Disclaimer: This post discusses sensitive topics of bullying and thoughts of suicide. If you are affected by this post then please seek professional advice and support as I am not a trained medical professional.
Bullying. It’s something many of us have gone through including myself. I was bullied during the first few years of school and it has carried on to this day. The bullies started with their name calling – because of my last name (which is Dishman), because of my full name, because of my hair, how tall I was and because I wanted to aspire to do something good and achieve in school. There were so many reasons.
It happened in college too and it’s happened at university – but it’s been dealt with.
I’ve been bullied online too in the past.
I felt like I couldn’t escape like so many children, young people and adults feel they can’t right now.
Just think someone will be getting bulled in this moment – they might not know why or maybe they do – it might be because of the way they look, the way they talk or act, or because of their past or what they want to do in the future. There are so many reasons, but bullies will always find a reason.
Somebody will become a bully in this moment too. It’s frightening.
I was always told two things – “Don’t let it get to you,” and “just stand up for yourself.” I was told those two things consistently by so many different people.
It’s hard to “not let it get to you.” If someone is telling you something everyday or whenever they can, it will eventually get to you. If someone keeps telling you that you are fat or ugly (you aren’t!) then you’ll start believing it. It does start to grind you down and you start to question and blame yourself or maybe other people. You think “why me?” and you can’t cope anymore and that’s when things can turn sinister.
In hindsight I shouldn’t have let it get to me and now it doesn’t because I have the resilience. But I didn’t always have that resilience. So many times I’d cry and question my existence. Was I put on this earth just to be made fun of? It’s not a nice feeling to have at any age, let alone when you are a child.
Bullying damaged my confidence dramatically. But it’s now at an all-time high.
And then there’s the “just stand up for yourself.” How can you stand up for yourself when you don’t feel like you have the strength? (you can!). It really is hard to stand up for yourself, especially if someone is physically bullying you. It’s just as hard to stand up if you are constantly being belittled by name calling. It isn’t easy to find the confidence and the resilience to say “STOP!”.
I could never do it. I couldn’t as much as I tried – even in high school. It was too hard.
I felt like no-one listened either when I said I couldn’t do it. I was bullied time and time again and it was brushed under the carpet. I had to learn to deal with it. I felt as if being bullied was a part of life. It’s not – not everyone is bullied. I felt like I had to put up with it to develop myself. To put myself through the name calling so that eventually they would stop and get bored. They did eventually.
No-one should be bullied for years, months, weeks or even days.
In fact no-one should be bullied at all.
Everyone’s different and that’s what makes us all the same.
I guess for me standing up for myself was something I had to learn and something I do now.
No more sitting down and taking it – now I’m going to #StandUpToBullying.