So back in September 2010 (feels like not so long ago doesn't it?) I held a contest/giveaway thing where I asked for people to enter by asking me different questions. I promised that I would try and answer a few of these questions each week in a special Q&A video, and I did start doing it but because I went away, and I haven't had much time recently to do any sort of videos, I thought that it might be a good idea to focus on some of the questions that I feel I can talk quite a bit about either because it means a lot to me or, like the question of this blog, affected me and continues to affect a number of other people. So, I thought this would probably be a good place to start if I'm going to talk about anything that's worth talking about.
ShaySmiless asked me 'Have you ever been bullied?'
The simple answer is, yes.
I think that pretty much every child is 'picked on' at school but there is a very fine line, albeit a difference, between being picked on and being bullied. For starters, being picked on doesn't necessarily mean that the 'victim' is actually offended - it might be from friends just making a joke about your hair. THAT becomes bullying when people start to make you an outcast in your day to day life about your hairstyle... as I said, a very fine line. It also becomes bullying when it's a constant thing. And I'm not saying that you won't be bullied by your friends, but normally it's the people who don't know you and try and judge you, hence they start to continuously pick on you = bullying! In my opinion, these people are ignorant.
It's not just being 'picked on' that constitutes as bullying, and I guess I was probably one of the lucky ones in some respects. The worst thing that ever happened to me was receiving a hate letter with newspaper alphabet cut outs - it said something I wish not to repeat, but the message was extremely hurtful and certainly scared me! But some are beaten to the ground for money, or just for the fun of it. Or even worse.
A bully will always find a reason to say something hurtful to you and yes, they probably do get a kick out of it. I do not know how the mind of a bully works, but I'd like to think that they go home and regret what they've done... but I can't say that, that is in fact what I believe. I do, however, believe that most 'bullies' are jealous of their unfortunate victim. I don't agree that envy is a just reason to make someone else's life an absolute misery, but I guess for a bully it makes them feel better if they think that someone else is feeling a whole lot worse than they are.
I was bullied pretty much all through primary school, for the reason I can only guess was racism. My skin is the colour of Indian heritage... Enough said, I guess. And this is still going on!! Even with all the schools having 'stop bullying' campaigns. And this isn't the only reason... homosexual people are bullied by homophobic's, just simply because homophobic's aren't comfortable with having gay or lesbian people in this world - so they make their lives hell. Bullies are probably some of the people who walk around saying terrorism is bad or war is horrific... Hypocrites? I think so... In fact, I know so. I don't believe in making anyone's life a living misery. No matter what colour their skin is, no matter what God they do or do not believe in, or what sex they have a desire for. Any person deserves to be treated the way YOU want to be treated.
In secondary school, it somewhat slackened but none the less it took quite a few years for me to ever forgive the people who made a large chunk of my childhood a part of my life that I really wish I couldn't remember. 'Til this day it still affects me in so many ways; I've never been a confident person and I truly believe that being bullied is a major factor in not accepting myself for the way I am. And in some respects of my life, it makes me think that I'm a failure for not being able to fight for myself. I remember my dad always having to go to my school headteacher to complain that 'she came home crying... AGAIN' or 'She got hit with a chair leg in her shin and came home crying... AGAIN' or 'this morning my daughter woke up and said she didn't want to go to school because she was scared... I told her she had to go and she came home crying... AGAIN' . I'll never EVER forget my dad shouting these words at my headteacher while I was in the room, and I promise I will never EVER forget the people that caused my dad to do such a thing. And if it was my child, I would do exactly the same thing! It needs to be stopped!!!
As I've grown up I still have all these hang ups about the way I look, the way I dress, the way I walk and talk, or even the way I do my make up... but through the years I've performed music on the violin in front of an audience and I've stood up on stage in front of a club full of people on numerous occasions and I've been applauded. And, some days when I'm down and I've got all these awful memories residing in my mind, I think of all the times that someone's complimented me, or the sound of hundreds of people clapping because they enjoyed watching and/or listening to me. It really is a good feeling, and makes me feel that I've come out the other end of bullying, a much stronger person - emotionally and mentally.
So, if you are going through this I want you to remember that you are a beautiful person, inside and out and that you should NOT under any circumstances let these horrible people get to you. I know it's easier said than done, but you have to keep telling yourself that you are worth everything and more compared to the bullies who have nothing else better to do but get their kicks by making your life a living hell. In the end, you'll come out with a much better life than they have and ever will have.
If you've gone through it, help as much people who are being bullied as you can! It needs to be stopped, and I know that if you've lived through it all you will agree with me. I wouldn't want my little brother to go through it, and I wouldn't want any other child to go through it. No one deserves to be treated in that way.
As a last note; I tried to forgive them and I guess I partially have... but I will NEVER forget these people. I remember their names and their faces still haunt me. But I thank them for making me the person I am today. Without them I would never have been able to accomplish everything I have and will!
Thanks for reading,
Keep Smiling!! =]