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Depressed because I've bullied

M
13
Question in full: Dear Dr. Ann I feel somewhat depressed and sad, because I feel that I've bullied a lot recently. I try to keep everything bottled up inside me, though I suffer on the inside. This has gone on in my life (e. g at summer camps, holidays, etc), though I have only really noticed it happening more often when I went to secondary school. People spit near me, people question me about my culture (I'm Chinese-English) people make funny faces, say irritating/incredibly dumb things, mess around with my stuff, people touching my buttocks, people commenting on my body parts . . . the list goes on. I often try to ignore it, but I feel enraged on the inside and feel that I want to destroy them. Luckily, I'm passive and would never dream on hurting them (I usually don't show my anger in my personality/face). I also calmly tell them to get lost and I tell a teacher, but others still do it. I always try to be a nice person, but I still don't know why people still mock me most days at school. I also have this problem with my brother wanting to fight me and surprise me all the time. I would like to tell him to stop, but I don't want him to get disgruntled and frustrated at me (he fights to let his stress out). My Mum also has an anger problem and puts me down for little things and it makes me feel miserable about myself. I'm sorry if this is a lot to take on board, but I really need to talk to someone who I can trust and hopefully keep it a secret (if not, then try to go confidential) Thank you so much for helping me.
Bullying can really wear you down and knock your confidence, especially when it goes on for a long time. You sound as though you've put up with it for far too long and whilst you're staying calm on the outside, you're bubbling with anger inside. Time for action! Have you got a favourite teacher you can talk to or maybe a school counsellor or nurse? They could help you in lots of ways. There are strategies to cope with the problems you're facing such as breaking them down into smaller chunks rather than trying to face one great horrid mess. There are ways you can deal with your bottled up anger and school (or your mum) needs to take sides with you and squash the bullies. You also need to find something you enjoy which is a healthy escape - a swimming club, scouts, a rock band, going for a run?! You need an outlet for your energy and something that makes you feel good. There are lots of great websites about bullying (try www.beatbullying.org) or if you want to talk to someone confidentially you can ring childline on 0800 11 11. Just telling someone your problems will immediately start to help you take control again. Good luck - go for it.