Welcome to Uncomfortable. The podcast that has comfortable conversations around uncomfortable topics.
Hello and welcome to the next episode of Uncomfortable the podcast. My name is Debbie Roche. I am your host for this episode, and today I’m going to be chatting with podcaster and actor Jade Pattenden about overcoming bullying. Jade is the host of, “I’m An Adult, Now What?” A podcast aimed at anyone who’s trying to find their way as an adult. She works in Vancouver, B.C. As an actor, background actor and model.
Jade is a biracial immigrant who spent the first half of her life in Scotland, so we have something in common, before moving to Canada. And like most of us through trial and error, she has slowly been navigating adulthood and feels it’s important to process childhood traumas in order to move forward into a healthy adult life.
Now, as always, there is some strong language in this episode. So when you’re listening, I do recommend that you pop on those headphones.
Debbie: [00:01:52] Jade, thanks so much for joining me on Uncomfortable. Of course. It’s kinda nice to have someone who I know grew up in Scotland, and has a little bit of the accent, so it’s not just me.
Jade: [00:02:03] Yeah. Mine so faded though.
Debbie: [00:02:06] Oh, I don’t know. I think by the end of this conversation, it might come out more easily.
Jade: [00:02:11] Yeah, that’s true.
Yeah. I was really happy when I met you at the Vancouver podcast festival and yeah. I was like, Oh, she’s Scottish.
Debbie: [00:02:21] Well, I’d actually listened to your podcast. Um, and it was a couple of episodes. The first one, I didn’t pick up on it at all, and then the second one I was like, is she from Newfoundland or something?
Because there’s funny little, I don’t know, Scottish-isms, the way we see things like you would roll your “r’s” sometimes, or the way you would say a word. I’m like, that’s really weird. And then, I don’t know if I was like poking around or read your bio, or you said something like, you grew up in Scotland and I was like “ah”.
Jade: [00:02:50] Now, it made sense”. Yeah.
Debbie: [00:02:51] Totally makes sense, so awesome. Well, you know, on that note, tell us a little bit about your podcast before we get into our topic today.
Jade: [00:02:59] Right. Um, well, I guess I started it because of my sister. So basically I’d read these like self help books, and then I was like so excited about that. I would go and tell her like, “Oh, my god I read this”.
And it was just something that helps you like think in a new way about yourself and kind of, like helps you grow in some way and like self reflect. And she was like, this is really helpful. Like if you had a podcast or something, like you could kind of broadcast that to more people and I think it would help.
And then I thought about it more. And then, um, also just when I left high school and was becoming an adult, my podcast is called, “I’m an Adult. Now What?”
Debbie: [00:03:36] Which is the best name ever.
Jade: [00:03:38] Yeah. Because it’s literally like how I felt, right. Just felt really lost. And um, everyone kind of was taking like conventional paths of like, I’m going to go to university and become like a pharmacist or whatever.
And I just wasn’t drawn to that. And I just felt like there’s something wrong with me for not wanting to take that path. And I did try and take that path and that was just miserable. And then I left university and it was just basically the reason, like the thing that helped me was talking to random people of different ages and they would just tell me like their life story and like how they ended up in the career that they’re in.
That was like super random. And just hearing those stories brought me so much comfort in knowing that like you might think you have a plan, but it might not work out. And then you have to kind of figure it out and just wing it, right?
Debbie: [00:04:24] Yep.
Jade: [00:04:25] Um, and so,
Debbie: [00:04:25] Story of my life.
Jade: [00:04:27] Yeah. And so basically like anyone and everyone can be a guest on it because everyone’s story has value to somebody out there. Right.
Debbie: [00:04:36] I love that. And I mean, I get it too. You know, it’s, it’s hard growing up and your kind of told that you have to go to university or you have to go to college and you have to find this career path and what you’re maybe like 16, 17, 18 years old, which is such a young age to make a decision like that.
Jade: [00:04:54] Yeah. It’s, you’re deciding for the rest of your life.
Debbie: [00:04:57] It’s like, you know, and it’s like you come into adulthood and you just haven’t been prepared for, you know, by the school system at all. Um, you know, unless you want to be a mathematician or a scientist or a doctor or nurse, they don’t really prepare you that well for you know, adulthood. So I love your podcast. Everybody check it out. I’m assuming it’s on iTunes, I know that, and probably most of the other it is.
Jade: [00:05:23] Yeah. It’s almost, yeah, most streaming platforms.
Debbie: [00:05:25] Awesome. So Jade, you had, um, wanted to talk about bullying specifically, and I know that like me, you grew up in Scotland, and I obviously love my home country, but I know that kids there can be really mean, adults there can be really mean. Sorry Scottish friends who are listening to this. But, um. You know, it can be, um, a pretty difficult country when it comes to bullying and racism especially. So I’m just curious to know, like, about your upbringing and living there and when the bullying started.
Jade: [00:06:01] Um, yeah. So I think, I think from a personal standpoint, I think like bullying was less severe for me versus like my sisters, but as a family unit it was like we experienced racism. So, um, there’s like a few events that kind of stick out to me. But, um, I don’t know if I was in school yet, but there was one incident where somebody wrote like, “monkey” on our driveway. This was in Edinburgh. And, um, we had to get security cameras because of that. And I think someone wrote like, “go back to Africa” or something like that too like, just things like that. Um. But otherwise, like daily living wasn’t so bad. But then like in school, the thing is like, um, you always get picked on for what makes you different, right?
Debbie: [00:06:50] Yeah.
Jade: [00:06:50] And so for that, it just happened to be my race. That made me really different from most kids. Right. But like, I’m not saying that like bullying just happened to me because it was black. Like there’s friends that got bullied or other people who got bullied and they were white, but they would just get bullied for what made them different in that context.
Right. And I also just think like looking back, I’m like, you have to remember that they were kids too that were bullying you. Right? And it’s like, think of all the shit that you said when you were a kid and you’re like, I was a fucking idiot. Am I allowed to swear on this?
Debbie: [00:07:25] Yes
Jade: [00:07:26] It’s like, you know what I mean? It’s like, um, you’re like, wow, you think so differently? And like I think about, um, say like, my mom’s really religious and it’s like you take on what your parents believe when you’re a kid. Right? But then now as an adult, I’m like, I don’t really believe in the same thing she believes in and that I was taught, like my outlook changed. So I kind of look back and think like with those people who believe me still think the same way, now? Like they might not.
Debbie: [00:07:51] Yeah, it’s so interesting. Have you ever, and I mean, I’m assuming probably not because you did move, but have you ever come in contact with any of those people? And if so, how did that go ?
Jade: [00:08:03] Um, yeah, I have had a few people kind of like message me, like once I moved to Canada and they were just, I dunno, it was like random messages, like small talk or something. Like nothing had happened kinda a thing. Or like, I went back last September and I saw like this guy who like bullied me when I was a kid, just like walking in the small town that I lived in, in the countryside, and I was like, what is life like? He just, I was driving past and I just saw him and it’s just like, I don’t know if he’s still like the same kind of person or not, but I’m not going to hold a grudge towards him because really that just affects me. Like he might not even be thinking about the stuff he said to me when I was a kid. Right?
So I think like letting that go is like very important for yourself because you don’t want to carry that like bitterness or sadness into your adulthood.
Debbie: [00:08:51] Yeah, that’s, I mean very incredibly wise because so many people are traumatized by things like bullying and not even, you know, there’s cases where it’s like, yeah, I was bullied cause this person said this or did this to me on a regular basis. But sometimes even just something someone said to you once, can kind of go on and you can carry that for a lifetime. Right. But you know, just the point that you’re making is that you’re the one who ends up carrying that.
Jade: [00:09:22] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:09:23] No one else.
Jade: [00:09:24] Yeah, it’s really hard cause it’s like, it’s really hard to let it go. And it takes a lot of like self reflection and working on yourself and whatnot. Because it is like, you know, someone says one comment and you hold onto that for the next like 10 years or your life like that’s heavy and the amount, you know, like they forget that the next day, but it stays with you. And I think like you just put so much weight into like what your classmates have to say about you, which is a shame. Because it’s like they don’t even really know you. They’re just making a quick judgment. Right?
Debbie: [00:09:55] Totally.
Jade: [00:09:56] So it’s hard. Yeah. But I think, um, I never was physically bullied. It was always verbal, but I do think that words can cut deeper than like physical stuff too, but obviously being physically bullied is horrible, and I think that’s really traumatizing in itself too.
Debbie: [00:10:15] Did you ever, um, you know, talk to an adult, whether it was someone at school or a parent or just someone that you trusted about what was going on?
Jade: [00:10:25] No, I never did, and I think it would have helped a lot.
Debbie: [00:10:28] What held you back, do you think?
Jade: [00:10:31] I think I was like kind of embarrassed about like whatever they were bullying me about, or you know, like it was like, “oh, like I had a mustache when I was a kid”. And it’s like, you don’t have the resources to like, go deal with that. Like it’s just, you know, I hit puberty sooner than other people and like, people would point that out and I’m like, I don’t know what to do about it. So I just would kind of like forget about it. Like I would try and not think about what they said, because I was like, if I bring it up to somebody, I’m like reliving it. And I didn’t want to like readdress it. I just kind of wanted to, let it happen, push it aside and then like forget about it.
Debbie: [00:11:09] You hope that it goes away?
Jade: [00:11:10] Yeah
Debbie: [00:11:11] So what did you do? Cause you’ve, you’ve mentioned that you are big into kind of self help books and resources. What did you do to eventually, you know, let go and I’m assuming some what, maybe forgive or just let go of of that trauma?
Jade: [00:11:28] I think there’s a quote that I read once and it literally like made me stop in my tracks and I was like, Holy shit. Um, but it was, um, I forget the exact wording of it, but it was basically like, “when you realize that like how people treat you is a reflection of how they feel inside, then you’ll cease to react to all”.
Debbie: [00:11:47] Wow.
Jade: [00:11:48] And it’s like, that just made me be like, Whoa. Because I feel like when you get bullied, you’re thinking so much in about yourself and you’re so in your own head, right?
Like you’re thinking like, Oh, this is what’s wrong with me, or this is what makes me ugly, or whatever. So you’re just always so focused on that. But then like the minute I stopped to be like, “Oh wait, well what’s going on in that person’s head?”, and then I’d kind of try and be like, they can’t be happy if they’re coming at me like that. So there must be something more going on. And it never excuses the behavior of that person. Like they should never be putting that out there. But it just helps you realize that like it’s not about your worth, it’s how they feel about themselves.
Debbie: [00:12:30] Which is a huge realization. Yeah. To come to, I don’t know if you’ve ever read the work of Louise Hay.
Jade: [00:12:36] I have. Yeah. “You Can Heal Yourself”.
Debbie: [00:12:39] Yeah. I think um, a lot of her books really helped me to see that um, I’m a big Louise Hay fan and, you know, and I do think back, I was never, you know, physically, um, bullied, picked on on the odd occasion, but the things that I did feel that I sometimes held onto, little stupid comments that some school kids said to me, that’s a one time because of my trainers around Nike or, you know, how kids pick on you for not having brands or whatever.
Those kind of things. Um, it was, you know, just what was going on in that kid’s life that he felt that having branded, you know, runners was the thing that he had to have in order to have some sort of status.
And just kind of thinking on those terms and not holding it against that kid who’s now a grown man, probably with kids of his own.
You know, and has moved on and probably can’t even remember.
That comment that he made. So it’s like just kind of thinking what was going on in that person’s life.
Jade: [00:13:44] I think it helps you like unravel it as an adult, but like again, at the time when you hear that comment, yeah. Your world is, it feels so small, like, you know, like your world is school and then like going home. So if you have a shit home life and then you go to school, and that’s shit too, like everything just feels so overwhelming and has so much weight in your emotions too, right? And you’re not really taught to like deal with it. And I was actually gonna ask you like what you think about Scotland in terms of like mental health, because I feel like people there don’t really discuss their feelings like ever.
Debbie: [00:14:18] Not at all. And again, Scottish friends who listen to this, I love you, but yeah, it’s, I mean, I always feel like coming to Vancouver was something I had to do for my own mental health. And you know, I love my family dearly and they are definitely a lot better now. But even my parents can have struggled to open up, and that was a reflection of their upbringing.
True. Right. So it’s been ingrained to generation after generation there to kind of not talk about your feelings. You don’t do that because it makes people uncomfortable. Whereas I feel like if we just, you know, did talk about it, then it wouldn’t be uncomfortable because we would have, you know, de-stigmatize that and it would be a normal thing to do. And I do see things changing.
Jade: [00:15:06] Yeah, definitely.
Debbie: [00:15:08] But I still feel like it’s harder and maybe, and it might just be me.
Jade: [00:15:13] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:15:13] But it’s harder for me over there to kind of be this open person.
Jade: [00:15:18] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:15:18] Than it is here.
Jade: [00:15:20] Oh yeah, I feel that too. And yeah, don’t get me wrong. I love Scotland. I think Scottish people are like some of the funniest people in the world.
Debbie: [00:15:27] They are.
Jade: [00:15:30] And it’s like, I hate dragging, like when I talk about bullying, I hate, like, I always feel the need to clarify, like Scotland’s a great place. It’s filled with great people. Just cause there was like five people that bullied me when I was a kid. Doesn’t mean the other people in my class weren’t great. I grew up with great people. I’m still friends with the people I made when I lived there. You know? But it’s was just, there obviously will be people who are going to be the bad apples.
Debbie: [00:15:53] Yeah. And I mean, I also, it’s, it’s kind of, you know, hard to compare because that was your childhood. And that could even be something that’s happening for children who are growing up in Canada.
Jade: [00:16:03] Oh, yeah.
Debbie: [00:16:04] You know, um, I tend to find though, and this could honestly just be, because we live in the kind of hippy west coast with a bit more of a relaxed um lifestyle, but I tend to find kids here are a lot kinder. And I don’t know if the school system here is different. I’m not entirely sure cause I don’t have kids going through. So I can’t really compare. And so I’m just curious for the day to come when I have children to see how the school system here differs than it does in the UK. I was also raised Catholic and so of course, even more boundaries and you know, guilt set upon you for things. Right. Yeah. So, so yeah, there’s some wonderful people there and it’s great, but I do tend to find, I think just as the generations have gone on over the there to be more open and to talk about your feelings is, yeah. Not something that’s done as much as it is here. Yeah. So I’m curious to know on that note, when you did, like how old were you when you moved to Canada and did you find, um, a difference, where people here, you know, less likely to pick on you or bully you or, did you experience the same kind of thing here?
Jade: [00:17:22] Um, I feel like when I moved to Saskatoon is where I moved to. Um, cause I feel like it’s important to clarify cause it’d be like Vancouver is so different from like Chilliwack, right? Like I had a friend who grew up in like Hope and she was like really badly bullied. And then I have friends who grew up in Vancouver and they were fine, or it’s just like a different type of bullying, you know?
So, um, but yeah, it was Saskatoon and I kind of feel like the tables kind of turned because I kind of like, I wasn’t really bullied anymore. Um. The only experience I had was people were like, Oh, well you’re in Canada now, so you should talk like us. Cause I would say like, I don’t know, butter. And they were like, it’s butter.
And I was like, whoa, okay. It was just very aggressive. So I was just kind of like, that was the only thing I kind of experienced was people being like kind of, they’re kinda like almost annoyed that I had an accent and I didn’t talk like they did. And they would constantly be like, “it’s this. It’s butter, not butter”. And like, I’m like, what the hell? But anyway, that’s not that bad. Cause I was like, whatever. I like my accent or I went through my whole thing with the accent thing. But for the most part, I liked my accent. But, um, a lot of people have Scottish heritage too, right? So I think because of that, people were like, “Oh, you’re Scottish. Like I’m Scottish”. Like, and then they were just wanting to hear, you like, you talk. So there’s like a mixture of things. But for the most part it was like, people were pretty nice to me, and they were like, “Oh, we’re expecting like a red head kind of trouble with like with a kilt”. And then I showed up and they were like, “Oh, you’re black? Okay”.
Debbie: [00:18:59] You know, it is, you know, it’s, it’s so funny you say that because when I first came here, I was on a working holiday visa and um I was working in Roots on Robson street, so we would get a lot of tourists as well. And then obviously a lot of Canadians too. And you would get the people who were like, “Yeah, I am Scottish too”. And they would chat to you and tell you what clan they were from. And it was really interesting because I grew up in a town that was very white, like I’m not even sure there was any people of colour that ever went to my school. I think there was someone who may have had Asian parents. I think that was the only one I remember.
So when I was here, I got so used to, you know, there being such a diverse population in Canada, so people from all different backgrounds, but speaking in a Canadian accent or speaking maybe like English as a second language.
Jade: [00:19:49] Right.
Debbie: [00:19:50] But this one day, this woman who’s, you know, background, family background, must’ve been Asian, but she’d lived in Scotland for years, came in with the full Scottish accent, and it was just quite funny to kind of be like, Oh, I didn’t expect that.
Jade: [00:20:06] Yeah, totally. Yeah. It’s so funny.
Debbie: [00:20:08] Yeah. So I can see why people think of people from Scotland they’re like incredibly, you know, like peely wally, as we would say, peely wally white. I don’t have the beautiful red hair, unfortunately, but many of them do. That’s so funny. So when you got here and you kind of went on your journey of self help books, were there any particular books or resources or videos that really spoke to you?
Jade: [00:20:38] Um, you know, I think it kinda started when I was in Scotland. Um, but I would watch, uh, That So Raven, the Disney show. Um, and just like Beyonce, being like, you know, a big artist, she still is. But back then, you know, she was a big artist. And then there’s also like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air would play on the TV there. And I just was thinking about it and I’m like, if I didn’t have those shows, like in the media, I think I would have turned out so different. Because it’s like you’re being told that the things that are different about you is like ugly, you know, by your classmates, which is like your entire world. And then like I would go home and like my mum would make comments about herself and be like, “Oh, like I’m not beautiful” and stuff like that. And it’s just, it’s kind of like, “Oh, does anyone think black people are like good looking at all or what?” And then, um, to watch TV and see like really strong, like women too, but like just characters in general and like people like your, you know, like actual singers and stuff. That meant so much to me. Like having a black girl in the Sugababes. Like I was like, “Oh my god”, like stuff like that. It was just like, nice to see that there are people out there who are like really talented, doing super well, um, are, you know, well liked and they’re so confident. Like it was just so nice to see that because it’s like, “Oh, like people out there must think they’re not worthless because they’re on TV” or like, “here I am watching them like live their best life”. Like that meant a lot to me. That’s why I think representation is really important.
Debbie: [00:22:12] That’s what I was going to say. It just shows you the importance. Like. You know, you watch a TV show, you don’t necessarily think it might have an impact on someone, but like little do you know, just having one character of colour or one character who is gay or one character who is, has a disability can really make a difference for the people who are living that in their lives and they don’t feel represented. Especially you were in a country that was, you know what? Probably 90 something percent white people. Very small population of immigrants. Totally. So, um, so that being said, like you are know and the kind of film and TV world yourself, which is awesome. So there’s going to be more representation.
Do you still feel like there could be more representation in the film industry? Like what would your kind of vision be if you know, what, what would you like to see?
Jade: [00:23:13] Um, I think I would really like to see other ethnicities be represented because, um, being black in Hollywood, you have a big advantage versus like other ethnicities. Um, so. They always want to make it look like America. There’s a high African American population in America, so like they constantly hire black people to fill up like the background or actors. But then for other ethnicities, like if you’re East Indian or Chinese or Korean or Fijian, like these random races like you’re not really seen as much. And I just like, I can’t imagine being like a young kid of like a really specific, unique race. And then not seeing myself on TV. Like that would just be like the weirdest thing to not see anyone. Right. I feel like that’s what needs to change. And I recently watched, um, Parasite, the Korean movie, and I was so into it and I was like, this is so refreshing because I don’t really see Korean’s on TV. They’re killing it. Like everything was so great. The cinematography, the acting like everything was so well done. And I was like, this is so refreshing. And I think this is what Hollywood needs.
Debbie: [00:24:24] And it was really awesome that they got the Oscar for that. I have to admit, I find the movie so bizarre, but like it was so bizarre it kept me hooked. And afterwards I was like. “I don’t really know how I feel about that”, but I absolutely loved, like the acting was fabulous. I mean, the storyline was just kind of, for me, bat shit crazy. But I think that’s what was the attraction. So to see them get the Oscar was, was awesome. And I think um, what I, I’d love to see is more indigenous actors for sure. And Hollywood, I think that’s something that you really need to work on. And yeah. Hopefully we start to see that change, like within the film industry, do you ever see, um, kind of any bullying going on in that world? Like what is that world like? Cause it’s something I don’t really know much about other than having a partner in that world, but I don’t live it. How is it?
Jade: [00:25:22] Um, I think bullying happens every day on film settings. Um, there’s definitely a hierarchy. And this happens in all jobs though, you know, like in offices, in retail, in film it, like everyone feels the need to exercise their power on everyone who’s below them in the food chain, right? And so bullying happens all the time. And it’s really frustrating. And I feel like some people, they don’t care at all. Like they’re just brush off and then others get really bothered by it. I think I kind of sit in the middle, um, cause it’s very draining like.
Debbie: [00:25:57] Yeah I bet. And it’s, it’s long, and not only like being bullied on top of being in an industry that has incredibly long hours is very demanding on, you know, they’re actors. That’s, you know, that in itself is enough and then people being bullied on top of that is just something that doesn’t need to happen. So you kind of say, you’re like in the middle, you, it doesn’t necessarily affect you too much. Like what kind of work have you done on yourself to get there?
Jade: [00:26:29] Um, I mean, I have my tattoo, which is a New Earth by a Eckhart Tolle. I’m always going on about it, but it just made such an impact in my life because, um, it’s about like egos and, um, again, it comes down to like, if you can understand why someone does something, it helps you react less like emotionally. Yeah. And so that after I read that, it really like switched things for me because I went to work and I was like, “Oh, I can see it. Like I can see why that assistant director is just being an asshole. It’s because like he’s unhappy and he’s feels like, you know, the one chance he gets to flex his power is at work. So he’s doing it. To us, and it’s not about us. It’s again about himself”. So it just kind of makes you be like, ugh.
Debbie: [00:27:16] And you also don’t know the pressure that he might be under.
Jade: [00:27:20] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:27:20] Right. Which is kind of also causing him to kind of, you know, lash out at people and yeah, stuff like that. So, yeah. It’s, I guess, trying to be empathetic perhaps.
Jade: [00:27:35] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I think if you don’t have empathy, like you’ll not be having a good time in life. Like that’s, I think that’s the problem with the world really, is, um, we don’t take the time to understand each other more on a human level. We just take the behavior and react to it and it just causes chaos, really. So I find the way that I deal with it is just kind of, um, I’ll say something, but I say it as calmly as possible. Um, and it gives nothing for them to kind of like bounce back and have it turned into this big argument of just like fire versus fire. It’s like you throw fire at me, I’m going to say something like, “Listen, I understand that you want me to do this. You don’t need to talk to me like that. I can get the job done without you speaking to me that way”.
Debbie: [00:28:21] What’s usually the reaction of the person?
Jade: [00:28:23] They normaly, I’ve never had someone come at me with like a fiery attitude because if you just remain cam, I can feel like I want to explode on the inside with anger on the outside I’m just kinda like, like so cam that they’re like, what? And it just, I think it throws people off and normally they just kind of were like, “okay”, because it’s like they’re thrown off, so they’re just kind of like, and you’re not, I’m not trying to attack them. I’m just saying like, you know, if you want me to do a cross past your camera, you don’t have to grab me and push me. You could just say “do a cross” or tap me on the shoulder, like it doesn’t have to be so aggressive. It’s like, where are you going to say back to that? “Like, no, actually I’d rather manhandle you and you know, go against all the bullying and harassment guidelines that they say every day on set”, which is very interesting because they literally have this bullying and harassment, like kind of textbook guideline and you’re signing off each time you work on a set saying like you will not do those things, and then you actually go on set and people are breaking so many of those rules. But I did notice that after the Me Too movement thing happened I do think that they sharpened up on, um, how they deal with, uh, like situations that happen on set, which is great.
Debbie: [00:29:42] It’s been a lot better since then?
Jade: [00:29:44] I think so, yeah. I just think it’s more like, now, that it’s public that things go on on film sets, “they’re like, Oh shit, like if we let this happen on our film set and it gets out, it will make us look bad”. So it’s, it’s fucked up, but it’s more like a branding thing. Like we don’t want to tarnish our brand.
Debbie: [00:30:02] This is not really the right reason to do it, but you know, it’s, it’s, at least it’s being done. Yeah.
Jade: [00:30:09] Cause it’s more like, you know, the world now knows. So it’s like we’re not putting up with the shit. It’s basically the mentality, now right? Like it’s like people aren’t putting up with that. The people who have spoken out there, like, “I’m not putting up with this anymore. We’ve put up with it for like, what, 50 years now I’m not putting up with it”. And then other people are on board. So you can’t really fight that as producers or whatever on sets, like you kind of have to go with it. So there’s like a change to make that not be the norm anymore. Like the treatment onset of harassing women and harassing men too. Don’t get me wrong, but you know what I mean? It’s like that’s becoming stigmatized and it’s not going to be normal.
Debbie: [00:30:49] Yeah, and it’s good because then, you know, people aren’t afraid to kind of go and make complaints or talk to, I guess their unions perhaps, or something that something went on and set right, making it easier for people to step forward which you know, thankfully, those movements have made a huge, huge difference.
What advice would you give to someone who, you know, feels like they’re being bullied, picked on, whether it’s at work or it’s a kid at school? You know, if someone had to come to you and say that this was happening to them, what would you tell them?
Jade: [00:31:25] Um, I think honestly, like, I think from a perspective of you don’t always have control over, like, you know, stopping the Bully. Um, I think the only thing you can change is how you react to it. Um, and I think for a kid who’s getting bullied and they feel like they can’t speak to someone, like how I dealt with it was I put my thoughts into like my hobbies. So I would read a lot of books and I would, I took up knitting, like my grandma taught me how to like, cook and knit and like do pottery and stuff. Random shit like that. Um, so that’s where I put like my mental power, instead of, if I didn’t have hobbies, I would have been like sitting there and you know, dwelling on the things that somebody had said in letting it snowball, like let my thoughts just snowball into like worse and worse thoughts. So I just kind of distracted myself. I don’t think that’s the healthiest option, but when you don’t have resources to kind of learn how to process things properly and you don’t grow up in that environment, I think it’s kind of a better choice. It’s because then you’re kind of working on yourself and you’re building up skills and you’re building up knowledge, and that’s something that you can use later on in life. And I think the biggest advice I would give to someone who’s younger is like, all the things that you’re picked on is things that make you different.
And the weirdest thing is when you become an adult and those become your best assets and like what people love about you. And that’s the beautiful transition of becoming an adult. I think.
Debbie: [00:32:56] Yeah, and I mean, a lot of the time when it comes to bullying, someone will bully someone it’s, there’s jealousy there. You know, it’s, it’s something that, that child, person, human, you know, adult, whoever, um, maybe wants in their life. And you know, can’t express that, or they’re just jealous because someone’s, you know, quote unquote “better looking” or has nicer hair or, you know, just whatever it is, they just pick on them because they want them to feel bad and feel down on themselves because that person feels that way themselves.
Jade: [00:33:32] Totally.
Debbie: [00:33:33] So it’s just, it’s a hard thing for a child to comprehend that and understand that. But it would be great if they, you know, kind of realize that, yeah, what makes them different is actually a beautiful, beautiful thing. And to embrace that as much as they can.
Jade: [00:33:52] Yeah, and it’s kind of like, it’s one of those things when you hear it, when you’re a kid, you’re like, “Oh, whatever, like that’s not true”, but it’s just like, I don’t know, have some faith in if someone’s telling you that, like, have some faith in that, um, that eventually it will turn into something that is seen as a positive. And, you know, like just if you know that you have good intentions and that you’re a good person, like that’s such a great thing. Hold onto that too. And yeah, just. I don’t know. Life gets easier when you,get older. Things are within your control. I think if you surround yourself with good friends who see the good qualities in you and can remind you of that, like that’s a great thing as well. Um, and yeah, again, it’s like there’s so much deeper meaning to like why things are happening.
Like it could be like if someone made fun of your shoes and they’re like, they’re not Nike’s. And it’s like, well, I don’t know. They might see you rocking your like non Nike shoes and you’re so confident until they say that comment and then you’re like, Oh, doubting yourself. But they might have been jealous of like, how you didn’t give a fuck about what your shoes looked like.
And they feel the need to like take you down a notch by making a nasty comment, or it could be like they see that you have a great relationship with your mum who drops you off at school every day and they don’t have that, so they’re just going to pick on anything that they can, but it’s just yeah, the mental games are wild, but you know, you don’t understand that when you’re a kid.
Debbie: [00:35:17] You really don’t. And I wonder, and I mean, I don’t have the answer to this, but like I just wonder what could be done at a younger age to make kids understand that whether it be an addition to like the school system.
Jade: [00:35:31] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:35:32] You know, like what would you, if you had to kind of go back in time, what would you want kind of the school to, to, or even like your parents to talk to you about, to make you kinda more understanding of why bullying happens and that it’s you know, not the end of the world, because back when you were a kid, it’s pretty much the end of the world and things like that happen.
Jade: [00:35:54] Yeah. I don’t know. I’ve been wondering this myself, but I think even just like, you know, like the whole concept of emotional intelligence, like maybe a class that just touches on that and just talks about like human emotions and what causes them and how to deal with them. Just having open conversations like, I don’t know, even if there was like a guidance counselor, you know, like you see that on like American TV where it’s like, go talk to the guidance counselor. It’s like if that was a requirement for every student and you had a slot of time where you just left your class, or like, I don’t know, it was maybe a half hour session at the end of the day, and they just went through the cycles of kids and had multiple counselors for, you know, that everyone got their turn like pretty frequently. Yeah. I think that would be incredible. I think that would change the game.
Debbie: [00:36:45] I know it’s like, you know, and kind of almost making some sort of therapy mandatory, which I don’t think would be a bad thing at all. Um, you know, I’ve talked openly in the past about going to therapy and that I really love it and I, it’s something I want to go back to. Um, but I just think it’s such an amazing tool to have someone who is a professional to kinda guide you through issues. Even some things when you don’t realize.
Jade: [00:37:12] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:37:12] How much something is having an impact on you. And often when they help you come to that realization, it helps you kind of open your world and and make changes or grow in a better way.
Jade: [00:37:25] Totally, yeah.
Debbie: [00:37:27] I think that would be a wonderful thing.
Jade: [00:37:30] I think so too.
Debbie: [00:37:31] We’ll see if that ever happens.
Jade: [00:37:32] Yeah. Well, just even like I was listening to your podcast and you were talking about therapy and then I started going like not long after, but it was just like, even just hearing you talk about it helped me be like, yeah, like it’s not a big deal to go, you know? It’s just like going to the gym, but you’re going to like a brain gym to work your brain out, you know, like, and to figure those things out because things, you like, I think you think you’re fine and then something will happen and it triggers that event where you were bullied when you were seven years old and all of a sudden you’re just like overwhelmed. And I don’t think it has to get to that point, but it’s because you haven’t really processed it properly.
And sometimes the only person who can help you as a professional who understands exactly how the brain works and I can’t express enough how hard have tried to understand myself and I’ve gotten to a pretty good place, but then I was like, I know that I can’t elevate this further unless I go to a professional.
Debbie: [00:38:31] Yeah.
Jade: [00:38:32] Because, yeah once I started going, she would say things about like just how basics of how the brain works or how the brain processes memories and stuff like that. And it like blows my mind and I’m like, “Oh my God. Like it all makes sense”.
Debbie: [00:38:47] Like it just to understand some of the patterns that you have, the things that you do, the way you cope with certain situations. Um, yeah. Like you say, it’s just having that professional kind of talk you through things, and especially when maybe you do something that you think is not quote – unquote “normal”, and that they will actually, you know, help you realize that, yeah, this is a common thing that happens to people. It’s not just you, you’re not alone.
Jade: [00:39:14] Yeah Totally.
Debbie: [00:39:15] Because in situations where you’re getting bullied and situations where you’re, you know, in a work place and not being treated fairly, you can often just feel completely isolated.
Jade: [00:39:25] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:39:26] And have no one to talk to, and even though you may have people to talk to, it can be hard to open up to people that you care about and that you love.
Jade: [00:39:35] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:39:36] Whereas opening up to someone who’s more of a professional and kind of can take a different perspective.
Jade: [00:39:42] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:39:43] Is really, helpful. Like, how did you find the process of kinda opening up to family and friends about your experience being bullied?
Jade: [00:39:54] Um, like, I think my family is, they’re really supportive, like and open, and you know, I always vent to them nowadays and they’re totally like supportive. And I know they would have been that way when I was younger, but it’s like we were all dealing with our own personal stuff, and I think you can feel that as a kid and it’s like you don’t want to add to the burden. Right. So yeah, it’s like even when things are pretty open, which a lot of people don’t have that, where the parents are really closed off to their feelings and whatnot.
So it’s like, even though I had that, I still couldn’t talk to them, which is what’s kind of scary too. And my friends were great and I still didn’t want to talk to them about it. So, but I actually was thinking about, um this program called like “Big sister, Little sister”, um, I think that’s the name of it. I could be getting that wrong, but, um, it’s a program here in Vancouver and basically it’s like you can sign up as like an adult to kind of mentor a younger girl.
Debbie: [00:40:55] Yeah, I think there’s “Big Sisters” and I think there might even be “Big Brothers” as well.
Jade: [00:40:59] I think there is, yeah. Which is good.
Debbie: [00:41:03] Yeah. I think I had a friend who actually signed up and had, you know, a little sister for a little while and them shared her experience of it being very rewarding, not easy.
Jade: [00:41:14] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:41:15] At all. Um, you know, you have to make sure you’re going in knowing that you’re going to be with a child who may have a lot of trauma or something going on in their life, and that’s difficult for them to express. But yeah, it’s great that programs like that exist.
Jade: [00:41:30] Yeah, totally. Just having someone who’s older, but not too much older maybe, it’s nice hearing their perspective too because we did have like a family friend who, um, she was like in high school when we were in primary school, um, in Scotland. And my sister actually the other day said like, she like saved me because there’s times where my sister was like almost physically bullied. Cause again, different experience for my siblings. But, um. She would say like, “Oh, I’m so and so’s cousin”, like weren’t blood related. But she’s like, “tell them you’re my cousin”. And then they’d be like, “Oh, you’re her cousin”. And they wouldn’t touch her. So it was just like having that older mentor to be like, no “if you tell them that you’re my cousin, they won’t touch you”. Like that kind of thing. Yeah. So it was like, Oh, that’s, that’s nice. And just being able to talk to her and stuff. And. Yeah.
Debbie: [00:42:21] Yeah. It is good to have someone that’s maybe not quite family, just like, yeah, another perspective. But definitely having the older kids who, you know,
Jade: [00:42:33] who’ve been through it a little bit
Debbie: [00:42:34] Exactly, can kind of help you out, is amazing. So what would you tell your younger self now?
Jade: [00:42:40] I think I would just, it’s like, I know I would if I said it to my younger self, like she wouldn’t take it and she’d be like, “Oh, whatever, what the hell do you know?” But it’s like, I just don’t take what other people say about you. So seriously. Like don’t put so much weight on it. Cause it’s like they don’t actually even know you and you don’t even know yourself yet. You’re still figuring it out. So you’re taking a judgment that someone’s making and like taking it as fact. You know? And it’s like, you might say that like, Honey Nut Cheerios are good, and then five other people might think they’re bad.
So it’s like “Oh what, I’m just going to take your opinion and roll with it?” like, no. So it’s just, yeah, it’s like, don’t put so much weight on a negative thing. Focus on the people who are telling you positive things.
Debbie: [00:43:25] Yeah.
Jade: [00:43:25] Um, and also I would say that like don’t judge your body and how you look so much because that really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, like the things that matter and carries through your whole life is your personality and your like your kindness and who you actually are as a person and like your looks will change and fluctuate. If you’re clinging on to that and you’re like, “Oh, like I’m skinny” and then you gain a bunch of weight, you’re going to be like distressed because you’re not you don’t have that thing that you put so much value in anymore. And that’s a natural part of life for our bodies to go through changes and our looks to go through changes.
You have like wacky haircuts and then you have a good hair cut, and then you might lose your hair. You know what I mean? Like those things are just, you can enjoy them, but it’s really not important in the scope of things, you know?
Debbie: [00:44:14] I love that. I love that. Yeah. I mean, our bodies change for sure. We’ll go gray, although I think gray hair is super sexy.
Jade: [00:44:21] I do too!
Debbie: [00:44:23] I’m so excited to get gray hair, but yeah, it’s, it’s so true. Like those things really don’t matter. It’s who you are at the end of the day, how you treat other people.
Jade: [00:44:32] Yeah.
Debbie: [00:44:32] Right. So yeah, I think that’s really beautiful. Well, Jade, this has been awesome. Thank you so much for your wise words and you’re an incredibly kind person. So I definitely recommend everyone check Jade’s podcast. Um, yeah. And uh, what’s your social media handles so they can find you there? It’s just my name. So Jade Pattenden, P.A.T.T.E.N.D.E.N
Perfect, yeah. So make sure to follow Jade and yeah, thank you so much for being here.
Jade: [00:45:00] Thank you for having me. You’re the best.
Debbie: [00:45:10] Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Uncomfortable. Now please make sure that you listen to Jade’s podcast “I’m an Adult, Now What”. It’s over on iTunes and your favorite podcast player. You can also find out more about Jade on her website, JadePattenden.com and that’s J.A.D.E.P.A.T.T.E.N.D.E.N.com and of course I’ll post those links in the show notes.
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