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What My Bullies Taught Me


By Michelle Tan

            Before I start with the tantrum here about hoping that I could somehow help people with the same experience as mine, let me tell you that bullying is a sensitive issue. If you want to be informed more, then continue reading, if not, then go read some other post (here at my blog.)

            Bullying has transcend its meaning from years of being circulated from every place in the world and in all walks of life. From movies (e.g. Princess Diaries) to songs (Because of You - Kelly Clarkson) to poems (Everyday It Happens by Kathleen Kiker) to everyday life, bullying has been always active in people's lifestyles. Some people may consider bullying as fun or stress reliever, but to its victim, it is nothing but a threat, a poison, an intimidating insecurity one wants to burry behind the past but cannot do so because one is overpowered.

            Let's first define bullying.
            The U.S. Department of Health said from its website on its article Stop Bullying Now, "Bullying is an intentional aggressive behavior that consists of an imbalance power or strength. Bullying has four forms--physical (hitting, pushing, punching), verbal (teasing, name calling, gossiping), nonverbal (rejection, social exclusion, intimidation using gestures), and cyber (sending insulting emails or texts)." Any victim from this act would find it hard to defend himself. Bullying can lead to depression, suicidal tendencies, social imbalance, and peer conflicts.

            Here is an outline form of effects from a No Points For Style:
What my bullies taught me:
    I dont matter. My suffering is not important.
    I am socially unacceptable, worthy only of rejection.
    Im weak, a loser, destined to be a social bottom-feeder, or worse, absolutely alone.
    The best I can hope for, in my relationships with others, is to be left alone.
    I am a fundamentally unlikeable person.
What the adults taught me:
    Im unworthy of help.
    To identify or talk about a problem is to whine or feel sorry for myself.
    When I ask for help, I will not get it.
    The way other people behave toward me, no matter how bad, is my fault.
    I am a fundamentally unlikeable person.

            Anyway, it ran for a decade and two year; twelve years to be exact. I am not far from that battered child that pleaded for help. At that time, I thought that no one cared. To make things worse, it's not just one clique that targets me, but the entire class. I felt weak, empty, isolated, defeated and shattered. I get to taste the bitter effects of bullying. I wouldn't go into detail how the girls in my school ruined my life did it, but I can deeply relate with the effects stated above. It may sound pessimistic on my part, but you can never blame the victim at any cause. Here's what I personally learned from experience. Prepare yourself for some eye-rolling, backstabbing, constant gossiping, laughing by the bitches.

            I learned the hard way, so you don't have to.

1. Sometimes, it is okay to be Insecure
            Feel imperfect? Don't worry, Pink's song F*cking Perfect is here to inspire us; Everybody feels that way. Too bad for the bullies, they discovered a wicked method to make themselves feel better, however, in a pathetic manner. Do they tease you because you are "fat"? Trim down so that you'll knock them down. Do they shout at you because they expect a better-written report? Then practice more! A disclaimer, though, never do these things just so you could please them. You do this because you are trying to listen to negative remarks, so that you will improve on yourself, and most importantly, you do this to boost your self-esteem.
            It happened to me too. I used to be dark, fat, sport a disheveled hair, and crooked teeth. When I transformed into a Belle, they found other ways to bring me down.

2. It is Never Okay to Let Your Guard Down; But it's Never "cool" to be bullied
            When school "ain't so cool," it becomes a reason why one should be "missing out." Though the controversy is not an excuse to withdraw yourself in class, but it is also a proper reason why you should "pass"(--in informing the Higher Power about these issues.)
            Never forget that you are the person at the end of the day. You are not less than what you are right now. Always remain vigilant, steadfast, and headstrong. Never die out of purpose and reason to keep living. Being bullied sucks; it is not cool, it is not hip. It is unacceptable. Your purpose is to inspire others by fighting it (in a good way.)

3. Your Biggest Bully is Yourself
            ...If you let them win you in a bad way; Because, "No one can make you inferior without your consent" (Princess Diaries, 2001). That is, if you make yourself always feel defeated or commit the S word. No matter what, don't commit suicide! Because if you do, you will let them win in the pathetic war that they started or committed. Dying seemed easy, but it is not! Dying is permanent. Committing suicide means that you forfeit your right to make things different.
            P.S. You don't want to hear them say on to your loved ones on your funeral (knock on wood) that you deserved to be called a loser. P.P.S. you never lost anything, so don't lose your precious life. Resist the temptation.

4. Building your Fences Isn't That Easy; And so Does Proving Them Wrong
            The struggle in faking a smile everyday or faking that you are not affected by it is rather hard...it keeps getting harder when you want to prove them and yourself that you can "survive this sh!t" It's hard to make new friends when your current circle is becoming more convinced in turning to their side instead of just supporting and understanding you.

5. There is Nothing Wrong With Seeking for Help
            What's wrong with the modern culture is they give you the impression that if you inform The Authorities regarding this matter, you are "weak." Truth is, they are the ones who are weaker. I emphasized on the "er" not because you are The Weak One, but they are. And they add an "er" each they bully you. Tell me, who are the ones who recruit their pack so that they would seem much stronger? Who are the ones trying hard to get to The Authorities at their back pockets? THEY ARE.      You are informing The Authorities because are promoting justice and because it is not acceptable to have injustice running around, because they are the ones in charge of promoting peace, as well. If The Authorities refuse to listen and do something serious to your situation, then they do not deserve their power and it is time to take matters in to The Higher Power.

6. Although tempting, but Never Redo the Things they did to you.
            "Everybody has gone through something that has changed them in a way that could never go back to the person they once were." (Facebook share)
            This experience that I had made me want to rebel more, made me want to retaliate them how painful and hard it was for me to face school and life everyday. Identifying myself is hard, since I was young, and they made it harder for me because they took away my comfort circle (but never my true happiness.) I learned that if I took vengeance over them, I'd make no difference. I stooped down to their level, and I would never be happy or contented, if I did. Because they will just end up growing more allies, and both sides would have miserable lives.

7. No Matter What Happens, Get Even
            "A friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward, I would be prepared to be much stronger." (Love Actually, 2003)
            Get Even in a sense that you are prepared for anything that they would do to you. Outsmarting them is one factor, such as walking at the hallway with the principal beside you or always secure your locker so they won't steal your books. Get even, in a way that you are not reciprocating the harm, but you are sending them a message to back off. Get even in the same sense that you must always have the things that they will never have (e.g. the essence gained of having this tragic but wonderful enlightenment.)

8. The "Clingy-ness" Issue
            There are times that I am longing to be hugged or pat at the back; there are times I wished my friends understood my situation the way I do. There are times that I wish that they will never leave on my side so I have someone to be with when walking at the hallway or discussing my presentation, etc. The longing to be understood and touched is enough comfort for me, back then, to face that experience all over again. It reminds me that I am loved, and therefore deserves to be loved more.

9.  Inculcation of Independence
            Because I used to being alone most of the time in school for twelve years, I became unafraid to stood by myself. I am unafraid to go to the library and sit there for hours, ask for directions at a place (not the streets, though, because I learned the streets by being familiar with it), walking alone to the restroom, and more. In college, I have friends now, but sometimes I am alone, but I don't mind. It used to bother me that I deserve friends, too; but if I just needed friends just so I could have someone to walk with at anytime at any place, then I should just hire a bodyguard (however, walking with someone seems fun, too.)

10. In Being Mindful in Sharing Your Secrets and Stories
            Trust should never be an issue. For me, I learned to filter my thoughts not only because I don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but also I don't want them to hurt mine, too, when they become so defensive. I realized that whatever one says, even though people promised that it will be kept as secret, its message will always be circulating (depending on how "juicy" it is) and will never have kept its same meaning or purpose. So, I keep my low profile, not because I am building fences, but simply because there are more things in life than just talking about oneself.

11. Someone Else Knows Your Side of Your Story
            Don't keep it to yourself. Write it on a journal that looks like an old notebook so no one would dare read it, but you. It would be an evidence, an inspiration, an anthem of healing, and an emotional feedback.
            This is what I am doing. I know that there are a lot of victims like me, but I don't want to be just another voice. I wanted to inspire and be heard. I want to put a stop to this. I wanted to let people know that it's not safe to have a past like this. It could be tormenting, if not difficult. And I wanted to advocate how it could make or break one person.
           
12. Allow Yourself to Cry A Little, But Not in front of Them
            Crying in front of them will not threaten them, unless you are in preschool. Crying in front of them would make them feel relieved that you are affected by their actions. You will be also perceived as the Frail One, even if you do not deserve to. Reserve your tears to your best friend, The Pillow. I promise, pillow will never betray you.
            However, when in front of them--be strong and act confident.

13. Be Against It
            "A princess never chases a chicken." (Princess Diaries 2, 2003)
            You are beautiful, gifted with charm and strength. That is what true royal means. She never stoops down to the "immature" level. She lets people chase them. In my case, I didn't let them only chase me so that they could "ruin" my life everyday, but I made them realize how pathetic they would always be, unless they change. I made them chase me, in a way that they realized that they should be empowered by my strength and integrity as I surpassed this encounter.
             I know that somewhere in the world, I would change someone's life just by writing this. I am against bullying, and will no longer allow anyone to maltreat me the way it used to happen. NOBODY deserves to be bullied. Everybody deserves a chance and to be loved.

14. THERE IS NO METHOD/ NO FORMULA TO STOPPING IT
           
            Let them know that what they are doing is wrong.
            The only way to stop this is to FIGHT BACK (in a good way.) That is, if you become honest with yourself first that you do not deserve their treatment with you. Second is that if you seek help, you'll gain the healing you will need. Third is when change will happen. Allow yourself to feel relieved that you will no longer to feel the pain that was inflicted at you. However, always remember the wisdom you gained from your experience.

15. Whether you believe it or not, You'll be so MUCH STRONGER than who or what you are right now
            "The Brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all." (Princess Diaries, 2001)
            I want to dedicate this post to all those who committed suicide from their bullying experience. They never wanted to end their lives or take the easy way out. They were always fighting for it (respect and equality). But they were never getting the answer they need, and so they took their lives away just so it could alarm the world that THIS IS HAPPENING. I want them to know that I am still fighting for it; for them, for me, for everybody. They deserved to be remembered not because they are weak but because they are stronger than what we think they are. They never deserved to be lonely, nobody does. But we have to give them that recognition that they deserve--They are special.
            To whoever had the same experience as mine, I know that you felt empowered and inspired by your own experience not only that you overcame it fully but also you gained so much more than what they had.


            Being against bullying may help save someone's life. It will remain a sensitive topic unless it has been completely stopped. Spread this article. Pass the word.



Sources: www.nopointsforstyle.com - www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adults/tip-sheet-09.aspx - 100% ME - www.circle.nypo.org/ - The Teen Survival Handbook
What My Bullies Taught Me What My Bullies Taught Me Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 3:58 PM Rating: 5

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    1. Formerly called Lasting on my Mind, SCREAM of Silence is the official title of this blog as of 2015 and it has over 20 thousand page views from April 2015

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