Thursday, 27 August 2015

My Experiences At School And A Way To Help Others

                     Me at school, age 15!^^^^

I took a trip down memory lane today, after reading one of my fave bloggers Hannah Gale’s post, reminiscing on her teenage years spent growing up in the 90’s. It reminded me of my obsession with Claires Accessories Headbands, that time my highlights went green and deciding it was for the best to ditch the beanie bear collection I loved so much “in case any boys came into my room.”

I also have a younger sister who is in high school currently. Chatting to my Mum on the phone about what’s going on her with and her life updates reminds me of the fun I had in school. But having an audience of girls between 13-25 also prompts me to remember the bad as well as the good. While I was incredibly lucky (or ignorant? who knows) during school, I floated through seemingly unscathed. Yes, I had scraps with friends, fallouts, there were tears, frustrations, but generally, it was water off a duck’s back to me. (Although that doesn’t stop me looking back now and going CRINGE!!) 

But take me back to school now, socially hyper-aware and secretly a little sensitive, and I know I couldn’t handle it.

I sounds like an old fart when I say this, but things are totally different now to how they were “in my day” (I finished High School almost a DECADE ago!)

First of all there’s the big deal that I missed out on, being the internet. Through school we had a family computer in the middle of our hallway which was certainly NOT wireless, we all had to share and we all had to get off when anyone wanted to ring the home phone. Which was incredibly often because mobiles were still relatively new then. Fast forward to now where everyone has their own phone/tablet/ipad/laptop/comp and can easily, quickly and PRIVATELY do basically anything they want online without their parents or friends knowing. Bullying now no longer remains in the school halls, but comes home with you, via texts, FB messages and IMs. Young girls are already editing their Instagram photos, making thighs slimmer, blurring skin problems, wishing themselves to look different, watching YouTube videos on how to look like Kylie Jenner, who already looks ten years older than her actual age.

When I was at school, I had bad skin, greasy hair (dry shampoo was not yet a thing and I was born a late riser) and honestly, I have no idea what I weighed, nor did I then, because I can HAND ON MY HEART say I NEVER ONCE THOUGHT ABOUT IT. The rise of teenage anorexia, or even the fact that girls as young as 7 or 8 are starting to feel the pressure to be thin is rising year by year. 


Whereas my friends and I wore little to no make up to school, tied our hair in a ponytail and forgot about appearance, I worry that these girls are desperate, desperate to have big boobs, a flat stomach, perfect skin. I worry that these girls, some not even coming out the other side of puberty, are forced into sexual situations, with music videos like Niki Minaj’s Anaconda telling them that his anaconda don’t want NONE unless ya got BUNS hun. 

Honestly, I worry for my sister, for my unborn child, I worry like I’m a parent, and yet I’m just a 25 (just!) year old girl, watching the world around me change. I’m worried about the contradicting standards these girls have to try and adhere to, trying to avoid being called a ‘slut’ but not wanting to be called ‘frigid.’ I worry with body shaming, slut shaming, outfit shaming. I worry that even Taylor Swift, probably the most inoffensive star out there, calls women out, saying “she wears short skirts, I wear Tee Shirts” and “She wears high heels, I wear sneakers.” I worry for the competition of other women young girls have to deal with and the pressure they put on each other. I worry for the girls secretly gay, bi, pans, I worry for those too scared to push away the only friends they have by being honest and open about their sexuality.  I worry for those trapped in the wrong body. I worry for those who look ‘different’. 

I cannot fathom how these girls turn up to school and think about that, SCHOOL. Why bother, when the world is literally in their hands, in their phones. Young people these days have the pressure of the world upon their shoulders LITERALLY. And don’t get me wrong, so do boys. I’m just speaking from experience, as a woman still growing, and still learning, in this same world.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for my therapist Sam Morris. She helped me overcome my struggles, and to move on to a fantastic place in my life. I also know I’m not the only person who feels this way, I know she’s helped hundreds through her time as working as a school counsellor.

Sam has started the petition to get at LEAST one school counsellor for every high school in the UK. This is currently not a legal requirement, and it’s where the school system fails us miserably.

How can school prepare us for the future when, for some people, the very thought of future leaves cuts on their wrists, overdoses, bulimia and panic attacks? School teachers are there to inspire, for the young to grow, to mature, to develop. Counselling helps with exactly that, and touches the part of the students life that a teacher can’t. A safe place for students to discuss their worries, a listening ear for a mental break, a more positive outlook towards the future and a place to LEARN but instead of learning maths and science, to learn the coping mechanisms that will set them up for a healthy, bright, long future. 

I’ve seen, first hand, parents ring Sam up saying their child won’t go to school, won’t come out of their room, won’t eat, can’t cope, is breaking down, and I’ve seen Sam help these people. I’ve seen Sam have a huge waiting list of young people to see her every single day she was counselling at her high school. Sam got removed as counsellor from her high school due to cuts from the government. What do you think happened to the backlog of girls and boys who were desperate to see her? Who else did they have to turn to? Sam was getting calls in the middle of the night, parents and young people turning up at her house, franticly searching for the help that they deserved, that they NEEDED and that was robbed from them.

By spending the money on 1 counsellor per high school, the NHS and government would save thousands. It could save on medication, on rehab for those suffering from eating disorders, and those addicted to drugs, on suicide attempts. The saving is long term; it would prevent young people turning into vulnerable adults needing medication, therapy and long term residential care.

Finally, I am a working adult and I have always payed my taxes. Growing up, it was my understanding that the government took a percentage of my money and spent it on things like Policemen, Firemen, and Doctors. I see cuts being made everyday in the forces, cuts at schools, with Sam having to leave her position as school counsellor and even the school NURSE!? How the hell are these young people supposed to survive without even a basic of a NURSE to hand. And where the HELL is all my money going? (Side story: I accidentally severely cut my finger in a food class at school and would be missing a finger if it wasn’t for the nurse stopping the blood and sorting it out. But I guess young people these days don’t get those luxuries, you know, like keeping their fingers and having a professional around when they break something.)

I couldn’t be MORE supportive of this petition. If it does nothing but put the idea into people’s minds, put the case forward to government officials, then we have STILL WON.


Please please please please please PLEASE share this petition with everyone you know and SIGN!



Sam Morris, my therapist and her therapy dog!

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42 comments

  1. Wowww Roseanne you're such an idol I love you and hope the future will be much better than your past and even your amazing life now ♡♥♡♥love from Syria

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  2. Best read! And now you're giving me ideas what to do after graduating a year from now. Im currently undergrad of Psychology here in the Philippines.

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  3. Loved this blogpost! Honestly, I do think it's very important for young people to have somebody to talk to, we do have therapists at most schools here in Mexico, it should be a legal requirement for universities too but so far it's not. I still talk to my high school therapist, she's amazing and lovely and I don't know what I would've done without her during those difficult times AND NOW, tbh. The world is getting crazier by the second and people need to be stronger. I signed the petition a couple of days ago, best of luck to Sam!!! ALSO, Nicki Minaj's awful. xx :)

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  4. Love this! I always say I think therapy should be something everyone does, like a check up. Thanks for bringing awareness 💕

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  5. Such messages and experiences must be shared through the world!! Beautiful way to educate people! A big hug from Paraguay Rosie ♥

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  6. Rosie what you have written here will definitely change something, this kind of petition should be made not only in England but in every country. Adolescence stage is not easy, it's the most crucial part living where you question yourself "What, Who, and Why am I like this?" This is the stage where teens need guidance, needs someone to talk to, someone who will listen to them. This is why every school should have a counselor, so teens could express their feelings/emotions that they can't tell their parents. Every CITIZEN in every country paid their TAXES to the government. It's the government's obligation to provide and help its CITIZENS needs. A simple counselling could help save LIFE.

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  7. Rosie...I applaud you! Well done. As a former teacher, I dealt with teenagers, boys and girls. I was a PE teacher and Geography was the other subject I taught( u would have been totally entertained). I was often approached by both the boys and girls who were having really rough times. They all had one thing in common - they needed someone to talk to. I always have them my undivided attention and best advice I could.
    After all these years there is still this one kid who stands out...walking down the corridor I saw a 14-15yr old girl who just looked so sad. I said " u look like u need a hug, can I give u a hug?" I gave her a hug (I'm a hugger!) and then went on my way. The next day she gave me an envelope with a note: " ur hug yesterday was the 1st human contact I've had in months..my parents are getting a divorce and neither wants me.I wanted to just give up on life and then u hugged me...u were the angel that God sent to say I am loved and that I am special and that he has so much planned for me" "I had prayed for a sign to say I should live"
    Rosie, I cried for a long time. I told her that she will always have me should she need to talk or need a hug etc. She did finish school, got a degree and is in a loving relationship.
    All schools need to have that one 'safe house' person where kids can feel safe to talk.
    I did sign the petition yesterday...you have the awesome opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young and old. Keep up the blogs and advice. Thank u

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    1. Aletta, you are an amazing and lovely woman. I applaud you for everything you do to help others. I am honored to be your friend.

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  8. That was a great post Rosie. As the Mum of a teen son, I am constanly reminded of how his generation seems to feel the need to grow up too quickly. The peer pressure is overwhelming for some kids bc they just want to fit in and be a part of something bigger instead of weighing the consequences of their actions. They find themselves facing adult issues and have no where to turn for help. Mental health is one of the most underfunded health conditions by insurance. It's considered a non health issue and most insurance companies have a cap on expenses to treat it. Your friend Sam is doing phenomenal work. The world needs more trained ppl like her help the youth of today. These kids are our future and they need to be nurtured, and made to feel important. I do my best every day to uplift folks and build self confidence in anyone who needs. A kind word or just listening to someone could change a life

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    1. Spoken like a true and loving mother. Ur son is blessed by having a mom that understands the life he is living each day with all the pressures. U know that he will always need u as his mom, confidant and friend. Hugs

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  9. Wow! This literally filled my eyes with tears and gave me goosebumps. The fact that someone can sit behind a desk and make the choice to take away something so important as a nurse or counsellor, is beyond me. Especially with all the pressure that is given from so many different angles today, to look or be a certain way. I'm 29 years old, and I still feel that pressure sometimes, and I'm not even at a fragile age. I can choose to not care about what people say about me because I have the confidence and life experience to do so. I had a hard time when I was younger, and the only reason I got through it with too deep of a scar, is that I did have a counsellor to turn to, who could give me the tools I needed. I think it's SO great that you address important issues like this, especially since you write a lot about fashion and beauty advices. Goes to show that you are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Thank you for a great blog post! It was worth the wait.

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  10. That was amazing, i am generally lost for words

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  11. I was bullied throughout high school and when I left I couldn't believe people were so nice in the real world! Unfortunately there was no support system at school, I constantly think how much I would have valued a counsellor. At 27 it's still in the forefront of my mind. I was so quiet and shy, overweight and to top it off I wore glasses, I was a sitting target! I often look in to becoming some sort of school councillor just to be there for these young people but I don't know where to begin! I just want to let them know that it can and it does get better, my fifteen year old self would not believe the life I have now, and I just want people who are in the situation that I was in know that there IS hope. Wow that was a lot longer than it set out to be! In summary ... great post! xxx

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  12. Bullying nowadays actually is much worst compared to our time where it affects not only in school but all over the world because everything is just can be done just a second using all those gadgets. I am also worry for our young generation. Hope we manage to guide and be more like their friend than a parent so that they will share everything with us rather than keeping all their good and bad to themselves.

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  13. I agree Rosie this so need to happen now, one Councillor in every school should be the absolute minimum it would help so many young people and in some cases save lives. Where i live there have been a number of suicides due to bullying and peer pressure to conform to the so called norm, thank-you so much in highlighting this and giving people the opportunity to sign this petition lets hope the government take heed of this and do something quick

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  14. i agree with your concern... though i'm from a different country.. India... but i feel that kids, teenagers and young adults across the world are facing the challenge of immense pressure of impossible standards and the consequent feelings of low self worth.
    LOVED the part from "Honestly, I worry for my sister....SCHOOL"
    exquisite and poignant writing Rosie! kudos!

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  15. Awesome blog great message , I work with primary school children and already see the girls I look after with body issues so my goal at work is to make sure I can try to teach them to be proud of who they are and be themselves . While is was at school I was the fat kid lol but think I was lucky to find a great group of friends and family who supported me for I was so I did not let children who bullied me effect me sadly that not the case for everyone but with online bullies it so much worse . I think having a a school therapist or someone to talk to we be a great idea . Looking back at school i remember good times friends but sadly for me the first day of year 12 my mum past away and I was struggling with my sexuality in a catholic high school so I think talking to someone would of helped . This was an awesome post Rose and hopefully it slowly helps teenages and youth . Badrov.K

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  16. Rosie, you are beautiful inside and out! Using your ability to excite people enough to take action for a great cause is truly a talent. You may not have been bullied in high school, but just talking about the subject helps. I had a great group of friends in high school, some of whom were bullied themselves, but we stuck together. When I go to high school reunions I laugh to myself at what the bullies have accomplished (NOTHING). High school for me was like winter (harsh & cold), college/uni was like Summer (HOT!! I'm not saying anything else, wink wink). Keep on speaking out and keeping it real!

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  17. Hi Rosie

    Your words just going to my heart and mind. I'm not so good in writing like you. There is so much in my mind and heart. I wish I could find the right words. I'm 26 now and I feel like you. I have 4 Siblings and we never had much money no Internet. I think the Internet is a gift but also a weapon. So quick bad people say a lot mean things to good people. At my school time I was so sad. Kids bullied at me. They throw rocks at me and beat me . Say a lot very ugly things to me. I was so sad and alone. Wish I could talk to someone. But I was afraid and at school there was no therapist. I thing I'm not over it today. You are a great role model . Hard to find in the world of Internet and all that in this new time. Wish I could be so strong like you. Thank you so much for everything.

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    1. Hey Anne, I read your comment hours ago and just wanted to say that I am much older then 26 (ok not much but older :) and I have was never bullied in school. That being said, NO person should ever be bullied, or have hurtful things said to them and definitely never ever be caused physical harm. People that do this are trying to find their self worth by putting others down. Unfortunately there are people in the world like this and as you get older you will still find these people, just in different scenarios.
      Everyone has a a gift, something they love, a passion, and the trick is to find that in yourself. Don't let society, people, or pressures define it for you. You define it for yourself. I can tell by reading your comment you have a beautiful soul and are much stronger then you think you are. I hope all
      Your dreams come true. If you ever need to talk... Have a wonderful day and hold that head up high :)

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  18. Very well said. The thought is very human. Thanks for sharing this. An eye-opener.

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  20. I'm shocked because I never thought the things you describe happened in your country, I live in one of the most corrupt countries in the world, think about counseling in public school, pffff come on that's almost null, private school sometimes have it but please just a few people can afford it and like you said, where are our taxes???? Like you said I'm worry about the youngest, I have a lot of nieces and nephews and my biggest concern is because not only the goverment ignore them, at least in my country the parents are so unconcerned about what their children and that is so SCARY, they dont supervise what their kids watch in the internet or even worse, they dont care about their feelings or what they want for their lives, so they looking somewhere else and than the problem continues. I'm not younger than you, I'm 36 years old and when I talk with my nieces (most thant my nephews), believe me, I sound like an OLD fart with them, but you know what? I don't care if they get angry because I talk to them about what is wrong or what is right, I know that I cant prevent them from committing theirs mistakes, but at least they can know that I will always be there to support them. Every single day I try to live my life as happy as I can and try to give my community a little of what I have in different ways, my mom taught me very well 😃
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, to let us be part of them in some way and for encourage to share ours. I dont have the pleasure to meet you in person, but through your words and your videos can see that you are a wonderful human being and is awesome to know that we still exist people who seek to live in a better world. A big hug for you!

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  21. i've sign the petition and share it in my fb..

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  22. That's an awesome post!
    I always talk about it with my parents, my cousin (12) have problems at school that's not usual for me (25), exactly like u said.

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  23. I would honestly say this my favourite of your blogs.

    Your honesty and genuine concern is so obvious and it's amazing to have someone like you who is in the position you are in to have influence over so many people aware of all these issues!
    I'm from Belfast, 22 and I'm a nurse.
    My whole highschool school years I am eating disorder, cut myself and even tried to use the iron to burn my skin to make my stomach flat.
    I had an incredible teacher who discovered this one day and brought me and made me eat breakfast and lunch with her everyday, an incredible therapist who seen me for 4 years with no charge at all!

    I am totally in support of this and what you are doing to make awareness..

    Thank you
    Grace xx

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  25. I'm not from England but I lived there almost 2 years. and I feel so touching for what you share. You're doing such a wonderful job sharing it. well said, Rosie!

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  26. Rosie.. Love you so much ❤️
    From.. Thailand

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  27. Totally support you in this. gonna send the link to my 14 year old sister for her to read too. also very glad you included pans in 'gay, bi and pans' cos often people forget that pans IS different to bi. thanks rosie love you xxxxxx

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  28. Hey Rosie !
    I might be late to the party but I did just sign the petition bc I didn't read the post before (sorry) ..But
    It really touched me and the way you write and express your feelings is amazing and Sam sounds incredible selfless and amazing and your finger story "I guess kids now don't have the luxury of keeping their fingers" -that made me laugh but at the same time it's true !
    Anyway thank you for bringing awareness to this matter .xxx

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  29. Thank you Rosie (and Rose) for beeing you! Thanks to you I've finally started to be my self and I've come out to some of my friends (I'm bi). And thanks to the fact that I now can act on the real me I fell in love with the most amazing girl and she makes me so happy! She lives in the UK and I live in Sweden but I know we'll manage a LDR because she means the world to me.
    My life has totally turned around to the better and you guys are a big part of it! Thank you.

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  30. Definitely well said!! I struggled throughout high school and that was 9 years ago, the people that often put me down then now see through social media how well I'm doing now and comment saying how proud they are and how glad they are that I'm happy but they don't realise that I was actually very vulnerable and weak at school because of them and back then I had no one to turn to. If I was in school now with the social media as hyped up as it is I would've struggled even more. You're an amazing role model and you should be very proud of yourself!! Keep it up!!

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  32. Ok, so I just managed to delet my quite long comment. Way to go, Aliss! Anyway ...
    This is so true which I know very well from my own personal experience. I'm still at highschool (senior year) and it hasn't been really easy for me. It's actually been pretty hard. All the things you are talking about here are sadly happening in schools all over the world. School counsellors should be in every highschool because their job is so important! Much more important than the society realises. I mean look at me for example - in my country, we don't have school counsellors. Never did and probably never will. And we're kinda ok with it because we don't know any better but when I think about how many young people could be helped it really upsets me nobody ever thought about it enough to do something about it.
    If I had a councelor to whom I could turn to I'm pretty sure I'd be in a very different place in my life just like so many others.
    It's really great that you talk about the subject and more important, you're trying to do something to make it better. You have all my respect and all my gratitude because even without knowing you have been a counsellor to me in a certain way. Which I think is kinda cool since you don't have to listen to my problems but still I feel better thanks to you. You show me every day that it is possible, that I can be happy, that I can be who I wanna be, that there is a way to sort my problems and deal with all the bad things happening to me .. Someday. I have a long journey ahead of me but thanks to you (AND your amazing wife) it's a little easier. And I just wanted to thank you for that. God bless you

    (I'm really really sorry if there are some sentences that make absolutely no sence - I have ADHD and mostly just write and say what comes to mind in the very moment and don't think about the fact that it was already said or that it's about a totally different stuff. I'm also not English so maybe it's not my ADHD but just my really bad sense for foreign languages. Who knows? I know I don't ...)
    Once again, I'm sorry for the long and messy essay and more importantly .. Thank you! You helped me in so many ways I can't even say.

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  33. Rosie I admire you helping ms. Sam out, I signed the petition and hope that she will be back to helping people very soon ☺️

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  34. Well done Rosie. I totally agree with you. I am currently a secondary school teacher who struggles with behaviour management. Often because young people have no outlet for their non-learning related problems they play up in class making everything a nightmare. I think, like you, placing importance on a young person's well-being is essential for their all round development. And a good message to put out there.
    Funding is being cut all over the show. I wanted to train a counsellor with Place to Be a charity (I think, that are trying to make what you are saying possible) but was put off by how expensive the training was and also by the fact I would be expected to volunteer for a very long time without pay. This also ultimately leads to a lack of diversity in that profession, which is a shame. Anyhow I went into teaching instead as I could get a bursary although I think it's less suited to my personality. Huge funding goes into training teachers but 60% don't even complete their first year in teaching. Anyway another story.
    Anyway yes I think what the government do with their money is so short-sighted and they waste a huge amount of money when things get to a crisis point (like you said).
    Anyway basically agreeing with you. Think you and Rose are great! Both gorgeous too. Keep up the good work.

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