This topic has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. It has taken a while to write about, because of how emotionally taxing it is. Just thinking about it can take me back to a very dark place and can make me want to curl up and hide.
Bullying can destroy us and make even the strongest person break down. I was and still am bullied. I have always been larger and it has only gotten worse by being bullied.
When I was a child I was thin and extremely active. My mom could barely keep up with me. That all changed in fifth grade. I always assumed I was happy and well-adjusted, yet I slowly began to gain weight. Subconsciously I was unhappy. I had friends, but I knew they were not the best influence. My mother would have been horrified to know who I hung out with. They did drugs and drank, yet they seemed to accept me for me. I never participated in the drugs, because even as unhappy as I was I still had been taught better.
I thought they could make me happy. All schools have a bully, and mine decided I was the perfect target. I was teased mercilessly and threatened. I had no best friends in high school, even if I was friendly with many. It started my freshmen year and still continues to this day by so called “adults”.
The bullying became so bad in high school I would hide in the bathroom or library. I refused to go to lunch with everyone; because when I did I was teased to the point of tears. If I did eat my lunch I would then immediately make myself throw up because it was something I could control. It was something that happened almost every day.
I cried myself to sleep for four straight years and it got to the point where I tried to kill myself numerous times. I was too afraid of the pain of dying and didn’t really want to die. I just wanted a physical outlet for all the pain I was feeling.
Every day I dreaded going to school and enduring more abuse that would eat away at my self-esteem. It would drag me further into the dark pit of despair I was already in. I joined the school plays and musicals as a way to make more friends and while everyone was friendly I still had no one I could confide in. Being active in something kept me alive. The people I hung out with, kept me alive, because they didn’t care about my flaws. My mother kept me alive, because I knew I couldn’t leave her.
I didn’t live, but I survived. I survived the emotional abuse.
I pray every single day that my daughter will never have to endure the pain I went through. I strive to tell her everyday how smart and beautiful she is and no one can ever tell her different.
I am an adult and I still struggle with bullies and with feeling not good enough. Adults, who do not teach their children to be kind and respectful, create more bullies for this broken world.
I now have an amazing little girl who never judges me or thinks I am not good enough. She loves me because I am her mom. I have to be there for her and to protect her. I survived for her even if I didn’t know it at the time.
The daily struggle is real and we never lose that feeling of worthlessness, but we learn to become stronger then it. We learn that there is hope, even if it is small and we learn to rely on others. My mother saved me, because I finally had the courage to tell her I was hurting. She did everything she could to get me the help I needed. That small spark of understanding is what it took for me to continue on.
I am not perfect and I will never be, but I can say that I am happier.