Dear Jo,

My Name is *Jamie*. I'm in my lateish teens and I am desperatly seeking your help. My family and I moved towns at the start of last year and I had to change schools. That was all good but then this guy asked me out. I said "No" and he and between 6 and 12 of his mates began bullying me. It went on all year. They would stand at one end of the class room and I would be at the other, they would call me all the dirty names under the sun and the teacher would do nothing, yet I got in troubble for saying whatever and things. They called me a whale all the time and they would hit me etc.

Nobody did anything because the guys mum and dad worked at my school. It got so bad, I had to change schools. Now I'm at this nice school and everyone is so nice but I constantly believe im fat etc. I'm scared to eat too much or too little and somtimes even the thought of food makes me sick. I pull away from the class and dont take part in the class activities.
Please help me, I don't know what to do. Things are so bad at times, I think of doing things nobody should.

Hi there,

I am so sorry to hear that those boys and your old school were so mean to you. How awful it must have been for you to listen to their garbage for so long and shame on those teachers that did nothing to change the situation. It doesn’t take away the fact you had to go through this and it is a reminder of the importance of having institutions like schools that are able to reach out and support kids rather than making it more challenging than it is anyway! And we all know that bullies thrive on having the power to control others and a person’s lack of self-esteem.

If the bullying is making you feel sick, it’s a sabotaging negative wiring. And what I want you, Jamie, to recognize is that beauty comes from within and it radiates on the outside and that’s what you have control over. However I am glad that you are happier now at your new school.

And you state that you feel fat and to that I say: you only believe what you think you are. So if you feel a little overweight, meaning that your jeans that normally fit you comfortably pinch you slightly or you’re more out of breath than before, than maybe it’s about making sure that you start making decisions that are a bit healthier than the ones you chose before.

It’s just a matter of being sensible with your choices and make sure you always eat. It’s important for us to eat, even if it’s small portions that are consumed often. Eating allows us to maintain healthy development for our bones and maintain focus, concentration, and overall aging factors. For example, I’ve spent the last four years on the road traveling from hotel to hotel and as you will see watching the show, my weight has yo-yoed, but I’ve gained control over my eating times now and the rest I have to do myself. I have to make those sensible choices myself; the discipline has to come from me.

Your letter also says that you’re thinking about doing things that people shouldn’t think about, sometimes when we’re down we think about those things, but it’s important not to be impulsive with those thoughts and when you feel them, find someone to talk to about them, a parent, a teacher, a friend. If you’re feeling physically depleted as well as mentally, then perhaps you should go with your parents to see a GP. Take up a sport, so that your stress decreases and energy increases and you get an endorphin rush. Do things that make you happy.

And since you are at a new school and you said you are happy, reach out to your new friends, there when you need them. Friends are there for you in bad times as well as the good.

Let us know your progress. Keep posting on the board and keep us updated.

Love,

Jo x

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