The animation below, the talk itself (with animation) above. Worth watching one or both. Being bullied is not about kids being kids and kids being cruel. It stays with you your entire life. It’s not about getting over it, it’s about moving past it, keeping it with you and trying to make something from it to become stronger. It’s much much easier said than done.
To those of you with children, if your child tells you that they are bullied DO something, don’t tell them that it’ll stop one day and that they’ll grow up to be happy and have friends, because they won’t magically grow up to be happy and the self doubt and low if not non-existent opinion of self worth will always be something they struggle with. Whilst the ability to make friends becomes an uphill struggle when you can’t trust people to not turn on you the minute you think you finally have a friend.
I was bullied relentlessly foe my entire school career and in work as a teen. My Mum would hear my sobbing at night and I’d sob into her arms and she’d always say “I only had one friend growing up and I am fine now.” But she wasn’t and she’s still not. She struggles with depression. As an adult I struggle with depression. I struggle with people and making connections and friends. I have no friends apart from Nick. Every time I come close to making one I back away, terrified of being dropped again as has happened a thousand times before. Terrified that, if I share information that once again that information will be spread and turned against me, even something as innocuous as telling somebody that I love elephants. I’m terrified of taking a chance at something just in case I fail, because every time I have done something before and it’s gone wrong that too has been used against me. Even when I have an idea that could feasibly work I give up before I’ve even started.
Bulling is almost like training. I’ve been trained to think as little of myself as possible. Trained to quash my own dreams and live with my own fears. Trained to avoid people and interaction. Trained to hold inside all emotion and shy away from any connection. Trained to hate myself. How is that something somebody can just ‘get over’ the minute they turn 18?
As a finite result, my future children will never go to school. I will never allow that to happen. My experience of school was miserable and it still makes my life miserable and there is no way in hell I will ever put my child through that to get ignored when they cry out for help and to eventually accept that all they’ll ever be is a worthless loner. Fuck that.
I’m slowly getting there, slowly accepting that people may actually have an interest in me and slowly coming to realise that somebody can love me so I should be able to love myself. It’s never something I will get over and I’m always going to carry it with me. It’s wrong, I shouldn’t have to get anywhere as it should never have happened. I wonder what my life would have been like had somebody stepped in sooner? If my Mum had actually done something about it and raised merry hell to stop it or if my Dad had even cared about it.
Kids are not just being kids, brushing it off as “kids being cruel” is not fucking acceptable. Why is this something that still happens? Why is it something that we still accept?