Bullying is powerful thing. For those who have experienced it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
What troubles me most about bullying are the ones that go left unheard, the ones that keep silent, and the ones that simply give up.
It’s a hard subject to grasp when you are victim of bullying. You don’t want to believe it, you don’t want to feel weak or worthless so you do everything in your power to hide it, you do everything to gloss over the fact that you are now this so-called “victim”.
This is my story:
When I was 12 years old, I experienced my first act of bullying. I was 12. How does this seem possible? That a 12 year old who is supposed to be enjoying 6th grade with all of the other kids possibly be bullied by the people she thought were her friends? I had no clue. I was now labeled “victim” like so many others. In all of my power, I tried to brush it off and be friends with these people who consistently put me down, wrote me hate letters and made it their goal to exclude me from every possible thing. But I could only do it for so long.
The pain became very real and the wounds I had succumbed to were tearing me apart. I knew I didn’t want it anymore. I didn’t want to be a victim. Our family moved and left it all behind when I started a new school in a new city. It wasn’t until that very move that I realized how common bullying was becoming. At each school I went to, the bullying continued – for years.
But I was not alone. I had good support. My parents loved me unconditionally. The true friends I had supported me along the way. I had mentors who guided me and pushed me to be the best version of me possible. And most importantly, I had a loving Heavenly Father who reminded me every day that I was worth every second of this life He had purposefully created for me. But of course, it still didn’t make the process easy.
I realize that a lot of people do not have these kind of supports in their life. I got lucky I guess. But the biggest thing I realized was that I was created for a loving and incredible purpose that I simply could not deny. God didn’t intend for me to live a life of pain or hurt. Although I’m only human and there is sin all over this world, when I turned my focus on Him rather than on what was bringing me down, my life changed and my vision took a 360.
While He was working in my own life, I began to realize the forgiveness that He had so lovingly sent His son to die for us to experience. I knew that this forgiveness I had received could be given to those who had bullied me. I began to forgive them and love them, just as Christ loved me. I was not defined by any of the bullying, nor were the ones who bullied. Deep dow, I knew that each of them had a story, they each had their own struggles - and yet, I loved them regardless of all those things.
Don’t get me wrong - I certainly wasn’t perfect. I had to realize that the victimization placed upon me created a lot of anger and hate toward other people. There was no perfection in my life, nor is there now, because we are far from it. But, we are so loved by a perfect Creator who sets out to love us unconditionally each day, and remind that we are beautifully and wonderfully made.
If you are a victim of bullying, have experienced it in some way, have witnessed it or even been a bully yourself- you are STILL amazing and it does not define you. Remember that you ARE LOVED and you can go to God at any time, any day, anywhere. Seek support from parents, mentors, counsellors, and teachers, whoever it may be in your life that you know you can go to.
You are not alone. You are strong, incredible, courageous, and wonderfully made. Your identity is found in Jesus, not by what the world tells you or thinks you should be. Talk to someone, talk to God. You got this and it will get better. Trust me. You’re amazing.