Transfer Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
Bullying is something that began for me at the age of 11. I am now 23 and have overcome a lot in my life, bullying being one. I ended up dealing with bullying both online and off for a good three years before I did something about it, but by that point the damage was already done. It is one thing to be bullied as an adult… you have more self awareness, more security within yourself, you are able to see things slightly differently than you do at a younger age. As you get older your perspective shifts, but when you are young and on the receiving end of bullying, it can feel like a scary and lonely place.
I was bullied when I was eleven up until the age of 13. I became involved in an online real time based game, in which you create a little cartoon character and profile and go about playing with other strangers online. Soon this game brought me closer to a number of strangers across the world, some are still my friends to this day. But it also brought me closer to some very mean, very difficult people. I was dealing with insults on a daily basis, my lack of English speaking ability came through in my writing (being an immigrant and all), that it became a target for several bullies. In person, I got bullied at school primarily for my weight and appearance. Can you imagine how it feels to be sitting in your desk at school and hear your classmates flat out insult every part of you as if you weren’t in the room?
The real danger of bullying however is the effect it can have on your life for the long term. My lack of speaking up about my bullying problems had some harsh consequences. I was embarrassed to speak to anyone about it because I felt like I was the only one. I felt very alone, and since the bullies seemed to be targeting me and I hadn’t heard anyone else talk about it at the time, I figured it must’ve been my issues and there must’ve been some truth to their words. In fear of telling anybody about the bullying I was experiencing, I developed an eating disorder and depression as a result. It took my years to get to a healthy place where I manage my eating and thoughts as best as I can. But these issues never should’ve happened in the first place. I should not have been insecure and afraid to leave my house for several years at a time because of something someone who doesn’t even really know me said. But I allowed these strangers, my classmates, to control my life for far too long. They began to control my eating habits, without me even realizing it. I needed desperate help and I waited years before I actually reached out to someone, years which I cannot get back. That is why it is important to speak up and tell somebody about what you are going through.
I understand how alone and how scared you may feel. I know how embarrassing it can be still to talk about these issues. But it is so important tell someone! Even if you do not receive any advice out of it, getting it out of your head and into spoken or written word is therapeutic and allows you to relieve some of your burden, it allows you to lean on someone, which all humans need from time to time. If I could give you one piece of advice, it is to use the Internet to help you. I went online and looked up “free online counseling” which led me to websites where I could talk to other people online about what I was going through. There was no judgement: it was anonymous. But there was a lot of understanding, these people were older, sometimes the same age, and had been through what I experienced. Websites such as cybersmile.org provide these resources free of charge for us to be able to handle what is happening to us without the fear of embarrassment or isolation. It is alright not to be okay. It is alright to feel as you do. But you need to speak out about it. Speaking up may not only help you relieve some of the tension and pain bullying is causing you, but it may also help someone else who relates to what you feel.
Remember, you are human and it is perfectly okay to feel whatever it is that you feel. Take your pain and transfer it into word, spoken or written, and you will begin to see how much lighter you begin to feel. You are never alone, trust me. Someone is always there to listen. You matter so much, and you are far too special to carry the pain and these feelings by yourself, please tell someone. Come join us for a free chat, tweet out and we’ll find you and respond back. Don’t be afraid to reach out, we would love to talk to you.