Everyone encounters someone who tries to beat them down. It is something that nobody should ever have to experience. That feeling that you are not worthy of any kind of affection because you have no self-confidence left. The feeling when you don’t want to go to work, school or even home, because you are so scared of what could happen. The worst part is, that most people that you speak to, have had a problem with a bully at some point.
I had some issues when I was at school. Petty name calling and being made fun of. Being short and on the tubby side, I was an easy target. Most of the people who tried to pick on me weren’t people I wanted to be friends with, so I just ignored them. It seemed so much easier to do back when I was younger. As I became a teenager in High School, the words became more hurtful. I never figured out if it was really the words that changed, or just that they were chipping away at me, without me really knowing.
Many stories you hear of bullying, give you the impresson that things get better once you leave school. It didn’t for me. By the end of High School I had lost a lot of my self-confidence and I became a lot quieter. I started hating myself because I was fat and couldn’t seem to do anything to lose it. Not that I had the energy to try. Besides, when people saw me out running or walking, some would shout names. Names that hurt me. Names that made me want to sit at home and gorge on food. And it made me hate myself more.
I wish that I could say that a lot has changed over the years. Most of the people that made me hate myself have been cut out of my life now. I say most because some people I can’t cut out. Some people are a part of my life, whether I want them to be or not. Where I get demeaned for the smallest thing, but am still expected to act as if I owe them something. And that is hard. How can you move past something when you don’t get the time and distance to heal? So I continue to suck it up. Unable to move past the belief that I have recovered all this abuse because I am a bad person.
And that’s what bullying does. It skews everything that you thought you knew. And despite never doing anything wrong, you blame yourself because of the actions of others. And the funniest thing is that the bullies never see the damage they cause. They will never see the self-hatred that was started by their ‘petty taunts’. But that’s why those of us that have been bullied need to speak up. People need to support one another.