As the title suggests, this is a message for those who have ever been bullied. It doesn’t matter if it was years ago, or recently.
When I was in high school (all those years ago), there was one girl who was a couple of years younger than me who was bullied constantly.
There was bullying in all year groups, obviously, but she had it particularly tough – as did a few others.
She wasn’t just bullied by everyone in her year, she was picked on by people in every year – even by students who were younger than her!
It seemed as though everyone knew her name. People (mostly boys, from what I can remember) would snigger at her as they passed her in the corridor or would throw things at her, or block her way. They always had something horrible to say to her. She was never left alone.
But she always seemed so cheerful and smiley, despite this. She’d even go out of her way to say hello to the teachers who passed her in the corridor.
To be honest, I always wondered how the hell she did it.
She had very few friends and half of the school bullied her. I have no idea how she even managed to get up in the morning.
I should have stood up for her. A lot of us should have when we saw what was happening, but we didn’t. In a way, we all let her down. It was shitty of us to all say nothing.
I have no idea if she really was as happy as she seemed, or if it was all just a front, but we all know how much bullying hurts.
So, for those who have ever been bullied…
Don’t let them define you
This one might be really difficult. Particularly if you have ever been bullied more than once, or if you’ve been bullied for a long time.
They bullied you because they were hurting and because they had their own issues. It wasn’t because you deserved it or because you were worth less than them.
You were never how they made you feel.
I’m sorry if no one has ever told you this before.
If it still hurts today, know that your pain is valid
People like to brush off bullying as something that you can easily get over with. This isn’t true. Bullying hurts. In some cases, bullying kills.
When I was younger, I was bullied more than once.
I was never an incredibly confident girl. When I was bullied, it took more confidence away from me and it chipped at my self-esteem. The people who did it made me feel as though I wasn’t worth the time like everyone else around me was. Like I wasn’t worth befriending.
If it still hurts, I want you to know that what you went through was crap. It’s ok to feel hurt by what happened – even if it was years ago.
Don’t see their successes as your failures
Occasionally, some of the people still come up on my timeline.
When they do, I sometimes look at what they’ve achieved; at all the friends they have and tell myself that I was bullied because I’m not successful like they were.
I compare myself to them. I can never see myself as being as good as them.
If you do this, don’t.
Their successes are not your failures.
Don’t be like them
If you’ve been on the receiving end, you know how it feels. Don’t become the bully, ever. Not in person or online; not for any reason.
Even if the person you’re talking to is an a-hole (I need to take note!).
That’s it, really.
For those of you who have ever been bullied, I really hope this helps in some way and I’m sorry it happened.
Let’s try to do better.