Stand Strong NZ: 'I left school because of bullying,' reveals The Edge broadcaster Sharyn Casey

  • Feature
  • 13/11/2018

Sharyn Casey, the bright and bubbly host of The Edge Drive, has opened up to Newshub about the origin of her nickname 'Sharynoia'.

Despite the fact that she can laugh about it now, the nickname stems from painful experiences during her schooling.

Being left behind while her classmates biked to school together, and having to walk into school alone is one memory that Sharyn reflects on in her interview for Newshub's Stand Strong NZ anti-bullying campaign.

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As she describes it, it's "that feeling like you've been punched in the guts - that nobody else wanted to hang out with me, so I'd hang out by myself."

The feelings of exclusion led Sharyn to hide away in her bedroom by herself.

"I would put on concerts and radio shows and stuff like that. I kind of hid the things that I really, really loved but was too embarrassed to say I loved because people would rip me out about it."

Eventually, the loneliness caused Sharyn to leave school completely.

"I just couldn't be bothered going to school on Monday and finding out I was the only one that didn't get invited to a party, or there was a stupid rumour that wasn't even true."

These experiences in her childhood have had lifelong consequences for Sharyn. The worry that accompanies being excluded has followed her into adulthood and, "even now, I constantly worry that it's still going to happen to me - and I'm 32".

Despite her fears, Sharyn's close friend and cousin have taught her the value of good friends, and the difference that they can make in a person's life.

"She made me write a list of all of my friends and go through it with a highlighter, and highlight the friends that made me feel good; that I got back the same as what I put in; the ones I always had fun with; the friends I could trust," she recounted.

"When you look back at the list, the ones you highlight are the ones you spend the least time with.

"Two awesome friends are worth so much more than 20 fake friends."

Where to find help and support:

Stand Strong NZ is a series exploring the issues around bullying and what's being done to reduce the harm.