“Being bullied by a serial bully is equivalent to being stalked or being battered by a partner or being abused as a child.”
This weekend I came across a movie while I was catching up on twitter and preparing to hit the gym, about a boy that was bullied.
Watching, I couldn’t help but feel the hairs on my arms stand up and the flood of feelings come over me. Raw, my past wounds seemed fresh as the day they were inflicted. I wanted to hide, disappear from the world, tarnished with a scarlet letter for everyone to see. My suffering, my emotional wounds, my scars, like a badge of shame!
Sadness, shame, guilt, degraded, mortified – at that very moment, watching the movie, I felt like I had in high school. Fragile & broken, a shell of the vivacious girl I once was, crushed without hope, looking in the mirror everyday asking “Why me?”
I can’t tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep, how I prayed that I wouldn’t have to go to school the next day. I felt like a defect, flawed, an outsider, blemish on society!
I was betrayed by friends, stabbed in the back. I was bruised and battered with words that stabbed like a knife & like sheep they followed. Some did it because they feared if they didn’t, they would become a target, some did because in a nauseating way it filled a void for their own self hatred making themselves feel superior, some because belittling & pulling someone to pieces was amusing and some did it because they were just evil. Whatever their reasons , it destroyed me! My self-confidence, self-esteem, shattered. Graduation couldn’t come soon enough. I wanted to be far away from high school and forget any memory that it existed.
I believe that being bullied throughout school contributed to my anorexia, and in general played a giant role in my life.
I felt like a loser, a failure, ugly, fat, unwanted, I lost trust in people, I isolated myself in order to not get hurt, I lost the ability to love myself, I felt unworthy of love. Worst I lost FAITH in myself.
Anorexia became the best friend that would never betray, that would never leave. It filled a void! I isolated from people, my friends. My life was empty, filled with obsessive & compulsive routines surrounding food and exercise. To the outside anorexia helped me achieve this delusional idea of perfection. But what people don’t realize is that anorexia helped me cope, an excuse to isolate myself from the world – the world that hurt me. Like drugs or alcohol I used anorexia to numb my pain. I spent years trying to fulfill this illusion of perfection, but the reality is that I wasn’t really chasing perfection, I was trying to drown and suffocate my pain and degradation. Starving away my suffering, purging my feelings of shame, trying to stop reliving my disgrace and humiliation. I was trying to suffocate my heartache.
“God never gives you anything you can handle”
With every struggle in life there is a lesson to be learned, and this is no exception. Bullying taught me to never judge anyone based on appearance or word of mouth. You can miss out on meeting great, interesting, intelligent, beautiful people. I learned not to gossip about others, that words spoken behind closed doors about others is hurtful and harmful. I learned the meaning of “What you don’t see with your eyes don’t make up with your mouth”. I learned that the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt you” is false. I learned that I am stronger that I thought. I learned that at the time people in high school & high school in general seem to be your entire world, but once you graduate you realize they are a very small part of your life. I’ve learned that daily bullying is emotional abuse and causes permanent scars that can’t be seen by the naked eye. I’ve learned that something you do or say to another can affect their lives for a life time, so be cautious, caring and put thought into your actions and words. I’ve learned that evil can be taught to children. I’ve learned to let go of anger. I’ve learned to forgive the people that bullied and belittled me. I’ve learned that because of these life experiences I’ve become a better person, you can kick me down but eventually I WILL get back up and I will bigger, better and a stronger person for it.
Alia Volat Propriis