So here I am now. A nearly 26 year old, young female with my own unique personality. I am a sarcastic, slightly mouthy yet kind and respectful human being. I have grown past the awkward teenage years and find when I look in the mirror, I generally enjoy what it is that is looking back at me. I would consider myself pretty fortunate. I have a family who loves me, a healthy relationship of 3.5 years, few yet amazing friendships, a roof over my head, food in my stomach, clothes on my back and unconditional love from my lab puppy named Wesson.
Rewind x amount of years to when I wasn't always accepting of my life, who I was and what I looked like. If I told someone I know now that wasn't there growing up with me that I was bullied in school they probably wouldn't believe me. I was the girl that wore huge thick glasses and was overweight. Not your typical nerd with my head in the books but an easy target, absolutely.
Elementary School, great time for insecurities to start a-brewin. Why? Kids aren't usually at the age where they understand the impact their actions and what comes out of their mouths make. Kids are impressional and what they see at home, is usually going to present itself at school. Emotions can be high around these ages as well, as we aren't always understanding of them.
Middle School. Now we're talking. Best time and place to kick your insecurities into high gear as we are getting into puberty and hormones are raging. Perfect! As our bodies start changing, we develop acne, weirdly large feet that don't match out height (yet) and start noticing hair and weird smells emerge from unusual areas that weren't there before. Awesome.
Highschool. A time for trying to fit in with anyone that will have you. Everyone wants to just feel comfortable and accepted. But let's be honest. That's probably not going to happen what with all the stereotypical labels and cliques people ensue. I'm sure there is no need to list, but for shit's let's start with:
Popular crowd (of course this one is first, obviously), drama nerds, artsy folk, the jocks, the loners, the I-am-so-different-and-missunderstood group. The list goes on.
I will not go into detail about my bulling experiences as it actually doesn't really matter. What matters is most people who will read this will be able to relate to if not most, but all that I have described about school and what it is all about. Basically, anyone who feels the effects of the unkind type of people onto themselves should know that they are not the only ones. Fortunately I am a pretty analytic person and through years of growing up and deep thought this is what I have to say:
To the person who one would consider a "bully": This is not where I point the finger at you per say. But this is a pivotal moment in your life, though you are probably not aware of it. You probably have no idea as to why you feel good making someone feel awful pain and what prompts you to do so in the first place. That is okay- we aren't an all knowing creature. But what you do need to know is that you are insecure. Most people breathing on this planet are, we are only human. It is where you choose to place the insecurity that is important. Hurt is an interesting emotion and can come out of us in many forms, mainly in sadness or anger. Most people that bully are angry. They are angry because something has impacted them negatively in their life, that being mental, verbal or physical abuse stemmed from home life or peers. Perhaps they are bullied themselves. Perhaps they don't feel "good enough" and need to make another look lower than them to feel and look better in comparison. This moment in your life is pivotal because if you're a younger person, your actions now, can shape your adult life in a way that you do not need to see. It's pivotal because you do not want to feel grief when you grow a conscience as you grow older. And pivotal because we choose our own actions in life. You choose to bully. You choose to implement pain on others. But you can choose to be a happy and confident person. Your choice.
To the victim of bullying: Do not cower and do not anger! You are not the minority. People who are insecure about themselves, who they are and where they stand will always, always try to bring someone else down in life. It's not YOU. There will always be another you. It can be as simple as having frizzy hair, farting in class by accident (how embarrassing), your clothes (cause let's be honest, how can anyone possibly afford to shower themselves in the coolest clothes always, unless it's from the bank of mummy and daddy's credit card), the colour of your hair, you're too skinny, you're too fat, your race, your religion, your sexuality. One of the things that bullies don't like is being ignored. They want to be heard, they wan't to see their words and actions effect you. But don't let it! Best advise I have learned and most effective is to be confident. Most people aren't born with confidence, but you can fake it till you make it! Best way to get what you want, always. The more positivity you can exude, the more untouchable you are. And you can fake positivity as you become what you think. The worst thing you can do is give the bullies what they want. Everyone needs direction in life, especially those that bully. Just remember there is a reason they hurt and need the attention they desire. You are who you are, and you need to grow into yourself in the best way possible and embrace it!
I have learned there is psychologically a reason for everyone's behaviour in life and it is not always to be punished but nurtured in order for those to grow and learn. We all deserve a chance at a good life and to feel and be healthy and happy.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.