I’m writing today about something that I am very passionate about and that has affected me personally, almost my whole life. Bullying. You see, I read an article written by a Mother who thinks that bullying is a normal thing for children to go through, that it helps you to learn how to pick yourself up and work through problems. She is under the impression that today’s youth are too pampered and unable to cope with the stresses of daily life, and apparently bullying will help them to toughen up and become functional members of society. I can see her point of view, and I completely disagree with it.
Let’s go back twenty years to 1994. I was 10 years old and had been in school for six years. I was bullied everyday, for those six years. Now think about yourself, what do you think it would do to you to have someone with you eight hours of the day challenging your self worth, telling you that you aren’t good enough, that you don’t have any value in this world. I imagine it would change you, that those people’s words would stay with you. That no matter how successful you become, or how much you change physically, there would always be that mean girl inside of you, telling you that you just aren’t good enough.
You may look at me today and think that I turned out ok, that it couldn’t have been that bad if I’m doing so well now. Let me assure you that I am far from ok. I’ve spent everyday since escaping school trying to pick up all the broken pieces that those bullies created. I’ve fought with myself constantly, trying to quiet those voices that tell me I’m not good enough and I don’t have value. I have fallen apart countless times and with the help of my family and friends slowly but surely I have become almost whole again.
I remember my Mom telling me that it will get better, that you won’t be bullied forever, that this will end. Well it does get better, and I don’t get bullied now but I can assure you, it doesn’t ever really end. I am still fighting through the damage from the abuse of my bullies, everyday it gets easier but it’s something that should never have to happen.
I always felt like something was fundamentally wrong with me, and that was the reason that I was singled out and bullied so brutally. I now know, that there is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ with me. I am exactly the way I am meant to be; but there are times I can’t help but think, would I be just a little braver, or stronger, or a little more trusting if those bullies never had a voice in my life?