Bullying, the term which was quite aware by a lot are also the word which I didn’t know about when I went through it. Bullying still happens a lot around in our country yet there are less people who are ready to address this issue. There is a fault at the system all along. When we watch movies we see comedy or humor is something where when one is put down and trashed talk or mocked and we consider it as funny. This again observed by the children and reflects through their behavior. It is basically a cycle.
So what exactly is bullying? A lot of us know that it is something that usually happens at school and at work space where one is put down and harassed verbally, physically or sexually by the other who has more power. Also those who bully will find this funny and amusing which is the scariest part.
While the one who bullied get away with everything. The one who was the victim of the torture of bully carry it along and some times hide it under and carryon with life. But still the impact is left with their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Each and every type of bully has its own scale of impact. Well, people who never experienced with this come up with advices like, you should have stood up against them, this and that. Easier said than done. I agree it will change the situation a lot at the same time there will be backlash depending on situation. After all we don’t live in movies.
Here rather than focusing on how to escape from the bully based on my experience I’ll be focusing on how bullying affects one’s life and how we can heal.
Despite my poor memory, I vaguely remember my mom’s lullabies. She used to sing lots of songs. Most of them molded my behavior as a child and one among the song is Subramaniya Bharathiyar’s poem, “Oodi Vilayadu Paapa”. When you look into the lyrics, Bharathi insist the children to be inclusive. Which used to be my strong belief back then.
But I have got reality check at an early stage.
A small kid who was hated for no reason, thrown stones at, called ugly, and being shunned from getting interacted with, getting beaten is not a normal childhood.
Being bullied by neighborhood girls are worse. This gets at peak during summer holidays and there were days that you really didn’t want to step outside of the home. Even though things weren’t the same as before, even after everyone is grown up, you have to eventually encounter them often when you live in the same neighborhood it won’t turn pleasant especially where there was no apologies given.
Next is getting beaten while commuting in school van by the secondary student who is trying to show his dominance when you are a primary kid. Its unfair especially you didn’t even understand why is it happening for you. Even when you brother tried to interfere and save you, after all physical strength has more power.
Both incidents also had something in common. In both, the people I trusted the most in the beginning, eventually became the bullies.
These kinds of situations slowly affect the emotional and mental wellbeing of children who went through bullying in a way that they starts to wonder what is wrong with them. They constantly think there was something wrong with their appearance and presence. They will build a wall around them and become quiet at uncomfortable zones where they feel threatened. Often get anxious when someone new approaches. At the same time their suppressed anger and pent up emotions burst out often, on a large scale in the comfortable zone that hurts everyone who loves them too.
This eventually becomes a part of defensive mechanism. Being silent and overprotective of theirselves eventually makes them an outcast too which creates further misunderstandings. The numbness is unexplainable unless standing in their shoes.
As years pass we might become bolder but the past memories of bully has left a deep behavioral change which almost got ignored for years and becomes a part of us.
What exactly I mean is, most of the children who gets bullied has two options. While some become the bullies themselves, other option is they become someone who can’t tolerate when someone is treated badly. Becoming a bully is not even option for some. Instead l, easily triggered when something unfair happens to someone. Good and Bad have so much meaning on a personal level.
If I look back, the girls who used to bully me were also got beaten up by their parents publicly so often. Which might have generated the aggressive behavior in them.
While years pass the misery bullies created to others are compromised as something they did as they were immature, but those who are affected need to confront those memories in order to move on. And few of the following have really helping me to get past it.
It is really needed, so that it doesn’t meddle with our wonderful present and future. The first thing remind yourself, after all they used to be kids too and they would have changed and matured too for better at present. Looking someone in the same image of their past self is not going to help. People change and transition is real. This is only if you aren’t treated badly by them even in the present.
Next step is to be aware of what sort of emotion those memories bring back. For some it reminds anger, shame, pain, guilt, fear etc. Awareness will help you to let go and heal. In my case I used to feel anger and unfair. Whenever I encounter someone gets bullied or even when I see someone who is stronger tries to hurt someone else, whether its humans or animals, no matter how hard I try I can’t stop myself and get triggered sometimes got involved in arguments too especially during my teenage days.
While growing up I felt all those emotions and confronted it slowly and steadily. And that started the change. This will take you to next level where you become a bit passive. Numbness.
At that time second step is to talk about your issues and emotions to your loved ones and someone who are reliable. Getting counseling is also a good way to sort out your feelings. In my case my family helped me a lot as I didn’t have anyone who I trusted like my mother. She helped me to get rid of the hard feelings. Plus I let some to the hands of karma.
Saying those out loud to them had eased my soul.
Next is to understand its subconscious impact in the form of trust issues, the defensive mechanism which affect ourselves and the people around us. Its not easy to change if there were constant betrayal or if you get in a toxic friendship. Because you will develop your intuition and start to rely on the gut feeling about people. A lot of time it works!!! it’s useful and saves oneself from falling in traps of freaks and weirdos. Brighter side!
It will take years to feel comfortable around people and it requires help from others around you. When you meet people who are contradictory to those who gave you those scars will enable to ease your mind to a certain level and redefine what relationship, friendship and communication are. You finally might able to unwind you folded hands.
Plus self help books help you to some extent too. It did for me.
When you meet more and more kinder, empathetic and original people, you will understand that good people exist. You will realize yin yang is real and there might be bad but still good is there so you will ease your insecurities around people. You might start to grow when you meet more.
There will be time people like these will cross your path… even if it takes years.
Self love is the final step. Love yourself sometimes more than anyone. It is not selfish. Loving yourself takes years to happen for some. Make yourself comfortable being inside your body. Smile often and laugh often. Engross yourself in hobbies that give you peace. Also workout everyday. It will make you feel stronger and gives a glow to your face.
Falling in love with you everyday will make you feel independent and let you accept yourself.
Having pets and making friends among nature will help a lot with falling in love with yourself. This is one hundred percent. They will teach you how to do it and will teach you that you need no reason to love you. They will love you for who you are.
And finally I want to let you know you are not at fault. Because I have heard people say, “what! they bullied you? Ah! you must be weak. You must be softie. You should have beat them up instead.” Now, when you hear something like that, take a deep breath, go for a walk and completely ignore their words.
You are not weak. You were patient and at that point trying your best to be humane while most of them where letting out their demons. Cause I know some of us try our best to be true to our heart and live to be a better human. And at I know at time more than anyone you really wanted to fight back.
After all, those who bullied should repent for rest of their lives.
My mom once said this to me, “Even while they are living happily, forgetting everything… You! who have been patient and understanding deserves all the love and happiness in the world.” That made all the sense to me. It will for you too.
For others who haven’t experienced bullying before, I am really grateful that you had a wonderful childhood. But, if you witness something try to meddle in the business of kids. If your child is at fault try to straight them up. Teach them having strength and humor doesn’t mean you have to beat someone, trash talk someone in front or back of them for fun or showing off.
I hope no one step into adulthood while a part of them still being hurt. Because what I went through stopped in a while imagine for those who tolerated it for years.
Everyone deserve to get healed!