Hey all, this is my story, a story of pain and hope. But most of all, it's my life story of how i survived bullying. I hope it serves as an inspiration or motivation to all out there who's going through a rough patch and wondering, "why me?"
When i was 17 years old, i was attending junior college (based on the education system in my country), and everything seems great. Graduating from secondary school, it's like an entire new page of my life which i thought it will be awesome and "normal". But little did i expect, within months, i became victim to cyber bullying... by someone whom i helped. What an irony.
I don't wish to name him, but just gonna call him 'E'. In the first few months of school, E was very left out and ostracized by my class and he was in fact cyber-bullied, with people posting nasty post to his blog. He told me, and i stood up for him on his blog and also slowly helped him bond back to the class. After a twist of events, he became the bully, and i became his victim. He began spreading nasty words about me and wrote very ugly posts about me on his blog, using vulgarities such as "f**k", and slandering me with accusations of me dating my lecturers. The thing got so big that many students within the school knew and began giving me looks. Even friends in other institutions managed to get wind of the accusations he was spreading (which till today, i have no clue how it got so far), and began asking me if what was written, were true.
Suddenly, it just felt like it was me against the 'world'. I tried to seek help from trusted teachers, but none of them took it seriously. The best i got from a teacher (whom i am very thankful for), is his reminder to me of why am i in junior college - to graduate and move on to university. He wanted me to stay focus on my studies and ignore all the bullying acts. He offered me kind words, and to me then, it was already godsend.
However, it wasn't easy, as things didn't rest. E began to "issue physical attack hints" on his blog. It was scary to just think about going to school and wonder whether will he make good his words. Especially when am a puny girl, and him a guy and much taller than i am. Not forgetting his little gang of followers. I became very cautious in school and always steering clear of "quiet lanes" and away from them. Whenever possible, i will leave school compound as soon as possible.
Coupled with other issues, i was often skipping school - initially it was as bad as missing school approximately once per week. But skipping school or classes weren't the worst. I became suicidal - i was cutting my arms, legs and i wrote suicidal notes. I even planned out how i would die. It was dark times then. I cried almost every night, to sleep. There was no one i could trust and speak to, whom would believe me and help me. It was like in a black hole where even your shadow seems to have abandoned you. It was hell.
The entire fiasco didn't end for more than a year. But it's already over. Junior college life is 2 years, and i probably spent a good 90% of it "in hell".
How did I survive?
Sometimes even i ask myself this question - how did i survive those 2 years? For me, it's mental resilience. I know it's easy for me to say, but it's about telling yourself that you are MUCH MORE and not letting yourself succumb. I can't even remember the countless nights i spent crying, cutting myself and all. I strongly advocate AGAINST self harm - i know many victims of bully find self-harm a release of pain and emotions. But it's truly not worth it. I still have a scar on my arm, 5 years on. Not worth it. Truly. Find distractions in positive ways - find a sport, find a hobby, turn to external professional help sources (if you can't find anyone like i did), pick up a musical instrument, etc. Let your life be wider - go out and meet new friends. Self-talk is VERY IMPORTANT - What you feed your brain, will determine your mental strength. After the initial dejection and all, i kept telling myself: "Be strong and not let those idiots affect you!!" "Study hard and let your results prove who's better!!" "As long as your conscience is clear, stand tall with pride!!" ETC.
I REFUSED TO BE BROKEN DOWN! That was the spirit i had. I persevered through the days - i reduced my frequency of school skipping, put more effort into my studies, focused my mind on what i had to do, ignored (to my best) what was going around.
I am now in a local University, senior year (graduating in a year's time), studying Business Management. A dragonboat paddler, a United Nations volunteer and aspiring to become an advocate and entrepreneur soon. Though not a top scholar, but my results are above average. I have found lots more friends, and especially my team of paddlers. Being a volunteer with UN has also expanded my world view.
Looking back at those 2 years... yes, it was tough. BUT, i have emerged through those bad experience with greater strength and resilience. There's a quote i read somewhere that bad experiences are like sandpaper... it's painful friction, but you emerge shinier!
Without any professional help, or even any long-term assistance from an adult or counselor or teacher, i survived bullying and emerged stronger!! So, i hope that for anyone who's going through a tough time because of bullying, just remember that you're not alone and you're beautiful! Never let anyone make you feel less than what you're worth!
To all who are/have been bullied: Stay Strong! It does get better and life is much more than what you're going through now! Walk out, seek help and never suffer in silence! :)
To bullies: Stop. No one deserves to be bullied... and no one has the right to inflict pain upon another. You may not like a person because of his/her looks, grades, wealth, sexual orientation, or simply you 2 don't clique - but nothing gives you the right to bully.
To all others: If you witness a bullying incident: always stand up against it!! Because by just standing up, you're making a stand against bullying, which means a lot!
Peace. Love. No Bullying!
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.