James' story

James was bullied for 6 years when he moved to a new school. Speaking to Childline gave him somewhere to turn and helped him to rebuild his confidence.

I felt guilty because the bullies had chosen me

"When I was 10 my mum and dad had moved house so I went to a new primary school. Up until then, I’d always liked school. 

Nothing I did was right and the name-calling, punching and kicking began. They didn’t like my glasses. They didn’t like what I looked like. They didn’t like me being the new kid.

I would wake up every day with a feeling of dread and felt physically sick at the thought of going to school. I used to try and think of every possible excuse to get out of it.

Young boy standing outside in street wearing coat

"I couldn't take the bullying anymore. It was about 2am and I went to the kitchen, got a knife out of the drawer, and went back to my room. I wanted to kill myself as I'd had enough. I just didn't want to be a burden anymore."

The bullying didn’t stop after school. They were all local kids that lived near me. I couldn’t go to the shops, the park or even the town centre. Wherever the bullies saw me, they kept it up. Even when they weren’t there, it was like they were following me.

Secondary school was even worse. Those kids who didn’t know me were clued up by those who did. It got really nasty and I had doors slammed in my face, and my head bashed against a brick wall. I felt sick, scared and exhausted."

Childline was a lifeline when I felt I had no-one to turn to

"I’d seen posters or Childline around the school and decided to call them. The first couple of times I called I couldn’t speak and I hung up. I just couldn’t say the words I needed to say. So I wrote a letter and I let it all out. Childline replied in two days and then I felt able to call them.

They listened and believed everything I said. They gave me advice on how to cope with the bullying such as joining lessons earlier or later and avoiding areas where they congregated. Because I was believed, they also gave me the confidence to tell my mum and dad.Young boy on phone sitting in bus stop

"I started calling twice a week, about the same time, and usually spoke to a counsellor called Craig. He really listened, didn’t tell me what to do, and gave me the time to explain how I was feeling. That was so important to me."

I spoke to Craig on that Wednesday after I took that knife out of the kitchen drawer and I thought the only option was to kill myself. Craig persuaded me to put the knife down and wake up my parents.

On the phone, I could be me and they let me speak about my emotions and channel the negative feelings. Childline helped me realise that I had the strength to overcome the bullying within me. It was always there, I just needed someone to help me find it.”

About Childline

Talking to Childline can be the first time a child feels listened to. Young people can get help and support with any issue they're going through, no matter how big or small.

Our trained Childline counsellors are there for young people 24 hours a day, every day of the year, online or over the phone. A child contacts Childline every 25 seconds and, right now, we can only respond to 3 out of every 4 children who need our help.