I think that it is time to get a little serious and a little more real. Honestly speaking this is a harder subject for me to write about than I had originally imagined. I am not even joking when I say that I have had my word document open and saved with this title since Friday afternoon trying to decide where I wanted this post to go and how I was going to get there.
Being bullied in no way, shape, or form is an enjoyable experience. I speak from the viewpoint of a victim in this area and am writing this now from the viewpoint of stronger and better person from going through it. I think this statement is a little hard to digest (or even for me to write). However, I know that I am who I am today because of the things that I went through.
Friday afternoon I had an old acquaintance bring up the topic of bulling to me. It was in this moment that I decided I needed to speak out and share some of the things that I went through. It is My Time to put a voice to this topic and it is definitely my duty as a mentor and leader to give a voice to the silent victims that go through the torment and harsh reality that is being bullied.
All through adolescence from the time that I can remember I have been the subject of harassment and teasing: at school, at dance rehearsals, on sports teams, on the playground, etc. Where ever I went I was followed by the abuse. I was the outcast. I was the fat kid. I was the loner. I was the one who didn’t deserve to stand up for myself or deserve the right to have others stand up for me. I would find myself drifting through social circles not letting people get close because I didn’t want to supply ammunition to those who could use it against me. I became a clone. Someone who said the right things, laughed at the right moments, and allowed myself to pretend that I enjoyed all aspects of living.
There were times in elementary that students on the playground physically bullied me on my way home from school. One particular occasion I was cornered by 5 of my peers who held me to a tree and beat me. They would take turns doing things to me (punching my stomach, pushing me to the ground, etc.). It was in this situation that I learned that there are other bullies than just our peers. When I approached the school regarding the situation I got into trouble and got handed a suspension because the 5 students who bullied me came with a different story than mine saying that I was the bully and they were protecting each other.
I couldn’t believe how ignorant and blind the people we are supposed to trust and take refuge in could be in situations such as this. It was because of this situation that I have decided to become a leader, a teacher, a mentor, a friend, and above all else a stronger individual.
I know that I could go on forever with story after story about the things that I have gone through and the effects that each situation has had on my life…however I think it would go unheard. Instead I would like to send out two messages;
1) To the bullies of the world;
Nothing in this world is more coward like, insignificant, or weak as picking on another individual. You may feel tough, powerful, proud, and in control, however I am here to tell you different. In the long run those who feed on the humiliation of others find themselves angry and alone in the long run because unlike you others grow up and find happiness in meaningful aspects of their lives.
2) To the victims of harassment, teasing, and bullying;
Hold your head high. As tough and unfortunate as it is to go through what you are enduring…when you emerge on the other side you will be a stronger, better, and smarter person than you ever imagined. You can not even dream of the difference that you will make in the lives of other people and how much you realize that once you move on and grow the things in our past seem less and less important. You will always remember what it felt like and what happened to you…but you will also laugh at how insignificant and silly it was to see one weak person in character poke fun at one so strong in mind and soul.
I appreciate all that took the time to read through this. I am not trying to glorify anything…I am trying to be real. If this post helps even one person than it was worth the uncomfortable feelings that it took for me to write.
In hindsight (as it is 20/20) I am no longer the outcast, the fat kid, the loner, or the one who doesn’t deserve anything. I am the mentor, the teacher, the adult, the listener, the speaker, the strong guy, the smart guy, and the happy guy that surpasses what I always dreamed I would be.