It's time to buckle down and to finally talk about it. The B word, the REAL B word, Bullying. Now most of you who know me personally know my struggle with bullying, if not, let me enlighten you.
Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being a "Rockstar" and being on stage, as most little girls did, but as those little girls grew up, they also grew out of that "unrealistic" dream, but I never did. All throughout my life I was outgoing, and never struggled making friends, and then high school happened.
I was ridiculed, called names, had posters of me on the lockers, and even had social media accounts that would make me cry my self to sleep every night. Through out all of the struggles and the name calling I continuously asked myself "why me?" "what did I possibly do to deserve this?" and whenever it would all become to much, I would turn to music and writing. Finding an outlet for emotions is so important and can become therapeutic. Whether you go to the gym, paint a picture, or simply take a walk, there is always a way to distract yourself and free your mind.
What a lot of people misunderstand when they talk about bullying is that it doesn't have to be by people your own age, through out this little journey of mine I have already been dragged through the mud by some of the people that I thought were there for me the most. Which I think brings out an important lesson, if someone has to constantly remind you of everything they've done for you, everything they have worked for and they use it against you to convince you to do things that you're not comfortable with, or that you disagree with, YOU CAN SAY NO. Granite, you should be thankful, and appreciative and always stay humble, but you should also be in control of YOUR life and YOUR future. No matter how scary or unfamiliar it may seem, you always have a way out, and you ALWAYS have me to talk to. I truly mean that, there is a reason I put myself out there. I know what it's like to want to reach out, but being afraid, I know how that feels, so please, let me help you. No matter what, know that you are loved, you are cared about, and you are wanted, FOR YOU.
There is a couple of different ways to handle and deal with bullying, you could either turn the other cheek, or you can defend yourself. Let me go into detail of what I feel both of those mean....
Turning the other cheek. A lot of people mistake this for being the "cowardly" thing to do, but that is not entirely true. When I was bullied this was always my first attempt to handle it. You truly never know what is going on in someone else's life, and that does not make them bullying okay, but sometime's from my personal experience I have seen that the people making the most fun of someone, are the people with the most insecurities. My version of turning the other cheek would be, if someone picks on you, instead of crying, or simply walking away, look at them and smile and say "I really hope your day gets better". Or ask them if everything is okay. Granite, this might not work, sometimes people don't respond to kindness, but that is not YOUR problem, you were the bigger person in that situation and you can walk away with your head held high knowing that you tried.
Defending yourself. I always try the passive defense first, but in a case like mine, it was an everyday reoccurrence. After a while turning the cheek and ignoring doesn't even become an option anymore. When I say defend yourself, I don't mean punch someone or harm anyone physically, I mean it is absolutely okay to stand up for yourself. If someone comes up to you for the 30th day in a row and says something to you, I think you can say to them "What is wrong with you?" or "Why do you think it's okay to treat me like this?". Questioning the offender always makes them freeze, because they don't have an answer, because NOTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU, the problem lies within them. If they answer with something hurtful an example of what to say would be, "You picking on me isn't going to make yourself feel any better, isn't gonna make you any stronger, isn't going to make you any cooler, but in fact it is just showing to the world the kind of person you actually are, which is a bully."
Lastly, if neither of these approaches work, or the abuse starts to become physical REACH OUT, whether it be a teacher, a parent, or even a therapist, you are never alone, or out of options.
Bullying is terrible, it is scary and it happens. I think the first step to defeating bullying, is pretty simple... don't do it. Go out of your way to compliment somebody, or go sit with someone who looks lonely, and of course if you see somebody who is getting bullied, don't be afraid to speak up. Because after all... how would you feel?
Let's end it.
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