Being a victim of bullying can affect all aspects of a person’s life and they may be able to hide the pain and pretend everything is okay. However, the truth will show up in the falling of their grades. When this happens, two factors are at play here.
First, because of the intense circumstances which surround them (fear, hyper-vigilance, having to fight constantly), victims must focus so much of their time and energy on ways to protect themselves and also must be on constant look out for people whom want to harm them. This takes their concentration away from where it should be- schoolwork! How can anyone properly concentrate on lessons when they live in fear and constantly have to look over their shoulders? The human brain can only handle so much.
Second, it’s no secret that victims of bullying suffer from low self-esteem. After so long having been told that they aren’t good enough, victims begin to believe it themselves and a condition known as “learned helplessness” sets in. And it happens on a subconscious level, without the target even being aware of it. Victims simply give up and either stop trying altogether, or do just enough to pass by the skin of their teeth.
This was me when I was in school and a victim of relentless bullying. I lived in constant fear and had to grow eyes in the back of my head to keep from being hurt. Because of this constant state of alert, I could not properly focus on my studies. I soon grew tired, gave up on getting high grades and began to do just enough to get by. I just didn’t care as long as it was a passing grade and I made it to graduation. I no longer made plans to go to college. Instead, I only wanted to marry the first guy who made me laugh and settle into having a family after high school. It was the only thing I thought I would be good at.
Parents, if your child is a victim of bullying. Don’t stop fighting for them. Today, there are plenty of resources that offer support, guidance and love for victims and their families and there are things you can do. If you are a victim of bullying, don’t give up on yourself. It gets better, much better! You are worth fighting for! You are worth LIVING for! You can do this!