I already excuse myself for the longer post and also that it will be a pretty serious one but the topic just IS serious. Lately I saw something about cyber bullying on TV and what I saw truly shocked me to the deepest. I want to share something personal with you that barely anyone knows about me in real life. Back in school time I had been bullied for about 6 years myself. They attacked me physically, they called me names like Zombie, threw things at me… the whole list of what you can imagine but it wasn´t even the worst. Even if I was scared of the physical attacks, what hurt me more over the years was the psychological effect they had on me. By excluding me from group activities they made me feel unwanted, by calling me those rude names and ugly they destroyed my self-esteem step by step a bit more. For those of who haven´t been bullied you might ask, why did you believe it? Well, in the beginning you may don´t but if you get influenced that way over years, you slowly start to believe. Someday you believe that you aren´t pretty or good enough, that no one wants to be your friend and you´re unwanted in general. Thankfully I reached a point after 4 ½ years where I started to turn the “game” a bit around. I blocked physical attacks (never hitting someone seriously back) and acted like I´d laugh about the things they called me. For some reason it started to work. It never really ended but it became a bit better and so survived the rest of my school time. What didn´t end for years, even after school was the destroyed self-esteem. Meeting new people stressed me out. What would think of me? Would they like or hate me? In the end I barely talked to anyone until I started to feel comfortable when I knew persons better. When a boy hit me up for a conversation, I literally looked at him “like a car”, if he was serious about talking to me. Or was he making fun of me as well? It was a natural skeptic thought I wasn´t able to control. The negative feelings about myself I got implemented over years hadn´t gone by leaving school (with degree).
Why do I tell all that here and now? Because I think in the time of cyber-bullying things even got worse. When I got home from school the bully time for me was done that day. Nowadays it sadly doesn´t stop at your door. In the time of constant internet connection, chats, Twitter, Facebook and many more platforms people can go on to attack the victim. They exclude people from Whatsapp groups, post nasty comments or pictures on their profile wall or send rude direct messages. Teenagers already killed themselves because they got messages like “You´re totally worthless…the world is be better off without you… go and kill yourself, no one will miss you…” These words aren´t fictional, they are real statements that have been shown in the media after another bully victim committed suicide. I truly don´t have a clue how someone is able say afterwards that it was “a joke” and “not serious”. How can a person ever think that statements like this wouldn´t hurt? Have they ever imagined to switch roles and how they would feel? If I already felt the way I described by “just” being attacked in school, I don´t want to know how desperate a person may can become by this over a longer period of time. Whoever experienced or experiences this and keeps going has my full respect!
What I want to say is, if you are a victim of bully, don´t hide yourself! What those people tell you isn´t true, they are the paltry ones! Don´t be afraid to ask for help. You can turn the “game” like they call it, around. Be offensive, go to your guidance counselor or to your parents/siblings if it´s that bad that you think about changing school. Or maybe you can build friendships outside your own class in courses or breaks. If you´re also bullied online, talk to your parents, block those people! Report the accounts! You can do something about it and most important: Don´t believe them! Don´t let narrow minded people destroy your inner peace and self-esteem.
A little note at the end. In between my school time is over for 16 unbelievable years already. I have friends – real friends, I can count and relate on. I have a job with no bullies! 😉 Sometimes I still feel a bit insecure about myself, I don´t want to hide it away but it becomes better more and more. Also I´m still pretty quiet in the beginning when I meet new people but it doesn´t stress me out anymore. Persons who know me better always say: “First I thought that you would be a pretty quiet / shy person but you´re so not!” (Never judge a book by its cover) ;). In the end I can even find something positive in being a bully victim: I´ve learned to trust my gut feelings about people if they´re true or not. If you´re in the caught in the situation by now you may think “however can I find something positive about it?” Trust into your “inner voice” and you learn to get to know yourself better than most others. I can´t describe it any better. It´s a tough road to free yourself from all this but in the end it is worth it!
Even if I don´t consider myself as a Fan of Christina Aguilera, she has the perfect words for the things I can´t find own words for, so here to all those bullies out there:
After all you put me through
You’d think I’d despise you
But in the end I wanna thank you
‘Cause you made that me that much stronger
Well I know what you were thinking
You thought you’d watch me fade away
When you broke me into pieces
But I gave each piece a name
One of me is wiser
One of me is stronger
One of me is a fighter
And there’s a thousand faces of me
And we’re gonna rise up
And we’re gonna rise up
For every time you broke me
Well you’re gonna face an army
Army of me
(Army of me)