I was an Air Force brat growing up. I was the youngest of four kids, me being the youngest and the only girl. We moved quite a bit for the first ten years of my life, so as you can imagine, I had to make new friends over and over again. I was a gangly little bucktooth, blonde hair girl, so my appearance with my teeth made me a target. I got my made fun of and was called a lot of names. It really hurt my self asteem. I never had a best friend. I felt like a loner. I would play with other kids but I think I most enjoyed playing alone or with my dog, of course, you know animals don't care what you look like or what you have, and they are very good listeners! Two things came out of this, i think. The good.. I love animals and have raised a lot of them, and it made me appreciate nature. The bad..being called those names and made fun of and put down has had a lasting negative effect on my life. I still struggle to this day trying to convince myself that I am worthy of anything. I second guess myself when it comes to motherhood, marriage (which I am now divorced), having friends and just basically feeling good in my own skin. I wish things would have turned out different. I wish I had stood up for myself more. And I wish I had asked for help and known that there were people who loved me enough to stand behind me. So I am letting you know that you are not alone in this. You don't have to take being bullied. You have the right to be happy. Because I don't want something like this to have a lasting effect on you. Thank you...
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Rosemary Pritzker commented 2013-04-01 14:07:19 -0400Amy, thank you so much for sharing your story and your thoughts. Those of us who work at The BULLY Project have our own histories with bullying, which is what motivates us to work here. I myself can very much relate to your story and how it all affected you. It definitely does have a lasting effect, but I’m happy to see that you understand that the effects aren’t all bad. In my own personal experience, I know it’s made me far more strong, wise, resilient and loving than I ever would have been had I not been bullied. It forced me to dig deep, to really work on myself, to think long and hard about my values and how I want to be with people, and gave me an overall level of depth that can’t be taught, it has to come through experience. I’m guessing you can relate. One book that’s really helped me immensely, that I’ve read over and over again, is Finding Your Own North Star, by Martha Beck. I would suggest you check it out! The other thing I’ve found most helpful in overcoming some of the long-term negative effects is doing something to help others on a regular basis. I can’t tell you how powerful and healing this is. It sounds like that’s what you’ve done with animals! That’s great! I wonder if you might also want to consider organizing/hosting a screening of BULLY, either in your own home, in your community somewhere, or at a local school? We’re working toward causing a tipping point that ends bullying in America, and we’re getting close, but we need the help of people like you who can step up and take action by bringing this to their communities. Click here to host your own screening: http://www.thebullyproject.com/calendar and let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks so much!
The BULLY Project