek and I’m proud and I AM WHO I AM AND I’M PROUD TO BE ME. And as Limp Bizkit’s song ‘My way’ says This time I’m ‘a let it all come out.
This time I’m ‘a stand up and shout.
I’m ‘a do things my way.
It’s my way.
My way, or the highway.
Jennifer Diana Williamson xxx ❤