Bullying: an adults private shame – a taboo subject that needs eradicating

It’s time to talk day and I want to share my own private story relating to bullying and how it has affected me.

For as long as I can remember I have always been subject to some form of bullying. First it started in the playground with the typical name calling. I was called spotty a lot because at the age of 8 I had developed horrendous acne that would remain with me until my mid-twenties.

Then in high school I was bullied for a number of other reasons including; having blonde hair and been good at maths and science. I succumbed to peer pressure and asked my mum to dye my gorgeous blonde locks brown in an irrational attempt to fit in. Did it work? No I just got bullied even more. I should point out my mum had no idea as to the reasons for dyeing my hair other than I told her I fancied a change. Name calling had advanced from spotty to E=MC2, point dexter and ironing board (for my lack of chest growth).

Between the ages of 11-16 I endured this name calling and even physical assaults from my personal items been taken and having acid poured on them to having a bottle of cola poured over my head whilst sat in a French class. Nothing was ever said to my parents by the school and teachers showed little to no interest and tried to shrug such behaviours off as ‘normal’.

So as you can imagine high school was a lonely and miserable place except for a couple of close friends. I longed for college where I thought some of the pre-adultescent behaviour would disappear. No, it just followed me. When I turned 17 I signed up for the military to escape my home city and at the age of 18 after completing my A-levels (my back up plan) I officially enlisted.

The bullying settled for a while but then during the middle of basic training it started and this time by a group of younger girls all because I had started to see my boyfriend (now loving husband). I was bullied in the most awful way – these girls made up stories about me to my boyfriend. Things like I was cheating etc but that came to a head one weekend when one of the culprits telephoned my boyfriend (whilst I was in the shower in the next room) to say they had seen me in town with another bloke. Finally, the ring-leader of these stories was caught out! I am still thankful to this day that my boyfriend stood by me and believed every word I said and not that of the others.

The final event of my military bullying came when I joined the main service (completed all training). My so called colleagues just didn’t like me because I got on with the job and found it easy. I didn’t go out drinking every night with them or gamble my money away at the casino. I was on a path to fast track promotion when I let the bullying get to me. I was locked in small cupboards in the dark. Tied to chairs with duct tape. Had my hair cut. Had people pour unknown fluids onto my bed, deface my photographs and steal parts of my uniform. I was an utter reck. I took to drinking and not in a positive way! I was probably one step from been sent to rehab when I realised I had a problem and quit cold turkey. Nowadays I hardly drink and when I do, a couple is more than enough to keep me happy. I know my limits and to me that’s a big thing. A bottle of Barcardi at 08:00 was my pre-work pick me up. I took drastic action and left the military to pursue an alternative career. Which I’m proud to say I have stuck with for over a decade and I’m good at it and recognised for my achievements.

That doesn’t mean my story of bullying stopped. No I was once again bullied but this time in a new work environment. A colleague would delete my work off the server and say I hadn’t done anything (thankfully I’d always have a back up on my desktop as proof). I was also refrained from going on site visits because I lacked experience yet the receptionist with absolutely zero experience and joined the team went out on day one (probably because they were friends with the boss). Some days I’d walk into work and from the reception I’d hear them talking about me in a very negative way. I really started to doubt myself and my abilities. Clearly as a human being there was something wrong with me. I was 21 and had endured bullying for 13 years. I quit that job and started with the company who I’ve been with for nearly a decade. I enjoy what I do and I know it is stressful and your not always there to be liked but the bullying seems to have stopped. I feel much more at peace with life and enjoy going to work.

If I could speak to my younger self and give myself one piece of advice it would be to tell someone about the bullying and insist something be done.

My experiences led me to believe that the more successful you are the more likely you are to be bullied. It’s obviously a ridiculous idea however, it’s the only thought process that brings me peace about my past. I am also not saying my current success is a result of the years of bullying but at least I can hold my head high and know that everything I’ve done has led to where I am now. So don’t pity me, give me sympathy if anything feel sorry for the fools that didn’t win. I’m still standing, yes they wore me down in some places and won some battles but I’m winning the war.

If like me you’ve suffered years of bullying speak out. However, don’t do it to belittle your bullies otherwise you just become one. Raise awareness and prevent bullying in the first place.

Katherine xo

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Alternative Christmas gifts

I am becoming more and more swayed towards alternative gift ideas – basically every year it’s the same old story of purchase something for the sake of it and end up getting the same items year after year.

This year I stumbled upon a blog article by Rachelle Strauss (MyZeroWaste.com) and it awoken that sustainble fairy inside me. Rachelle shared a 12 days of waste-less giving and it is actually really good although not new to most. The idea of an act of service has always been around in the valentines market place – the “lovers cheque book”.

I do like the idea of giving a gift of a plant though. This would encourage greener and healthier homes. After all the air quality within an average home is actually worse than standing next to the motorway. Even just one or two plants can help remove some of the nasties in the air and replace with oxygen. Plants also give you a slight boost to your wellbeing making you feel a little happier.

What alternative gifts will you be giving this year?

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Iceland’s 2018 Christmas Advert banned for been political

This year Iceland (the food superstore) shares with the world a really touching message regarding palm oil. The advert has been launched for its 2018 Christmas message however, the regulator has deemed under 2003 legislation that this is classified as political and therefore cannot be shown on our televisions. Regardless the message and advert has gone viral on YouTube.

The advert features a little girl with a baby orangutan in her bedroom voiced by the incredible Emma Thompson. The message is clear for all to see and is clever to hit the heartstrings for all generations. The little girl doesn’t know why this baby orangutan is in her room jumping around and ‘wailing’ at items like her shampoo. Today’s the end she realises it is because humans have invaded the forests to cut down trees for palm oil. Destroying the habitats of many species including the orangutan.

Palm oil is used in so many products on the high street from cosmetics like lipstick to bread and chocolate – yes bread.

Society keeps going on about how we can encourage large companies to do something – well Iceland did (and still is). They removed palm oil from its own brand items and then created this touching message with a true Christmas meaning.

https://youtu.be/JdpspllWI2o

Christmas is not about bloody presents! It never has been. Yes, it is centred on religion and trust me Christmas wasn’t originally Christian it was an adaptation from Yuletide which is a pagan holiday. The decorating of trees isn’t because of queen Victoria (and way before that in 1400s). The Vikings also used candles indoors. The Hindus have their light festivities too all though that starts around 7th November.

Christmas or whatever you celebrate is about family. It’s treasuring what you have. What we have today is a greedy society that wants and takes from the planet without much thought about the future. I fear my little boy’s grandchildren won’t have much left of this planet other than ruins. We need to be much more sustainable – only taking what we can put back. Recycle, reuse and reduce waste.

That is why from 2019 I will be starting my own challenge to eat what I grow and supplement with purchase in store. I have never been good at keeping plants alive, so this is going to be a challenge. I am going to adapt my garden to incorporate food without segregating sections. That way I can also help another endangered species – the bee.

Katherine xo

Amazon baby wish list September 2018 offer – free Johnson’s baby bath time gift set worth £12

Free Johnson’s Baby Bathtime Gift Set worth £12 from Amazon

This is brilliant! For ALL new and existing members! Simply follow the instructions below and enter BABYGIFTSET at checkout.

1 Simply sign up, follow the instructions and claim yours. If you’re already a member just click the link, follow instructions and they’ll send you a beautiful Johnson’s baby set!

2 Create an Amazon Baby Wish List (if you don’t have one already) and add products from the Baby Store to your Amazon Baby Wish List

3 Become a Prime member (if you are not one already no problem – just use the 30 day FREE trial!)

4 Add at least £10 worth of eligible baby products sold by Amazon from your Amazon Baby Wish List to your shopping basket

5 Go to the Johnson’s Bathtime Set and add to basket

6 Complete the transaction and enter promotional code BABYGIFTSET at checkout

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2018

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World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

What do people do?

World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, government agencies and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. Organizations such as the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in promoting this event.

Events and activities for World Suicide Prevention Day include:

  • The launch of new government initiatives to prevent suicide.
  • Conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures.
  • Media programs promoting suicide awareness and prevention.
  • Memorial services or candlelight ceremonies to remember those who died from suicide.
  • Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions.
  • Launches of publications about suicide awareness and prevention.
  • Training courses about suicide and depression awareness.

Many of these initiatives are celebrated in various countries worldwide. Some of these events and activities are held at a local level, while others are nation-wide. Many communities around the world reaffirm their commitment to suicide prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day.

Background

Nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to WHO. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death which is influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.

World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 each year as an IASP initiative. WHO co-sponsors this event. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to:

  • Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
  • Improve education about suicide.
  • Spread information about suicide awareness.
  • Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.

WHO and IASP work with governments and other partners to ensure that suicide is no longer stigmatized, criminalized or penalized. WHO’s role is to build political action and leadership to develop national responses to prevent suicide, strengthen national planning capacity to establish the core building blocks of such a national response, and build the national capacities to implement these responses.

How can you get involved?

This year is the first WSPD with the theme “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”  This theme will be retained for WSPD in 2019 and 2020. We have chosen this theme as it highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention- collaboration. We all have a role to play and together we can collectively address the challenges presented by suicidal behaviour in society today.  On September 10th, join with us and many others across the world who are playing their part in the prevention of suicide. Be sure to involve or invite other local organisations and collaborators to organise an event to mark WSPD 2018.

Go to https://iasp.info/wspd2018/ to register and download more information.

Are Meal Replacements A Good Idea For Weight Loss? — Road to a Healthier Life

Meal Replacements in Today’s Society Meal replacements are being used more and more these days due to our busy and rushed lifestyles. But are they good for use in a weight loss program or do they just make things worse? Think about the number one reasons why people are overweight nowadays. Overweight people fall into […]

via Are Meal Replacements A Good Idea For Weight Loss? — Road to a Healthier Life

Update from Katherine

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. I have to admit I have missed writing and interacting with you all.

It has been a very difficult few months for me since the birth of my miracle son last year. In that short space of time I have suffered ill-health, the deaths of both grandmothers and a battled with my depression. It would also appear that I have post-natal depression too.

I forgot to mention I went back to work full time when my son was only 3 months old. Was this too soon? Hell yes, but financially we couldn’t cope if I stayed off longer and took statutory maternity pay.

Having all these events happen in such a short space of time has definitely had an impact on me. I still having come to terms with my grandmas passing in February. I was completely and utterly knocked for 6 and it has left a hole that cannot be filled. Then my second grandma passed in May. I have all these wonderful memories to keep them alive forever but it’s not the same.

My work life balance doesn’t exist. I was great at keeping everything separate but they seem to have mingled into one. When I’m at work all I can think about is the little one and when I’m with him it’s the opposite and I’m thinking about work.

Most days I wake only to wish I could climb back into bed and sleep a little while longer. I must admit I have slept a lot more than I normally do but I’m always tired. Typical side effect of depression – people just think you’re lazy but there’s just so much to it.

I’ve also decided to take this blog into a new direction. I will still focus on elements of mental health awareness but it won’t be the primary element. I am going to reclassify as a lifestyle blogger which means I can cover a lot of the items that I’m passionate about. This includes products reviews, family day out ideas and ill-health (physical and mental).

I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

Katherine xo