So like millions of others I have seen and read Keaton Jones’ story online . It started off on Twitter and then I saw it all over social media . I felt bad for the kid . Having been bullied for many years in school myself and finding the video so relatable . I cried with the boy and really felt for him and his family .
Sadly , it was all a ploy to raise money for his mother .
Apparently, she is very racist and all she is interested in is money and not her son’s welfare .
She used her son . That is not ok .
If anything to me she sounds like a bully .
She used innocent people, including famous people . Those we look up to and respect, people children look up to ! E.g. Captain America and The Hulk ! Some of the kindest people I have followed online who genuinely wanted to help her son . Along with a massive list of other celebrities . She used them to raise money for herself .
I thought I would add that last image in so people would understand a bit more of what a bully is .
They come in all shapes and sizes . And sadly age doesn’t matter .
Now I’m going to get a bit personal because this all really got to me and for legit reasons . I’m not doing this to get attention , I am doing this to show the truth of what can happen when bullying happens in someone’s life . I know many have had it worse than me and are still having it worse than me . I respect that and in no way am I making out my life is the worst ever . I am just going to say about my experience and what it is still doing to me . And maybe , people will understand a bit better, how much bullying does impact someone’s life as a whole .
As a child, I was extremely quite. I wouldn’t say boo to a fly let alone anything else. Teachers would tell my parents how lovely I was and polite. How I would get involved in sing-a-longs and always help someone who didn’t know what to do in certain activities. I would go out of my way to help anyone. I wasn’t talkative like the rest though. I’d only speak when needed and always enjoyed playing one on one and not in a group. I was shy.
This, I feel made me an easy target. Although it shouldn’t matter, it did.
I enjoyed school until I was around 6 years old. I went everyday and the only thing I would moan about was getting up early to go in. But there was never any other problem. Until a few new boys started. They singled me out. And that’s where a heap load of trouble started.
It started with name calling. Which mentally got to me. I started believing them, thinking I did something wrong. It became a slippery slope. The bullying started to get physical about a year later. Hair pulling at first, because I had a lot of curly hair. Then slapping, tripping me up and eventually punching. Teachers really tried but it never worked. No matter what they did it just made it worse. When I was around 8, I was taken to hospital with pains in my collarbone. It was oesteomalitis. Liquid arthritis in a rare place, my collarbone. I was in for weeks in pain. (This wasn’t caused by bullying, but I’ll get to that part now). It was agony. I had an operation but the liquid had moved to another part of my body. They found traces but nothing else in the bone, so they couldn’t remove it. I was warned it could come back anywhere in my body and I was to report all aches and pains just to be safe. After weeks in hospital I was told to take it easy and not to do sports or anything that would cause my collarbone to ache, as it was hollow and fragile.
As usual, everyone found out. Including the bullies. This was yet another opportunity to single me out. And yes, as you can guess, they singled out that area and hurt me.
Eventually, I healed. I caught a break for a few months from the bullies. Then the October that year , my Mamgu (Gran) passed away. We were extremely close . This completely broke me and to be honest, I’ve never gotten over it. I took a lot of time off school. I did try going back for a week but I couldn’t cope. Constant floods of tears when anyone mentioned anything I related with her. Especially flowers . (She was a gardener, she helped me control my anxiety through learning how to care for flowers) .
It took me a long time to be able to face people. But I had to in the end, and once again, the bullies used that. They were so cruel. After that, I couldn’t cope. I refused to leave the house. We had child services calling out because they just thought I was a naughty child.
As I stated, I was quiet, I didn’t even tell my parents half of what happened. They knew name calling was happening but nothing more. I hid my feelings well.
This went on for years. I’d go to school some days just to shut people up. But most of the time I’d lock myself away. Claiming I was sick. I even went to the doctors on a weekly basis because my mother didn’t know what was wrong.
Eventually, my GP clicked. She diagnosed me with anxiety and depression and said she thinks it all started around aged 6, when the bullying started.
But of course, schools didn’t understand back then. So the preassure was still on.
Now everyone feels sorry for the victim but no one thinks about the parents and the family around them.
My family went through hell. There wasn’t any support for them. They were diagnosed with depression. The difference was, they were on medications that took the edge off. I was too young. Not that I like pills of any sort. But I needed help and so did my family.
They were threatened with court. For me skipping so much school. They had me at home in fits of tears and anger because I just couldn’t talk about things. They had no one to turn to for help. They were just as lost as I was.
Eventually, I went to secondary school .
My best friend went to a different one. I had to go where my brothers went. I hated it. The bullying got a lot worse and the school wasn’t interested. It got to a point that I was pushed down stairs and locked in lifts. It was more physical. I was getting mental abuse too. Being fat shamed and told I should kill myself because I was worthless. Needless to say, self harming started. I hated my life. I hated myself. What was the point in living when the world was cold and cruel ?
My parents eventually found out. It’s kind of hard hiding self harm and constant hatred for yourself. Especially at 11 years old.
They contacted the school. Had numerous meetings. Only to be told . And I quote.
“It’s all in her head, she’s young and attentionseeking” .
My parents were told this by the headmaster of a secondary school . A fully grown adult .
Eventually they got counsellors involved. I had 3 in the space of a year . All working with me . All said I had school phobia and anxiety and depression . But yet again, nothing was put in place by the school .
Come the second year of secondary school I was spiralling. My parents decided to change schools. I was put with my best friend. I was happy and continued to be for about 6 months. But that soon changed when the bullies got involved. They found out about my past, saw me as an easy target . It went on for years with name calling . But I was ok . I was doing better as it wasn’t physical . I was still missing school but not as much .
Until the fighting started .
I was 14 . I got my first boyfriend, he went to the school opposite. I was happy and the bullies didn’t like it. They got jealous. At first they just started stirring but my boyfriend knew better and ignored it. Then they got physical with me and my best friend. I could take it myself but when I saw them hurt my best friend I lost it. I found out I had one hell of a temper and I was quite strong. I also found out that violence doesn’t solve anything.
I got into more and more fights. I got detention. And the bullying never stopped. I started missing school a lot. My boyfriend left me. I spiralled again.
It kept happening until GCSE’S. Where I went from being a top student. Always getting A’s despite missing so much school. To failing my exams. I got 2 F’s and 2 U’s .
I spiralled. Again. Although I loved the fact I never had to go to school again . I failed something I knew I was good at. All because of these bullies and the schools not helping me. I was let down. I let myself down. I let my family down.
I took a year out to try and find myself . I worked in my local food store and I loved it at first. I kept myself to myself. Went in early and on time . Worked hard and came home. However, even at 16/17 bullies were around. One came out of the woodwork and again I spiralled. I left my job.
I then decided to start collage . I was 18 that December . I did performing arts. I loved acting. It’s all I ever wanted to do. I don’t know if it was the right choice though. Some students enjoyed the drama and causing trouble. The teachers loved them and there wasn’t anything you could say against them. I became close to one tutor . He was amazing . He understood me. He became like a big brother. I worked hard thanks to him and he made me believe in myself again . Life wasn’t perfect but it was getting better.
I left performing arts after the first year. I finished with the highest grade. I just had enough. As much as I loved acting and it was the career I wanted to choose. I went onto do theatre lighting and sound technology . The tutor being the one I was close to . Life picked up . It was good . He showed me that I should believe in myself . I knew what I was doing . I was a good student. I worked hard.
Again though, life came to a halt when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. At first we didn’t know what it was. I was just extremely ill all the time. I couldn’t eat or drink . My lecturer did all he could and kept me on the course working from home on paper work . He checked in daily with me and offered my family support.
Once I was diagnosed and started treatment I was back in college . It was great . I had to take it easy at first so I was on the desks and drawing up lighting plans . I helped with set design and costume . It was fantastic .
I started dating . Wrong move . It was a guy on the course. Of course , he wasn’t really interested and just wanted gossip . Which stupid me gave as I’m too open for my own good. He then broke up with me and started telling everyone my business . People started bullying again . I was an adult and they still wouldn’t stop .
I started to go into myself. Eating on my own. Hiding in the hall where we worked, behind the blacks (curtains). My lecturer found out and decided he was going to eat lunch with me . He’d send me to get the lunch for us and coffee …. Always coffee haha . Then we’d sit and talk about work . He got me to hang out with one of my very close friends , she’s still here for me today . She looked after me through thick or thin . My lecturer helped me come out of my shell. College became the best time of my life. I was learning to cope . I had friends around me all the time, and if they were off sick I had my lecturer. He encouraged me. I passed the course with the highest mark. I even learned extra because I finished early. I learnt how to pat test theatre lights 🙂
I then took some time off as I was getting aches and pains in my spine. When I did performing arts I slipped in the dance studio and hurt my back . It turns out I have 3 broken discs but at this point , we didn’t know .
So I went to work in many shops . I couldn’t seem to hold a job down. I developed a panic disorder. Employers don’t seem to understand what that means. So I’d have to leave so I could have breaks in between jobs .
Eventually I went to university . Biggest mistake I made . I was around 25 . The oldest on my course . I did theatre lighting and design . The lighting tutor hated me because he hated my old tutor . The course as a whole I had already done in college . The group’s I had to work in weren’t pulling their weight and making me do all the work . Then when something went wrong they would blame me .
I was told I was dyslexic and dyspraxic. Which made sense . But that made me an easy target for those who would get angry and throw their toys out of the pram .
I was on the course with a good friend of mine . He would give me a lift and work with me daily . But that didn’t change the way I felt . I became very ill with aches and pains and no one knew why . People would call me lazy in uni when I couldn’t lift something . My friend always helped and didn’t mind doing it for me but the comments from others really got to me . They used to make fun all the time . Sarcastic comments . All that childish crap . It really got me though and I started to spiral slowly . In the end it got too much so I quit . I left and had to get a job .
The job I was in was retail . It was money . Not my dream job , but money none the less . I worked 46 + hour weeks and I worked hard for 3 solid months. I even broke a bone on the side of my foot from a staff night out . I ploughed through the best I could . Until one day, I was serving an elderly couple, they were lovely . Nothing was wrong. But I remember collapsing and hitting my head on the concrete floor . I was knocked out for a few seconds and when I came around I was nauseous . So I went to the toilet where I was ill. I was sent home .
It turns out my body went into fight or flight . It chose flight and shut down . I was too much of a danger to myself to go back to work .
I lived off my parents for a year until I was registered disabled .
And trust me , it’s not easy .
People seem to think it’s so easy to be disabled. I look ok so I must be fine . It’s hard .
I’m now 29 . I have no job . I have a lot of debt . I’m exhausted daily and I’m always fighting myself . My dream went out the window years ago . I don’t have much . And all of this stems from being bullied . It has destroyed my life .
But despite that , I still smile . I’m still here fighting . I’m always here for anyone who needs me and I will continue to be . Because despite the crap I have been through and am still going through , I won’t let bullies win .
I’m 29 and I still have to put up with bullying . Just a matter of weeks ago 2 so called friends were name calling and spreading rumours about me . I cut them out . But I would be lying if I said it was easy . Because it’s not . It still gets to me . It still makes me feel like a bad person, although I know I haven’t done anything wrong .
This is the after effect of bullying . This is what it starts . It doesn’t matter when it starts , as a kid , teen , adult . Bullying is not ok . It does destroy lives and it does hurt .
It may seem funny to some . But it hurts others and it drains you of everything you have .
This woman who used her son for money . Used his pain to get what she wants . She is a bully and this is going to have a knock on effect . In my eyes , it’s child abuse and something needs to be done .
Bullying is no laughing matter . It needs to stop . People need to stand up and talk about it . They need to call the bullies out and something needs to be done .
No one deserves to be bullied . No one !