Hey. Look I wanted to talk to you to tell you that I have been through what you have been through. Maybe not in the same way, because in my time it was easier in the sense that I could go home and the bullying would supposedly stop… but today you can’t really escape it with phones and facebook and gadgets.
First off, I wanted to tell you something. I am glad I was bullied. It made me a better person. A stronger person…and oddly it taught me the capacity for forgiveness and love. But I can’t lie and say it didn’t leave any scars because it did. I am also going to tell you that first off nothing lasts forever and secondly, most people won’t even remember how much they hurt you so you can have a choice not to let it get to you or to hold unto it forever.
I knew on some level that I was different… in a good way . I wasn’t always stuck on appearances and good looks and boyfriends. I cared about the world, I wrote poetry and cared deeply. But sometimes people fear difference. You aren’t what everyone else wants you to be and that’s hard , and it comes with a certain level of pain.
Don’t let people take that away from you. You are amazing, because you are a creature of God and you have a capacity to love others. Don’t concentrate on what other people think because you will NEVER live up to their expectations.
First, I am going to tell you I was bullied roughly from the age of five up to around 15 years old. I never fit in anywhere and it took me a long time to feel at ease anywhere. I was a nomad, I lived in El Salvador but I was Scottish and American and had another religion and did not really fit into the mould of rich kid in a private school.
Before I came to the El Salvador at the age of five my friends threw mud at me , pushed me off a wall and basically made fun of me. I let them, because I didn’t want to hurt them. By third grade a boy had punched me in the stomache, by fifth grade boys would be disgusted by being around me. At age 12, when I grew boobs I had boys follow me home. Girls would stop talking to me ashamed that they were my friend. I got pushed into the pool every single year. My sports stuff would get stolen. When I was 10, I tried going into gymnastics and I was so excited that I got a friend who finally didn’t tease me but then someone told her about me I guess so they made fun of me. I tried everything to fit in and my 14 when i changed schools I tried a new persona the Valley Girl and tried to fit in that way. It was a small school and everyone ignored me . I got spit sandwiches. It was miserable most of the time.
But I was lucky. I had a couple of friends who stood by me and was always there for me. And I began to rely on God and serve others and I realized that while I suffered so did a lot of people and I could change things for the better.
It made me feel less alone, it got me through my parent’s divorce and my dad’s drug addiction . I began to accept that I would never be the person people wanted me to be
I won’t say it gets better because I still have a problem with bullies. But the important thing is I chose for it not to consume my life. I chose to love those who did me harm, and to forgive because ultimately they don’t even remember the harm they did me. They probably don’t remember my name in a few years. What matters to me is to help reach out to youth today and give them the opportunity to love others, to stand tall. There are literally thousands , millions of kids who are being bullied everyday. It isn’t their fault either and in fact if I am going to blame anyone I am going to say it isn’t just the bully. It’s the school system which fosters competition and insane standards of perfection that no one can live up to. It’s our mental health system which does not link up to what is going on with education and thus ignores signs and refuses to take action. It’s the movies we watch which cater to a theme of popularity and our culture of consumption… in other words, the world needs to change and unfortunately the cracks in the system can be seen with this instance of bullying.
So if you are being bullied, don’t think it’s your fault. At times the daisy gets drowned in the sidewalk, the sunflower can shy away from the sun and sometimes people lash out over things that have nothing to do with you.
Serving others is what saved me. Knowing that if the system sucks, I am not going to be bitter about it. Stand tall, hopefully you will get some justice with teachers and headmasters but either way live your life on your terms.
Ask yourself : What am I good at? What are the qualities that I want to foster in myself? What do I want to do when I grow up? Who do I want to surround myself by which will be positive and encouraging influence? How can I help others?
I am not going to lie, you are always going to have some trust issues, but I am proud of those scars. And you know what? Ten years from now, when you are out in the real world those people who were so important , the people who you thought their opinion could mean life or death just don’t matter anymore. You see that they are human and flawed.
It takes courage to get up everyday and know that whatever people throw at you, it won’t deter you from finding the great specialness of who you are. Stand tall, and discover who you are and you will see, someday you might have an answer to that question.