After people have targeted a person, they react sooner or later. Some targets react negatively by turning the rage inward and lashing out at others. I did that once upon a time, and I hate to have to admit that.
There are, however, exceptions! Several react positively- they may become advocates against bullying and for people who are targets of such mistreatment, which is a great thing. Others focus more on their life goals. Because they had positive influences in their lives, or they chose to be their own positive influence, which buffered their self-esteem from the blows in so many ways from the psycho/emotional effects of bullying.
Still, so many others often retreat within themselves, and it happens when others force them to feel as if their feelings don’t matter. These people often realize that no one will believe them if they talk about it. These are ones who suffer in silence while trying to process what’s happening to them and why.
They stuff it down because they don’t want to feel the pain and negative emotions that come with being a target of bullying.
They feel that if they cry about it, they’re losing control.
They also feel that if they’re quiet about it, the bullying will magically go away.
But these three things couldn’t be further from the truth! When we feel the pain and cry, we’re releasing all those pinned up, toxic emotions, and we feel so much better afterward. And being quiet about anything won’t make it go away, but is only why toxic emotions build up in the first place.
And you can’t continue to carry all that baggage forever. Sooner or later, you’ll need to unpack all that crap and put it away!
For me, it took a lot of therapy, journaling, and working on myself to survive it, but I’m so glad I put in the work. It takes much grit and determination to withstand any form of abuse.
Still, anytime I see a kid who’s shy and withdrawn, the first question that pops into my mind is, “Is this person a target of bullying?” And I say a little prayer for them!