Telling you to “get over it” is typical of bullies. The reason they tell you this is to shame and to silence you. In telling you to “let it go,” bullies make you out to be unstable or a drama-filled person who carries a grudge and can’t leave the past behind.
I don’t hate my classmates. I thank them. Because if it weren’t for my classmates, I might have never found my niche and the thing I enjoy doing the most. In their torment of me all those years ago, they inspired me to become a champion for the bullied, an author of 4 books, and a blogger whose niche is bullying. So, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. In truth, I can never thank them enough.
Here’s the thing. There’s a difference between holding a grudge and accepting that you suffered abuse. You can acknowledge what happened without holding onto bitterness and hate.
Grudges, bitterness, and hate – unhealthy
Grudges are unhealthy. A person who carries a grudge has anger, resentment, and hate boiling inside them and will often seek revenge. A grudge-holder handles any past victimhood he suffered in very destructive ways.
People who hold grudges only let the past hold them back from growing, from enjoying new friendships and relationships with others, and from success. Because a grudge holder carries so much anger and bitterness, they only repel people who would be potential friends and partners. They only attract more negativity and adversity into their lives.
Acknowledgment of Past Victimization – healthy
On the other hand, acknowledgment or acceptance of prior victimization and how it hurt you is one of the healthiest things you can do. The person who does this doesn’t hold a grudge and doesn’t hate the people who abused her. She only feels sorry for them.
Survivors who accept the past realize that there can be valuable lessons learned from being a past target of bullying and abuse and often use it as their rocket fuel. Like I have done, they do years of research into bullying and into the mindsets of bullies and the victims they select. They consistently search for answers as to why bullies bully, what bullies look for in victims, and much, much more.
They then speak out about their experiences and the pain they suffered to bring awareness to the world- consciousness that, yes, such evil does exist. A former victim who accepts the past freely talks of and spreads awareness of bullying and abuse only grows and acquires wisdom. She then uses that wisdom to reach out to others who endure the same or to prevent others from experiencing the same pain she did.
You would be surprised how rewarding this is to a survivor. Through using past pain for good, many survivors have achieved healing and gotten closure. Also, these people often make fulfilling and life-long friendships and connections through their work toward their cause.
Expect your old tormentors to come for you if you raise awareness
Sadly though, it’s easy to get these two things confused. Former classmates from school have accused me of being bitter and full of hate. They have blasted me for having the gall to speak out and write about the brutality and the vile and downright devilish behavior they displayed years ago. Luckily, I see right through them.
‘You see? Even years after the fact, abusers despise it when you take the pain they caused you the past and turn it into something that can help people. And when you take something that was meant to defeat you and turn it into something that helps others, and only makes you stronger, oh man, do they hate that!
All that time, they tried to tear you down! All that combined effort! And still! You didn’t drown! You only took it and turned it into something positive, and all that work they put forth to bury you ended up wasted! Understand that bullies become furious when they realize they weren’t able to destroy you.
Anytime you speak out about any past abuse you suffered, it should be not only accepted but expected that your old tormentors will come for you, telling you to get over it. Not only are they angry at you because you didn’t crash and burn, but they’re also very much afraid that you’ll expose them somehow or that you’ll succeed. Don’t take it personally.
Instead, take it as confirmation of their guilt- as proof that they were and still are the ones who have the problem. When old bullies bash you for speaking out, they only out themselves. Don’t let them silence you, nor allow them to stop you from reaching out to those who need to hear your story because you might end up saving a life!
Turn your pain into power! Be a friend and advocate for the bullied!