‘I refuse to let the bul­lies win...’

Things got so bad for this Aber­dare teen that she tried to end her own life. But now she’s telling her story to give hope to oth­ers.

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - TYLER MEARS tyler.mears@waleson­line.co.uk

A YOUNG woman has bravely opened up about her ex­pe­ri­ences of be­ing bul­lied – which in­cluded be­ing told to “go kill your­self” – in the hope of help­ing oth­ers in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion.

The bul­ly­ing got so bad that at the age of just 17, Lucy Re­gler from Aber­dare, tried to take her own life.

But fast for­ward two years and the trainee hair­dresser and beauty ther­a­pist has turned her life around and has learned to deal with the bul­ly­ing head on.

She is now shar­ing her story in the hope of help­ing oth­ers.

Talk­ing about her ex­pe­ri­ence, 19-year-old Lucy said: “From a very young age I have been picked on for things such as be­ing ginger, hav­ing a lisp and be­ing fat.

“Kids can be cruel, but as I’ve grown older adults can be hor­ri­ble too.

“I was al­ways taunted in pri­mary, but it got worse when I went into com­pre­hen­sive school.

“I had friends but only a few that were my true friends, ones that would stick up for me – be­cause when I was 13, I would not stick up for my­self. I was pet­ri­fied.”

Lucy added: “There was one time I was scared to walk home be­cause I was wor­ried I was go­ing to be beaten up.

“I’m not say­ing that I’m any dif­fer­ent to any­one, be­cause there’s mil­lions of peo­ple get­ting bul­lied every day.

“But I’m speak­ing out about my story and how far I’ve come.”

As well as be­ing bul­lied at school, Lucy said she was also tar­geted by vile trolls on­line.

“I loved singing and that was just an­other thing to pick on. I used to up­load videos and peo­ple would share them and say nasty things. I slowly stopped do­ing them.”

Lucy opened up about one in­ci­dent in par­tic­u­lar when an on­line troll said to her: “Hello fatty, go kill your­self, I’m go­ing to get my dog to rape you.”

Lucy said: “I was so shocked that some­one I had never met could say that in front of ev­ery­one on­line.

“I did re­port it, but be­cause he didn’t live near me it wasn’t classed as a threat and it was up to the so­cial media plat­form to take him down.

So I posted it on Face­book and got peo­ple to re­port him be­cause it is vile how peo­ple do that.”

It was af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the on­line abuse that Lucy said she started to “go down­hill”.

She also started self harm­ing. “I was too scared to go any­where,” she said.

“The sad thing is that even though these peo­ple who bully you think that it’s a laugh, they don’t know what’s go­ing on at home.”

At the age of 17, Lucy said it “all got too much” and she tried to take her own life, end­ing up in hospi­tal for four days.

Lucy said she has now re­ally “found her feet” and has started to stick up for her­self. She’s also started mak­ing on­line videos again, fo­cus­ing pri­mar­ily on her two pas­sions – hair and beauty.

How­ever, she said she does still ex­pe­ri­ence some bul­ly­ing on­line.

“Sadly there are hor­ri­ble peo­ple on­line,” she said.

“I would do a video with 200 peo­ple watch­ing but 50 of them are call­ing me fat or telling me I have an ugly lisp – in front of 200 peo­ple.

“I would come off cry­ing. But I still didn’t give up. I’ve al­ways said I’m not up­set – be­cause I’m not.

“When you’ve been bul­lied so much, you re­alise it’s all just words.

“Don’t get me wrong, it does get hard some days, but I’ve learned to love my­self and care for my­self with­out hurt­ing my­self.

“The last year I’ve been bul­lied on­line and out­side, but I have dealt with it by still car­ry­ing on.

“When I was 13 to 16 I stopped. They won. But not any more.

“I carry on do­ing the videos and be­ing con­fi­dent be­cause, if I don’t, they have won.”

Lucy is now fo­cused on help­ing other peo­ple who may be go­ing through sim­i­lar bul­ly­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, say­ing she will “wel­come any­one who needs help”.

She added: “I try to tell my story be­cause I want peo­ple to know – it may not get eas­ier, but in the end you al­ways come out on top rather than them.

“I hate bul­lies and I will never let them win. Not any more. I’m al­ways there for any­one.”

There are sev­eral helplines avail­able for peo­ple who have suf­fered bul­ly­ing. These in­clude Bul­ly­ing UK (Part of Fam­ily Lives) on 0808 800 2222 and the Na­tional Bul­ly­ing Helpline on 0845 22 55 787.

Childline is also able to give ad­vice, in­for­ma­tion and help to chil­dren who have suf­fered bul­ly­ing, on 0800 1111.

And Cardiff-based char­ity Bul­lies Out has a com­pre­hen­sive web­site on the sub­ject – visit www.bul­liesout.com

‘It does get hard some days, but I’ve learned to love my­self and care for my­self with­out hurt­ing my­self...’ Teenager Lucy Re­gler, from Aber­dare

Lucy Re­gler hopes speak­ing about her ex­pe­ri­ences of bul­ly­ing will help oth­ers

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