Being bullied in the 5th grade changed the rest of my life forever.
I was a talkative, energetic child who loved life, up until the 5th grade when those whom I'd called friends began being "mean" to me and singling me out. Ah, the innocence of a child's mind, when you don't know what "being sensitive" or "having self-respect" mean, but you can certainly feel its full force and are extremely confused. One can be totally unaware that sometimes people can be very hurtful to you and it's not your fault. For me, I internalized it and was convinced it was my fault, that there was something wrong with me. I developed an insecurity complex that I carried all throughout my adolescence and teen years. I spent an entire decade convinced that I was irreversibly flawed.
I can't pinpoint exactly how things began to turn around, but a lot of it was having faith that this could one day be reversed. I read a LOT about self-help and self-improvement. I experimented with drugs that widened my perspectives on life. I continued to learn and expand, despite my depression. I stayed committed to trying to enjoy life despite whatever my shortcomings were. Sometimes people helped change me, friends that cared for me would support me and give me their two cents.
There are two most important things that I can confidently say have been the biggest pillars in my change; self-acceptance and blind faith. Faith is inherently blind; it's what's left when all the "facts" tell you all is hopeless and you probably should kill yourself, but you have some inexplicable faith in yourself that things will get better because they just have to.
Self-acceptance -- I cannot stress the importance of that. That was all I needed to hear from an adult in the 5th grade: The only thing that matters is you liking yourself. If someone doesn't like you, it's their problem, not yours. Loving yourself is the most important thing a human being should do.
Acceptance meant realizing that maybe this all can't be reversed but, and here's the magical part, that's freakin okay. I don't have to be perfect. But I am perfectly fine because I am me. The inherent value that all human beings have. It's like the beginning of a branch that leads to other branches of rewiring myself to that emotional growth that was stunted -- I am beginning to find my inner child again.
To anyone who is currently bullied -- I cannot offer specific advice. You can fight back, you can embrace your weirdness and create some strange field of being so weird that you don't care about being bullied anymore (which I think is the best solution). Just believe that you are valuable and appropriate to life. There's no amount of logic that can prove that you don't deserve to be here. You don't have to belong to any specific group, or behave in a specific way. ENJOY how different you are.
The more scars you have, the more you grow.
You have no idea how cool that'll make you later on.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.