Bullying: Four Inspirational Stories and Solutions to End It
March 13, 2014
Call me ugly?
Everyone’s beautiful in there own way.
Call me fat?
I’m not. If I was, I’d have to be on a diet on doctors orders.
Call me a wh*re?
I don’t sleep around. Never have I been pregnant. I don’t see how I’m a wh*re.
Call me a b*tch?
You’re calling me an Alaskan Husky, quite a beautiful dog indeed.
I’m sick & tired of bullying. It’s stupid. Trying to bring someone else down, to make yourself rise up? Pathetic. I understand that you may have once been bullied. But for real. Everyone is beautiful in there own way. Just because someone where’s shorts, doesn’t make them a sl-t. Just because a girl has alot of guy friends, doesn’t make her a wh-re. Guys can be alot less drama. So seriously. Don’t bully. It won’t make anything better. It can cause someone to become suicidal. And if they kill there self, it’s kind of your fault. You brought them to that point. I’ve been suicidal & depressed before. It’s not fun. Not in the least bit. All you think about is ways to die. Ways to harm yourself. But now I realize that I’m not any of the hurtful things people would call me. I’m much more than that. Whether everyone agrees with me or not. I now think I am beautiful, smart, funny, sweet, and much more. So don’t even try to bring me down. It won’t work anymore.
April 14, 2014
To all of you that are bullied-
You are not worthless, ugly, fat, stupid, hideous, loser, b-tch, sl-t, wh-re, freak, or anything in that zone. You’re beautiful. Smart. Definitely worth something. I promise you that. Do you know how much you mean to your family & friends? If you committed suicide or cut.. They’d be devastated. Maybe some of you don’t know your real family.. Your friends still care about you. My friends mean the world to me. I would cry my heart out for weeks, months.. years even. I’ve been bullied to the point where I cut, and contemplated suicide.. I thought nothing would ever get better.. But it did. I found true friends. Things do get better.. It may take weeks, months, even several years.. But it will get better. You are worth so much.. The people who bully you, are just jealous. Took me awhile to figure out that that’s true cx But. You’re “imperfections” are what make you, you. Just keep swimming heh.
But yeah… In time things get better. I promise you that. Don’t ever forget it. If you need someone to talk to, I’m right here. I always will be.
Middle School.. 6th to 8th grade. 3 Years of a nightmare.
7th grade is when the bullying started. There was this group of kids called “the popular kids”. They all wore similar clothing, shoes, had the same hairstyles and treated anyone they didn’t like badly. It was a time where I felt like nobody got me or understood, and I was trapped in a world where everyone hated me. Everyday was a nightmare. They found any reason they could to tease me. It was either the clothes I wore, the music I liked anything at all. Back in 7th and 8th grade I was a bit of a tomboy (still am) and wore baggy clothes a lot to school cause it’s what I liked. I was also very into the band Hanson and copied a lot of the youngest members style. Now whenever I went home things were better. But there stinging remarks were still there; my refuge in this time was music, Backstreet Boys music to be exact. They made me feel like everything was going to be ok, that I mattered. Because when I was at school I felt like I didn’t matter. Not everyday was the same, some worse than others. But again everyday they would find something wrong with me and make a comment about it. I even started to believe that there really was something wrong with me because they would single me out all the time and almost everyday. Even horrible thoughts of ending my life came into my mind, not for very long and I NEVER EVER attempted to do anything to harm myself in any way because when those awful thoughts came I would tell myself that my family, friends and God ALL love me and support me. They would be so persistent to make sure I heard what they were saying. But if I ever came to school wearing what they deemed “acceptable” there would be no teasing for that day. They would wait till the next one. I would come to school everyday, scared and afraid of what was going to happen, I came expecting it from them because it became so normal for me. It’s been many years since then, 16 to be exact. Yes I have healed some from that but I still find myself dealing with bullying, even today as an adult. I attend a college In AZ called Glendale Community College, and I’m an audio production major. This field is a pretty male dominated field and so the majority of my classmates are guys. They too find any reasoning they can to tease me about it. They make it a point to say I’m the only girl in the room and laugh about it. They even have said, “what is a girl even doing here”? I know and this is college. These comments sting and are hurtful and bring all that pain from the past back to me.
If it wasn’t for the support of some very cool teachers both in middle school and college who made and make a point everyday to make me smile and laugh, my family, friends, and my music I’m not sure how things would have turned out. So I’m very thankful that those people and music made and make my days just that much better.
So My opinion on Bullying is this, one when I went through it we didn’t have Facebook, twitter, and cyber bullying in chat rooms didn’t exist. We didn’t even have texting just yet. All the bullying I experienced was in person and was comments or remarks made toward me. Now that we have all this technology I can’t even imagine going home to a place that was for me a safe heaven from all of that and to still have the pain and torment going on online. I really can’t stand bullying and I wish it would just stop. People need to realize that there comments are hurtful. Maybe they think they’re just being funny and may not actually mean any harm, but the person there targeting could be thinking that there is something very wrong with them and may even think about ending their life. If anyone is being bullied and it’s gotten to a point where the person doesn’t even want to leave the house and go to school, help should be sought immediately, from someone they can trust. Also school officials need to start taking these things much more serious, and stop treating as “oh its kids being kids” cause it’s not “kids being kids” not all cases are that simple. I feel so many lives would be saved if we just paid more attention and listened to our child and gave them the help and support they need. If I hadn’t had that when I was going through it idk what would have happened or where I’d be today.
April 22, 2014
Story From Another Friend Who Was Bullied Growing Up & Sometimes Still is Today
Bullying: Something I’m too familiar with. Whether it’s online, or in life. I’ve dealt with it. Real life from Kindergarten throughout 11th grade. Online is a different story as to knowing how long I’ve been a victim. It doesn’t happen on a daily basis, but every once in a while.
I’m not one to give into people who make me feel victimized. I was bullied by people who didn’t like who I was friends with, or who I dated, or what band I like or so. I’ve had numerous occasions where either I was told that I didn’t deserve one person as a friend since I knew them the longest. When I was in kindergarten, a kid pushed me down onto the gym floor causing me to bleed from my mouth. In elementary school, one kid a boy, none the less, picked me up and dropped me and I hit a desk from my chin causing me to bleed. I had my locker vandalized, had restraining orders on school property from these people trying to bring me down, and not to mention I was called a vulgar racist comment in the 7th grade. That didn’t last long because they ended up finding out the truth and accepting it for what it is.
Online bullying seems to be repetitive for me. I’ve had guys call me all sorts of names in the book, based on looks only. I’ve had people get upset about who I was friends with just because they didn’t get along with the person I was friends with. They tried to sabotage my friendships with people, or tell me that I had to prioritize my friendships with people too. I was also bullied online by an ex-boyfriend’s wife who was his girlfriend at the time; she stalked me on campus when I was at college going to classes, because she was insecure about who I was, and what I looked like. She felt threatened that I was out to get her by going after him, when he had kept half of my belongings after the break up and never gave them back.
Doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you’re friends with, what you do, etc. There’s no an if, ands, or buts about bullying altogether. I believe that it is out of numerous reasons whether it’s jealousy, self esteem issues, etc, there’s NO excuse for it. I believe that with me, it was purely insecurity as to why I was bullied. Giving up seems like a great idea, but it’s not. There’s a song by Natasha Bedingfield called “Strip Me” with the lyrics of “Take what you want, steal my pride, build me up or cut me down to size, I’m only one voice in a million, but you ain’t taking that from me.” Basically stating you can do what you want to me, but you’re not taking my voice of standing up for myself from me. You can knock me down, and I’ll get back up. Also, I was never one to give up or into people who bully me. I always had a way to deal with all that differently. Taking a walk, going to a play ground with monkey bars, climbing on top of the monkey bars and sitting there pondering about what life can be, and my faith in God first & foremost. I also used to escape by listening to music for hours in a day. That was my escape. Whether it was Backstreet Boys, O-Town, or other bands, they helped me cope with knowing what to do & what’s the better choice than giving up, or giving bullies what they want after giving you grief. I recommend “Show ‘em What You’re Made Of”, “Bigger” & “Madeleine” by Backstreet Boys, as well as Natasha Bedingfield’s “Strip Me.” I also looked up to a wrestler named John Cena. His will is something I admire. He did what’s best for him. He gets bullied by fans, but he carries on with saying “Never Give Up.” For me, I’m not one to give up after fighting, I choose that it’s best to walk away, take a breather and follow your instincts to know that there’s something better out there for you. It’s easier said than done. But don’t let your emotions get the best of you being bullied, like anger or disappointment, etc. You may be angry being bullied, but don’t say “oh I’ve had enough” or even think about harming yourself. It’ll hurt the ones you love and most importantly you, because then the bullies will win by getting what they want. Being bullied online? Shut off the computer and take a walk outside, or bike ride to somewhere that’s peaceful and quiet to help gather your thoughts and figure out what to do next.
Don’t let irrelevant people online anywhere triggers something inside of you to snap mentally or physically to harm yourself. It’ll hurt you more than hurting your loved ones. Being bullied in school? Never be afraid to tell your parents, teachers, police, and security guards at school. They’re doing what’s best for you, looking out for you. You may not understand it right away, but you’ll look back on it and realize they did what they had to, to protect you. You may feel like you’re being a coward by reporting whoever is bullying you, but it’ll save your life more than you know. Also if you need help, talk to a counselor at school, that’s what they’re there for! Everyone has a different way of dealing with these types of things but for me I listened to music, went out for a walk, went to a park, bike riding, to escape to clear out my mind. Wish I lived nearby an ocean because waves crashing upon the shore sound better than everything else I mentioned. But there are no beaches nearby me, so I settled for those in the meantime. Most importantly, never forget to love yourself. Put you first, it’s not a selfish thing to do. If you don’t respect yourself, nobody else will. So stand in the mirror and say I’m awesome! And say it a couple of times to sink in and be proud of who you are. Nobody was born perfect, and never claim to be. We’re human beings, we make mistakes, but to let others drag you down for your mistakes is a reflection upon how they feel about themselves, not you. This leads to bullying. The way some treat you like dirt only reflect how they feel about themselves. Nothing is impossible. You have full control of how you react to being bullied. Never let your guard down. You have the freedom of speech just as much as the bully does. They can’t take that from you. I’ve had friends cut themselves which was resulted in being bullied. Not an option, you’re harming yourself more than you’re harming your loved ones. Don’t be afraid to speak up, and tell a parent, counselor, principal, school teacher, or guardian that you’re being bullied. If things get worse and they don’t listen? Take it to the police. They’re there to help you out too.
I forgot to add that I recently noticed that bullies will have others such as their friends gang up on you to give you grief for what you look like, what you do, etc. It is in your best interest to not let them control you in that type of situation. You have a way out of those types of situations. Don’t let it control the way you think or feel at that moment. Never let your anger or sadness affect the way you make decisions, because then it’ll worsen the situation mentally and physically. Never let a situation control you, have full control the way you react to it. Be the bigger person and just walk away from anything that makes you feel anything but happiness. See what’s best for you and that would be to walk away and take a breather and let things be. I don’t mean leaving it the way it is. Silence speaks more than words in these types of situations, so just drop the situation that’s making you feel anything but happy, and take a breather. Go out get some fresh air; set your mind free of the baggage that’s weighing you down. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Forgive those who trespass against you, as we forgive ourselves for trespassing ourselves for letting emotions such as Anger, sadness, and all that cloud our judgment right then and there. Take the high road; you’ll be glad you did.
April 14, 2014
I was bullied a lot growing up ages seven through fifteen. Kids called me all kinds of names and some even tried getting me into trouble at school. One day I had asked one of my tormentors why they insisted on being mean to me and they said “because you’re different.” The sad thing is, many people do discriminate or hate people or things that are different because different can be “scary.” What I don’t understand is, we are all different and so singling one person out and making their lives miserable is not right or logical. But then again, bullying isn’t logical so there we go. All of the years of bullying took its toll on me because I believed the lies about me being ugly and the other horrible things they said about me and I ended up battling with depression through my college years. My depression got worse after my mom passed away. It took me seeking God and finding Him to finally start undoing the years of damage the kids who bullied me and made fun of me had caused during my childhood. I still battle sometimes with a feeling of unworthiness and not feeling pretty. Most days though, thanks to God and to amazing friends who have shown me unconditional love no matter what, I am finally able to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I am beautiful. When I feel unworthy or unloved, I quote scripture that specifically talks about God’s love for me or I remind myself that I am a child of God and that God created me and does not make mistakes. I tell myself that God loves me and considers me more than worthy so I should too.
Bullying is a serious issue. Most teachers and principals still ignore bullying in their schools, except for the ones in states where it has become a law that bullying will not be tolerated. I suspect even some schools in those states still let it slide out of either fear of the kid’s parents or out of indifference. People need to stop being indifferent to bullying and make a stand! Tons of kids and young adults commit suicide because they feel nobody loves them and that death is the only way out, the only way to find relief from their tormentors. Thousands of suicides can be prevented if kids parents and also more teachers and principals would educate their kids about why it is wrong to bully and also showed a good example by not bullying other people themselves even in a “joking” manner. Also, if more kids who are witnesses to bullying, would speak up and report bullying and the adult they reported it to made an issue of it with the bully’s parents and worked to fix the problem, then even more lives could be saved. People who have not been on the receiving end of bullying have no idea what it’s like or how it makes you feel. And when people who have been bullies turn into bullies, it does not make it right. Parents need to raise their kids in a loving environment and at a young age teach kids the effects of bullying so they don’t end up doing it. If everyone banded together to tackle this issue then I believe that we could all successfully put an end to all forms of bullying whether at school/in real life or cyberbullying. No form of bullying is ever okay and we need to put a stop to it. To start off, I recommend that all kids of various ages and their parents, teachers, and school principals all watch the movie Cyberbully since it was based on a true story about a girl who was bullied and tried to commit suicide. It is very educational and eye-opening.
Not everyone who is bullied lives to get over it. It takes someone who is emotionally strong and surrounded by loving people in their lives, and God, to move past it and realize that the bullies were lying in the hurtful words they used to describe you, and possible physical torture if any was issued at all. It affects how you think of yourself and how you treat others, which in effect could cause problems in relationships whether friendship, romantic, or family. That is, for people who don’t end up being successful in committing suicide who live long enough to have broken relationships and friendships. Not everyone is blessed to know God or to have loving parents or relatives, it is a sad but true fact. But that does not make it okay to bully others, just because you don’t feel loved at home. If you are being bullied at home, report it to your teacher or principal and if they are unwilling to step in then go to the authorities (cops) and report any form of abuse (including neglect). Being bullied at home doesn’t make it okay to bully other people at school to make yourself feel better. What really baffles me is kids or young adults who come from loving homes and a loving environment who bully others to make themselves feel better.
As Robyn pointed out, back when we got bullied there were no cellphones, no Facebook, twitter, and internet was not yet popular so bullying was in person. Some bullying may have extended to after school hours, but still in person or by telephone. Today there is bullying in person, by texting, on Facebook, twitter, and on other social media sites and chatrooms where people go to talk and hang out. Instead of getting better, bullying has gotten worse over the years. Bullying is not kids letting off steam or “kids being kids.” It is also not a “rite of passage one must go through” to be bullied. Some people (adults) think bullying builds character in their kid but it doesn’t! It destroys them inside. It makes the child or young adult feel like they are unloved and like nobody cares and they feel they have no reason to live.
Bullies are people with a low self-esteem who usually pick people with an even lower self-esteem than them to pick on so that they can feel good about themselves by making someone else miserable. It’s not logical or rational, but it’s a fact. Sometimes kids who bully others are bullied by their parents or an older sibling at home. Instead of bringing this bullying to the attention of an adult who has the authority to help, they in turn make someone else’s life miserable at school or online or both. This is the wrong approach of course. Other kids actually come from a loving home but for some reason, they still have either low self-esteem issues or they feel unloved somehow and they act out by tormenting someone at school or their younger sibling, or both. Some kids, I think, see their parents being mean or unkind to other “grownups” and so they think it’s okay to make fun of other people or to torment others and even think it is a game. These are the three reasons I am aware of as to why bullies exist and how they are created. I am sure there are other reasons but they are lost on me, along with these three reasons. Parents need to set a good example for their kids by being loving and kind towards everyone. Kids will imitate what they see being done in their lives by the adults looking after them whether parents or older siblings or other legal guardians. And another thing, when I was bullied, I didn’t go around bullying others to make myself feel better. I would cry about it instead. My mom would come home from work and hear me crying and she would come into my bedroom and ask me what was wrong and I would tell her. This was on the days where the bullying was worse than on other days. Most days I handled it silently but some days I cried and my mom would hear me and she would try to make things right for me by talking to the bully’s parents. It didn’t work in the beginning, as it made the bullies mad, but they got tired of the game and eventually stopped. My mom did what she thought was best though. She showed how much she loved me by trying to get involved. Of course when parents don’t get involved it doesn’t mean they don’t care, it just means that they may be unaware that their child is being bullied because their kid doesn’t speak up about it. But getting involved is a good start for parents who are aware of their children being bullied whether at school or online, or both. Teachers and principals also need to stop shrugging it off and have a 0 tolerance rule about bullying in their schools.
The Backstreet Boys, my favorite band, wrote a song (they each wrote different parts of it) that addresses the issue of bullying and it’s called “Madeleine.” It’s a beautiful and touching song and also inspirational and letting kids know that someone cares and that “help is on its way.” I recommend listening to it whether or not you are a fan of the band, or at least look up the lyrics. Replace the name “Madeleine” with your own name and make it about you, which is the beautiful part about the song because they are addressing everyone who has been a victim of bullying, those currently being bullied, and anyone who ever will be. Four of the members of the band are fathers and wrote the song for their children in case they are ever bullied too. They also wrote “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” which is also meant to inspire kids who are bullied so that instead of shrinking back, you shine on and stand up for what you believe in. Another awesome message is delivered to children in this song.
To everyone being bullied today, understand this: The person or people bullying you are doing it to make themselves feel better because something is wrong with them, not you! God loves you and for at least a majority of you, I know your moms and dads love you too. One thing I am certain of is that God loves you and made you perfect the way you are! You are God’s masterpiece and you are beautiful, smart, and absolutely amazing. Don’t listen to what other kids or other people tell you what you are (unless they are in agreement with God), but listen to what God says about you. Next time someone accuses you of being different, say “Thank God for that! I am God’s masterpiece and I am my own unique person and proud of it!” You may end up shocking the person bullying you into silence. Even if they don’t remain silent, stand your ground by knowing inside that you are loved, you are beautiful, you are intelligent, you are kind, and you are amazing! Know that you may not be perfect, but nobody is perfect and that you are the perfect version of you. Nobody else can be you, but you. Suicide is not the answer, for it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You have an amazing gift to offer this world that nobody else can give to the world so don’t let them shadow your gift or put an end to your life before it’s been shared with the world. Instead, let it shine! Shine on to be the person God created you to be. Also, know that you are not alone and that someone cares! God cares and so do I, and so do the rest of us who went through bullying and lived to tell the story. There are people in your life who would care and be broken up if you ended your life now. I believe if we all stick together that we can make a positive difference in this world and put an end to bullying.