Anti-bullying week has just passed and the feeling is still in the air. Late at night I got this strange feeling to write about my story and my experience with bullying. I tried to sleep it off but I couldn’t, it was like I had to write it right then and there.
Which is why I’m sharing my bullying story right now with you.
When I was around nine I was bullied by a friend, she would hold me against my will with a hand over my nose and mouth, restricting my breathing. I would hide by teachers at recess so she couldn’t do this and I even learned a little bit of self defense. It ended up working in the end when I stopped giving her a reaction and eventually she grew out of the behavior.
Later when I was eleven, there was a boy who would call me names. My parents said he just liked me and wanted my attention so I assumed that was why so I stopped giving him a reaction hoping he’d stop.
He ended up taking my friends phone and messaging me terrible things such as ‘you’re worthless, ugly, waste of space, stupid, annoying’ and most constantly, ‘farting goat.’
I went to my sister and she told my parents, and they said if he said one more word like this to me that they would contact him parents. Thankfully he left and moved on from his bully days.
I won’t lie and say I didn’t hold a grudge, even to this day years later I still do when I think of these people.
The bullying I’ve experienced is minor compared to others. Some go home beaten and energy drained from all the things said or done to them. I was lucky that this all happened before the internet got super popular.
Since I know just a little bit of how it feels to be bullied I try to help. From trying to get my friends to stop and to not feeding the fire when gossiping. Though I won’t pretend that it’s not hard. Sometimes I slip up and my over judgemental and sarcastic mind escapes from its cage.
From peer pressure to being scared the bulliers will turn to you, anything can make it feel like you are being forced to play along. Sometimes you can get trapped in a loop, thinking that it is okay to do and say these things.
Proverbs 15:1 explains what to do in a bully situation: ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.’
If you are being bullied, don’t bully back, don’t give a strong reaction as that’s what bullies want. A reaction; attention. Instead be simple and tell them to please stop. If they don’t, tell someone.
Proverbs 31:8-9 says, ‘Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’
This is saying that you should stand up, use your voice. God gave everyone voices for a reason.
It may seem tough. The thought of turning against friends can be difficult and hard, but the outcome is amazing. Seeing someone smile or happy someone noticed their distress, makes the fear of being shunned go away. Online or real life, one comment helps. The effect is contagious, one person stands up, someone sees, another person stand up, and more and more and more. All it takes is one person to start a movement, like a raindrop hitting still waters.
I’m still working on standing up. If I can do it, I’m positive you can too.
One last thing, you’re amazing, unique and wanted, stay strong, you’re doing great.