This topic is often spoken about and people see this title and skip right over it because it’s such a common story but I think that stories like this, like mine, are not given enough time of day.
For a long time, I have been on the receiving end of a bully’s harsh words.
I have been consistently bullied from the third grade. It first started when a new girl came to my primary school and I was given the task to show her around, which entailed introducing her to friends and showing her where the bathroom was etc.
My friends and I had been in the same group since first grade and we were as close as nine-year-olds could be. A few of them weren’t very welcoming a first, not many children are, but this new girl took offense to that and saw me as the target and started saying really mean things about me. She came from a wealthier background whereas I came from one where my parents got divorced, my mom and brother and I moved around a lot and she worked two or three jobs to feed us, she even went to bed some nights without supper so that my brother and I could have eggs and fish-fingers for supper.
Her comments got even more rude when I got ill and was forced to quit all my sport until they knew what was wrong with me. The fact that I had to give up swimming and netball had such an emotional impact and what made it even worse, was the fact that I was on and off of strong medication which included Cortisone and that led to my weight gain.
She saw this as an opportunity to hit me where it hurt the most- my weight and my health.
I’m the type of person that bottles it up and let’s it go because all bullies want to do is hurt you and watch your reaction. At the time, I didn’t know this so I cried and cried and cried. The hurt I felt then is something that has stayed with me for a very long time and it most probably will stay with me.
Her nasty comments continued all the way through to my grade 11 year (2014). As we got older, her comments became more crude and vile. She targeted my mom, who also struggles with her health and gained weight, mostly due to the treatment for her Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome (APS) and Lupus.
I had to deal with bullies at school but I also had to deal with them at home. My father and I don’t have the greatest relationship, he says that my illnesses are all fiction and that they don’t exist. He also called me degrading names in a recent argument.
Being called these awful things has really had such a massive impact on the way I see myself now. I will always see myself as a “fatso” and I will always remember the words “You aren’t good enough.”
These things taught me how to stand up for myself and the people I care about. So regardless of how much insecurity, anger and sadness I have over the things that have been said about me, I will always have the strength and courage to stand up for myself and that is something I am so grateful for.
What makes you strong, is how you learn to not take those words to heart and smile like there isn’t something wrong, this I find difficult though. You are a beautiful person regardless of what people say about you.
Bullies just degrade you to feel better about themselves so whatever they target about you, just think to yourself that this is what they envy. You will always be a better person than they are because you don’t need to put someone down to feel good.
Next time that bully says something, however hurtful and rude it is, just smile and say, “Thank you.” because that will annoy them more than any response you could ever give.