‘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.
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