Blog: Nikki Storm on bullying and being bullied
Bullying. No matter the context, I just don’t like that bloody word. No one likes to be called it. Certainly, no one wants to admit when they are being bullied. Why not? Why is it so shameful? What is it that makes us too scared to admit it? I’ll tell you why I don’t like to admit it; even just thinking it makes me feel vulnerable and weak. I think to myself, ‘You are the great Nikki Storm. Why the hell are you NOT standing up for yourself?!’
Well sometimes I have to be Nicola. And actions like tossing a brick at their face just isn’t feasible.
I am 23 and I have just emerged from a situation where I was being bullied. Even writing it makes me feel weak. I’ll put up with it though if even just one person reading this blog can take my advice. If you are bring bullied, you need to tell someone – as crappy as it may feel. In my non-wrestling job, I was getting picked on by some cretin. He made my life a misery for a while. He turned so many people against me. Slammed doors in my face, stared/glared at me in the hope of trying to intimidate me, threatened me and said I slept around – and that last part is blasphemy, as Nikki Storm is a one man woman! Anyways, what did I do? I kicked him in the balls and left him laying…
I WISH. No, I ended up not being able to eat lunch in the canteen. I would spend breaks in the toilet listening to my iPod. I felt pathetic, but I told myself I was some cool loner. It wasn’t until I recanted back all the incidents to my friend that I realised it was nothing but bullying. It was all because when challenged, I admitted I did not like him as a person. Sorry mate, but I don’t tend to like people that brag about snorting coke, punching women or who go out of their way to make people look stupid. What did I really do about the situation? Reported it, told my manager. I ended up leaving as it became so serious, physical threats were made and the place of work did nothing about it. It’s not my only incident with bullies and it won’t be my last admittedly.
In wrestling I have came across bullies who can mess with you and can cause you so much damage in the ring and outside of it too (oh hi there broken nose). They will make you feel absolutely rotten about your work and that’s more dangerous than hair being ripped out or your arse being booted. You need to respect yourself and have pride in your work. Even if you do make mistakes, nobody’s perfect and everyone is learning. Why did I get crap from certain people? Sorry that I’m not one of your girls. I quite like keeping my full wages thanks.
I remember once after a match, my opponent was praising me afterwards saying how well I had done and how proud I should be of myself. A little while later the promotor told me that after the match the person said to him, “oh Nikki is garbage, she cannot work, she forgot everything” – but I digress, that was not bullying, that was just being two faced. How are you supposed to get better if nobody is honest with you? Anyways, as I said the worst thing someone can do is make you feel awful about yourself and make you lose your self respect. Isn’t that what bullying is? Stripping someone of their self respect? Going out your way to put that person down?
There’s this girl who I used to get on really well with – now she’s turned into a total bitch. Basically she stopped getting a lot of work as her attitude is poor and she is lazy. She takes it out on everyone by being a complete cow to certain people at shows. Jealously and bitterness will do her no favours though. How about instead of whining and complaining about how you don’t get booked anymore, you work hard to get better? Yeah, because you are so cool being mean and making everyone feel uncomfortable. I remember one of the guys telling the girl I had ranked high on a poll done by an online magazine about best female wrestlers in the world and she literally fake laughed as loud as she could and made some catty comment. Isn’t that what bullies are? People who put others down to hide their own insecurities? Who go out their way to make you feel bad? And I thought you were my friend, thanks for the support.
The thing that really makes my blood boil is wannabe trainers that bully trainees and throw their weight around. I remember one trainer four years ago, who would slag the girls off for not getting changed in front of guys. Oh wait – no you are so right; it is my duty to get changed in front of the lads. Is it hell, you fat turd! That same trainer drove me to tears after one if my first training matches – he went right through me in front of everyone. People need to learn the difference between constructive criticism and tearing you a new ringpiece. Not one syllable was constructive in this particular instance. He and his mates would think it was fine to slam someone onto concrete at gala days or curb stop someones face into a pavement without asking them prior to the match. He was an absolute shitarse of a wrestler who took advantage of his power, and he wonders why he doesn’t take training anymore? Thankfully the training school changed hands and is churning out some of the best talent in the UK.
I have witnessed so many guys completely take liberties in the ring, and not necessarily the more experienced person either. I remember one match were the lesser experienced guy beat the hell out of the guy who had been wrestling about 5 or 6 years longer. I would have walked out. You are supposed to look after the person you are working with. Their body is in your hands, and your body is in their’s. Look after it. If you don’t, you are either clumsy, don’t know any better, or just being a bullying dick because you know you can get away with it. It’s the last one that we are focussing on today.
I remember after a match once my opponent screamed at me in front of the ENTIRE locker room (by the way, promotor, you should have stepped in). Had I dropped them on their head? No. Had I been disrespectful? No. Had I hit them too hard? No.
I had gone out first and whilst I was shouting at the crowd, the match changed. Nobody told me the match had been cut but yet I got my nose broken and screamed at backstage because I wasted time. I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. I remember mumbling a defence and they continued to tear me down. It was so much worse though, because I never expected that particular person to do that. I had held them in such high regard. A few of the people who had witnessed this uncomfortable scene came up to me and asked me if I was okay. One of the girls said she felt this sinking feeling as I was getting yelled at. We all get that sinking feeling when we are seeing something like that don’t we? I didn’t want my peers seeing me as a victim. In the end, I cut ties with the person. Sometimes that’s the best thing to do. Learning not to be ashamed for walking away. People like that will get whats coming to them, eventually.
It wasn’t the first time I had been bullied, perhaps that’s why I dealt with it so well in wrestling. I was bullied throughout primary school and high school, but my experiences there very much made me the person I am. I remember playing truant for two solid weeks – once jumping on different trains every day passing the time until I had to be back at school for 3.30 as my mum and dad picked me up. I would get slagged off everyday with people saying I was really ugly, fat and annoying. They said I was a weirdo, a geek. They slagged me off because my dads car was not as good as theirs. The same people who made my teenage years so difficult now try and add me on Facebook. Yes I know your life is going nowhere, and a lot more people know who I am than they do you, but get screwed you rotten sods!
You weren’t there when I was a 14 year old girl who was so unhappy she wanted to die. I tried desperately to fit in with you people and you turned your backs and joined in on the laughter, the teasing and the threats of “battering me after school”. People say forgiveness is a gift. If thats a gift, you can stick it up your hole. I do not forgive or forget easily and I would not stop you from getting run over by a truck full of horse manure, you horrible people.
I remember a wannabe promotor was walking round telling people he would never book me as I was too ugly. You can imagine how that brought up really painful memories. A big group of us went to see a WWE show in Braehead, Glasgow. When one of the Divas came on, the same baldy wanker turned round and said “I’ll book you when you look like that”. Where are you now, baldy? Hilarious thing is, when I confronted him about saying that to everyone, he crapped his pants. Yeah, you are such a hard man bricking it from a 5’1” girl! He was like, “no Nic, I would never say that honestly”. Yeah mate, because about ten people are just lying for the sake of it. Strange though, how I confronted him in a way I never could to the school bullies.
Wrestling has helped me overcome a lot of my insecurities. I will always have insecurities. Things can and do get under my skin but it pushes me forward, not down. There will always be those bullies that you are afraid to stick up to but trust me when I say this, success is the sweetest revenge.
If you are being bullied, tell someone and don’t be ashamed about it. Speaking up makes you just as tough as punching them in the face. As I have learned in recent times, there are times where you need to walk away. Sometimes, there is bridges that need to be burned.