13.4.10

Bullying

As writers, we know that words are beautiful. They form sentences that can describe the color of the sky or a girl's first kiss. They can make someone smile or they can make someone harm themselves.

Words are powerful. Forget the saying "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me." No. Don't believe any of that. Words are like bullets, they make you bleed from the inside out.

Believe me, I know.

I wasn't popular in elementary school. I was the girl who hardly spoke, who let the other kids copy off of my paper, because I thought it would make them like me, but they never did like me. They would tease me for being smart, for being a geek, for not being like them.

As I got older, the people changed, but the words didn't.

I used to cry because people said things about me that I didn't like. They made me feel like I was worthless, and I used to ask myself "Why?"

Why do I get treated this way?

Is it because of the way I look or dress or act or feel. My friends would say that they were just jealous, and I knew that wasn't it, because who could ever be jealous of me?

I was never beat up or anything but verbal abuse is just as bad as physical. It hurts your mind, it makes you feel...I don't know how to explain it, but it just makes you feel like nothing.

Like I said, words are powerful, and you just need to be careful about how you use them, because you never know how it might affect that person.

Lucky for me, I had people who cared about me, and after I got done crying, my friends would make me feel better, but a lot of people don't have that. They walk around with a lot of pent up emotions that are let out in the wrong ways.

Some people bully other people. Some people steal or do drugs or commit suicide.

They commit suicide. A lot of people who are bullied take their lives, because they think they are not loved or liked. They think they aren't important. They feel like knives are being shoved into their chest, and they just want to curl up into ball and disappear forever. Of course they can never do that, so they look for help in the form of a gun or a knife or a noose.

Sometimes they harm the ones who are hurting them, but other times they harm themselves.

If you happen to read this post, I want you to do something for me.

Don't ignore it.

Take a stand for the ones who are afraid to.

8 comments:

  1. nice post. i was verbally bullied as a kid too, and i swear it's worse than taking a physical beating. and it's relentless. and it's made worse by the people who ignore it.

    so thanks for posting that, especially for any young blog readers you might have.

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  2. I was never seriously bullied, but there was just enough to make me feel like certain people were always judging me. It really haunted me through high school, and even into college (even though I had a huge group of friends, lol).

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  3. Ugh, I was a victim of bullying as a child too. And if I see it happen with my kids (in either direction) I will raise hell.
    Great post!

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  4. I did get bullied some in school, but it wasn't ever enough to make me want to commit suicide or anything. After a while, it takes a toll on you. Mentally and emotionally. But through it, I learned how to stand up for myself, and that if you let anyone run over you, they'll do it for the rest of your life.

    <3

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  5. I was bullied in grade 9. For the rest of that year and all of grade 10 I spent every lunch hour sneaking food into the library.

    Though the bullying was never violent I was threatened violence. The girl who started the bullying had some friends take me out of class to threaten me. I wonder if the teacher was ever aware of what was happening right under his nose.

    After grade 10, I had enough. I actually moved to my aunt's house so I could go to high school with my cousin and start fresh. I had a more normal high school experience after that...

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  6. Thanks for your perspective. I think too often we assume kids are tough and can just take the constant bullying or that they'll grow out of it but it has long term damage.

    As a parent I can hope that giving my kids a healthy self esteem and happy home life will balance all the tough stuff they go through in school, but when they leave our door they are often subjected to things that would make a mother wolf attack. The fine line between letting them stand up for themselves and intervening to protect is so complicated.

    My son was bullied and beaten by a group of boys that disliked him because he was "Smart". He came to hate school and withdrew from academic achievement to avoid the brutality imposed on him.

    Kids were being cruel to each other when I was a child, and I suspect some aspect of it is human nature. Learning to survive and thrive is something that takes great courage and foresight.

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  7. I've never been bullied in high school, really. Or at least not to a great extent (I think everyone gets bullied on some level). But I moved from South Africa to Australia when I was seven, and somehow I went from being Miss Popular to being the most hated kid ever at my new school.

    It was a bit of a shock for me, but looking back I can understand that I was an easy target. The move made me vulnerable and I wasn't my usual outgoing self. It was a pretty horrible experience -- I gained weight, felt depressed etc all as a child.

    The bullying was mostly verbal, and yeah, it was shit. I think the concept that words mean nothing is stupid. People need to consider the fact that language, words, are the only thing we have to define meaning and ourselves. They can have a HUGE impact on people.

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