I understand because I’ve been there. It took me several years to forgive my classmates. It was why I didn’t go to the ten or twenty-year class reunion. I had no desire to see their faces. I was just damn glad they were out of my life and had forgotten about ninety-nine percent of them.
As long as I stayed away from my former schoolmates and they stayed away from me, I was happy. But when I’d see one of them on the street, I’d turn and walk away without giving them so much as a “hi” or “kiss my ass.”
During the first twenty years after leaving Oakley High School, I only had something to do with maybe one or two of my classmates. The rest of them, I could’ve cared less if they dropped off the face of the earth.
When you’ve been a target of bullies, it’s only natural to feel anger, resentment, and disgust toward the bullies for a while. To heal, we must allow ourselves to feel the pain and raw emotions.
Never bury the pain. Never keep it stuffed down inside because you’re afraid to make anyone angry or uncomfortable. Because it will only fester if you do. You will internalize everything you’ve been through, which is the worst thing you can do because it will come out sooner or later in either very destructive rage or physical illness, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Take your time and feel your emotions as long as you need to. Just don’t stay in that dark place for long. Don’t set up your tent and live there!
Be open about your anger and talk to a friend, family member, or therapist. Tell them you’re pissed. Speak out about the abuse. But get it out! And realize there will be people who won’t like it.
Understand that, in this world, there are people who won’t mind wiping their feet all over you but will be greatly offended when you become angry about it and talk about it, or worse, tell them a thing or two!
There will be people who expect you to be okay with something they know good and well they wouldn’t be okay with if it were done to them. But tell those people to get lost because they don’t matter. What matters is that you care for yourself and put yourself first.
Why should you give a ticker’s damn about their feelings? They never gave a damn about yours. So, never let those ignoramuses make you feel guilty for speaking out and responding in kind!
Tell them how you feel and let it out. But do it constructively. Put some bass in your voice. Be firm, but don’t yell. A certain amount of cursing is expected when you’re pushed too far.
But don’t drop any F-bombs. Raise your voice if you need to, but don’t scream and yell. Screaming and yelling will only incite toxic people to push your buttons to see you react, then tell anyone who’ll listen that you’re “mentally unstable.”
Go somewhere private and cry if you need to. Crying doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It means that you’re a human being with feelings.
Do whatever you must do to get it off your chest because the sooner you can process those bad feelings, the sooner you can forgive and move on to a better life.
Although it is healthy and can set you free, forgiveness doesn’t mean you think what they did to you was okay. Far from it. What it means is that you refuse to let those who transgressed against you set up camp in your mind and to hold onto any grudges that may block you from your rightful blessings and hinder you for growth and success.
Sadly, too may people think that forgiveness means that you must become buddy-buddy with the person and have something to do with them. They then wonder why they keep getting hurt.
Understand that forgiveness doesn’t obligate you to interact with the person who did you wrong. It doesn’t mean you continue to be someone’s fool. You can forgive someone and still realize that they’re no good. Toxic people are dead weight and though you may forgive them, you realize that it’s still best to keep them at arm’s length.
You’re strong enough to forgive them but wise enough to avoid them.
You realize that these people will only take your forgiveness for weakness. They will use your forgiveness as a green light to keep pushing your boundaries.
Forgiveness is great because it gives you peace of mind. However, if you continue to allow these people to have a place in your life, they will only continue to take advantage of you. You don’t have to be mean to or mistreat them but there’s no law that says you have to trust them again. It’s better that you don’t trust them.
Forgiving your bullies and anyone who’s ever wronged you isn’t easy, but it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself.
I know, I know! I can practically hear the groans of dread and scoffs coming from a few already. To be honest, I once had the same attitude myself anytime I was advised to forgive. I wasn’t ready to because I hadn’t healed yet.
Sometimes, you need time to process the abuse you suffered and heal before you can forgive. Completely understandable! And only you can know when you’re ready. Understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean that the transgression committed against you is okay, nor does it mean that you have to be buddies with the person who wronged you. But when you’re ready to forgive, it will only benefit you, not your attacker.
Allow me to delve a little deeper:
Forgiveness is a must! It is a prerequisite for re-empowerment and happiness. It’s not about letting anyone off the hook; it’s about setting yourself free from the toxic feelings of anger and hate, which will hold you back.
This message is for people who are being bullied at school today and for survivors of school or workplace bullying. Forgive them when you’re ready. I can tell you that for me, being able to forgive was like a huge weight being lifted off of my shoulders. There’s truly no better feeling!
Anytime you hold on to grudges and hate for a person, that individual controls you whether you realize it or not. They may have exerted control over the years they bullied you, but you don’t have to let them control the rest of your life.
Let me put it another way, holding onto and carrying around anger and hate doesn’t hurt the person it’s aimed at. It hurts you. Because the people you hate and hold grudges against either don’t know about it, or they don’t care.
While you’re sitting around stewing over someone who did you wrong, that person could care less. They’re going on with their lives and not giving you so much as a thought. So, while should you allow them to take up space in your mind?
Forgiveness is the only solution to this problem. It’s the only way that you will be able to take back control of your life.
If you want to be happy, successful, and live in peace, forgive the people who wronged you. It’s the only way!