Part of you knows they exist outside the walls of a school, but you don’t entirely want to believe it. You’ve heard the stories. Everyday you are hoping to avoid them. Who could I possibly be talking about? While they may not insist you give them your lunch money, they are still trying to bring you down in any way that they can. That ring a bell? If you guessed a bully, you were right on.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I hear the word bully, I think of the classic school bully. The one who steals from kids, stuffs people into lockers, and just makes the learning environment an all around hell hole. Might scare some to know that it doesn’t always stop after the bell rings. It can happen anywhere, anytime, and at any age.
I’d like to talk a bit about bullies; about a few of my experiences with them, why they do what they do, and what to do if you or someone you know is currently under the pressure of one.
Not too long ago I had someone tell me that I must be used to being picked on for not being able to walk. I just shook my head at that comment. While things have happened here and there throughout the years, it might surprise some that I haven’t been made fun of on a regular basis for the way that I am.
A situation that happened when I was in high school was honestly the worst I’ve ever been treated in public. Some people put up stop signs, and speed limit signs in the hallways making fun of me. I personally never saw them up, but I heard the principle was concerned about “posters” on the announcements during my sixth hour. It didn’t even phase me, so you can imagine how shocked I was when I found out that it was, in fact, directed towards me. I am not even going to candy coat it; that was not fun to go through. Nobody should ever have to be humiliated like that. Honestly, that’s the only time I ever felt discriminated against by my peers. With the help of my loved ones at the time, and keeping in mind I am worth more than the cruelty that was going on, I didn’t allow it to consume me. While it was annoying, it didn’t rule my life or make me think I was any less of a person…because I didn’t let it.
Gonna pull out another one of my favorite quotes, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. That is a perfect one to keep up your sleeve if you find yourself in a situation where people are trying their best to knock you down. Looking back, I’m a bit amused. What a weird thing to do and a waste of paper, ink, and time on their part.
The other thing that comes to my mind as far as bullying is a time at the mall. This one was less direct, and nowhere near as drastic as the previous situation I just discussed. I was in the food court with some friends, just hanging out, doing my thing. These people were at this table, looking over at me here and there. A girl was laughing, and whispering to her friends. I was very clearly the topic of their conversation. I was going through a bit of a tough time at the moment and the way they were acting was fuel to the fire. I remember leaving the spot where I was seated to get away from them. I didn’t feel comfortable at the moment, with people obviously talking about what was different about me, in a negative way. For more reason than one, it just got to me that time. My friends were supportive that day, and, of course, that crazy poster day at school.
I was very lucky to have always had such a great support system. It takes a great deal of courage to brush off a bully. Makes it easier to do when you consider why they are doing what they do. Often, a person will belittle others, or feel the need to, when they are lacking something on the inside. A bully does not always come off as insecure, or upset. In fact, they can seem to be the happiest person in the bunch. The famous quote “actions speak louder than words”, is what tells us otherwise about these people who just can’t seem to be decent human beings. I say this mostly for the younger, less experienced crowd, but bullies aren’t as rough and tough as they seem. Most of the time, it’s a cover up. Often, they are more miserable than we are, and they just aren’t dealing with it in an appropriate way. Not for one second, am I excusing their behavior. No matter what is going on in your life, it is never okay to put someone else down or mistreat them. Personally, I think it’s easier not to go ballistic and want to go to their level when you can step outside of the box and see the situation for what it really is. Just my opinion, but I’d say there is definitely truth to it.
Some people are so fragile and can only be pushed so far before they act out drastically. Knowing some lives have been taken because of the way they were treated…that is truly heartbreaking. Suicide is never, ever the answer. No matter what people are saying or doing. To think that some think it’s the only escape from that social nightmare. I can’t bare to go too deep into thinking about that. I can state from my experience, that if you are being bullied or feel in danger because of someone else, you must seek help. Don’t ever be embarrassed or feel ashamed. It is more shameful not to get help when you need it. There is support out there. There are people who want to help you through this. Do not ever allow yourself to consider self-harm that can lead to taking your life. No one, I repeat no one is worth losing yourself over. We reap what we sew, good or bad. And you can bet the same goes for a bully.
My advice if you are currently a victim of bullying is to tell someone you can trust, and make sure to vent how you’re feeling. You do not want to bottle upsetting thoughts up, trust me, it doesn’t help. Cry if you have to, just find a way, even if it has to be with the help of someone else, to have this bullying come to an end. Most importantly, learn to forgive once the issue is resolved. You also do not want to carry a grudge with you, all that’ll do is weigh you down.
Now before I end this piece, I want to state that I wish I could help everyone who is feeling upset, lost or worthless because of a bully. I honestly wish I could be there for you all. Since I can’t, the next best thing I could think of to do was to write this and hope it speaks some words you’ve needed to hear. Might sound strange, but I do hope a bully is reading this right now, and if so, I hope it has made them think about what they’ve been putting others through, and how they should be busy fixing themselves instead of wasting time taking innocent people down. It’s never too late to fix yourself or to overcome the damage caused by the cruel actions of someone else. It is Important that we realize this.
Stop Bullying: http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html
Get Help Now: http://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/index.html
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