When I look back today, I can see so much clearer. I never needed friends like those. However, when it’s happening, you don’t see so clearly. Being in the middle of a storm can obscure your vision and cloud your judgment, causing you to feel things that are entirely out of your character. And one of those feelings is jealousy.
Being a target of relentless bullying is a lonely existence. The target not only becomes secretly desperate to have friends, but he also grows to hate anyone who does have them. I can testify to this because when I was a target, I’d watch the girls who were lucky enough to be surrounded by friends. I’d watch them laugh and notice the bright smiles and their auras brimming with confidence- and I’d feel white-hot rage brewing- stirring inside me.
I could feel my eyes blaze and shoot daggers of fire at those happy girls. I never showed it, but I hated them with the fierceness of a hurricane! It was one of the reasons why I’d often instigate fights and sow discord between other classmates.
I realize now that it was terrible for me to feel that way. I was certainly wrong for feeling the way I did. However, when you’re a kid, you don’t understand why life is one way for some and not for others.
And when life seems to be so bad that you want to look up and either cry out to or angrily lash out at God for allowing such an unfair injustice- for not only allowing you to starve but for seemingly forcing you to watch everyone else enjoy a five-course feast while you go without, that’s when you know your attitude needs an overhaul!
When you’re a kid, you don’t understand why it is that some have it better than others. You don’t know why some can and some can’t. And you wrack your brain, trying to figure out what the secret ingredients are.
But now that I know what the secret ingredients are, I realize that it never was anything I would’ve wanted in the first place. It wouldn’t have been worth it. They wouldn’t have been worth it.
To have to put on an act to be accepted by everyone?
To have to keep up appearances to be popular?
To be totally dependent on the approval of others?
To let the opinions of other people and the number of friends be the definition of who I am?
To have to be someone, I’m not and micromanage every move I make, and everything I say to keep from accidentally letting the real me slip out and risk displeasing people around me?
To have to cover one lie with a new one?
To be always afraid of people finding out who I really am?
To have my peace, happiness, and freedoms depend on the permission of others?
No thanks! They can have all the friends they want through all the fakery they want. That’s too much work, and I’m too lazy. If people don’t like the real me, they can hit the bricks. I don’t need them around.
I look back and realize that the vast majority of my classmates lived solely for their friends and the approval of others. They didn’t know what they wanted. Even worse, they didn’t know who they were! Sadly, as adults, they still don’t.
Even today, they’re slaves to the approval of others- tools- followers, sheep.
Me? I refuse to live that way. And I don’t live for them. I’m not out to win a popularity contest. I only want to be and do what makes me happy and live a drama-free life and in comfort. No more, no less.
Other than God, myself, and my family, I don’t live for anyone else, and I couldn’t care less about their approval.
I know who I am, and I live for much better things!
So, when I look back to all those years ago, I realize that there was nothing to be envious of. In fact, I was much better off than any of them. I was the luckier one. I didn’t have to jump through hoops and bend over backward for them. Although it was hard and I paid a heavy price for it, I lived for me, and I’m so glad I did.
If you’re a target of bullying and you ever find yourself jealous of your bullies and everyone else who has all these friends around them, I urge you to consider all the personal sacrifices they’re making to have those friends. What do they have to give up?
Is having to stuff down and bury your true nature a way you want to live? Having others dictate to you what you should be?
I hope not.